Love-jihad is the best reason why Tina Dabi should marry Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan

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Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. Doesn’t just the name radiate a feeling of progressiveness, open-mindedness and liberalism, free from the tentacles of patriarchal backwardness and toxic religious masculinity?

Exactly. It doesn’t. It is, in fact, quite the opposite of all of the things mentioned above. And when the Hindu Mahasabha parties, it makes sure that everyone with even a single working neuron in their brain, will cringe.

What have these cretins done this time, you may ask?

A few days ago that 2015 UPSC topper Tina Dabi openly declared her relationship with Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, incidentally, the guy who secured the second rank in the exam. Dabi’s declaration of her relationship opened an inevitable can of worms. She being Dalit (in fact the first Dalit woman to secure the first rank in the coveted exam) and her fiancé being a Kashmiri Muslim man is obviously a difficult thing to digest in our regressive society.

According to Janta Ka Reporter, the Hindu Mahasabha has dubbed Tina Dabi’s decision to marry Athar as Love Jihad. No surprises there. At all. For the more fortunately ignorant, Love Jihad is an alleged activity under which Muslim men are said to reportedly target young girls belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.

How typical.

What is more typical is how they made their feeling clear about this matter: they wrote to her father. In his letter, the national general secretary of the Hindu Mahasabha, Munna Kumar Sharma states that while they are proud of her achievements in topping the IAS examination, her decision to marry Athar is “painful”.

They have demanded that Athar should be persuaded to undergo a Ghar Wapasi (re-converting to Hinduism; yeah these guys are nuts) and urged her father to give adequate thought to the proposed marriage.

Let’s get two things straight. The Hindu Mahasabha is a band of right-wing upper caste Hindu nut jobs who love to beat hand-holding couples on Valentine’s Day. Their opinion on any matter should be null and void just like that.

Second, upper caste Hindus, who believe that the reservation system is merely appeasement politics, and have been accusing Tina Dabi of using her rightful reservation to score the first rank, are suddenly concerned about her well-being.

Third, when you consider the fact that Dabi is literally the embodiment of a smart independent woman, why would you make not talk to her but go to the elder patriarch in the family? But of course, it is beyond the underdeveloped Hindu Mahasabha brain to figure out that a smart independent woman does not need her father’s or for that matter, anyone’s approval or permission to marry whoever she wants to.

And finally, does the Hindu Mahasabha really have nothing else to do? Do their lives revolve around the love lives of people who don’t concern them in any way possible? Maybe they should get a better hobby. I’d recommend collecting rocks.

Dabi and Khan, who have been open about their relationship on social media, have no time to worry about these petty allegations. Dabi says, “We are in love and very happy. But I must admit that I get very disturbed when I read stuff about us. We have stopped Googling our names and reading news about ourselves. I think it is a small price to pay for being in the public eye.”

 

Dabi and Khan, who have been open about their relationship on social media, have no time to worry about these petty allegations. Dabi says, “We are in love and very happy. But I must admit that I get very disturbed when I read stuff about us. We have stopped Googling our names and reading news about ourselves. I think it is a small price to pay for being in the public eye.”

 “It's as if I have committed a crime by falling in love with someone who is not the same religion or caste as me. Things do become offensive. I then wonder if I should be active on social media and confront such stuff. But then I tell myself that I don't have to prove anything to anyone,” she told The Times of India.

Love jihad is an upper caste Hindu paranoia, fed to the masses to make them believe that a minority in our nation is somehow out to eat into their population. It’s not a real thing. In a country as diverse as India, it is actually pretty awesome that two individuals belonging to minority communities have reached a social pinnacle by their own merit, and have come to the decision to share their lives together.

It is a thing of pride that our nation can sustain such diversity in harmony. If this is what the Hindu Mahasabha would like to call love jihad, then we should be encouraging more love jihad like this.

The Article First Appeared In DailyO

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