Kerala polls: Left front ally raises concerns over ‘Love Jihad’

The alleged ‘Love Jihad’ cases in Kerala should be probed and addressed, regional Christian party and Left Democratic Front (LDF) ally Kerala Congress (M) chairman Jose K Mani on Sunday said ahead of the assembly elections in the state.

“Love Jihad has again come up as an issue. Society has apprehensions about it. As the issue has emerged again, the apprehensions about it should be cleared,” in a TV programme, Jose said.

Last week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto had promised a law against Love Jihad, if voted to power in the state.

However, none of the parties in the Left Front or Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has openly raised the issue yet.

Pala constituency where Jose is contesting, has a sizable chunk of Catholic votes. Reports said that the Catholic Church has, of late, persistently raised the issue of ‘Love Jihad’ and has even sought support of the saffron party.

The Jose K Mani led Kerala Congress (M) had joined the left front on October 14, 2020. The organisation had been a long-time ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) since 1982.

Earlier, CPI(M) had deplored the Love Jihad laws by saffron party ruled states and had said ‘Love Jihad’ is a construct of extreme Hindutva forces ans it is a creation on the lines of Hindutva agenda.

‘Love jihad’ is a term used by the Hindu nationalist groups to describe an alleged phenomenon where Muslim men lure Hindu women, by hook or by crook, into marrying them and converting to Islam. Hindu group’s propagandists claim that this is an organised racket rooted in a widespread conspiracy. However, successive probes have failed to find any evidence that such a conspiracy exists and the even central government has admitted that the term has no credible definition. Hundreds of Muslim youths are still in jail under the cases of “Love Jihad” in saffron party ruled states.