By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
A young aspiring Nikita Tomar was murdered by Tauseef, who happened to be stalking her since here college days, as both studied in the same institution in Faridabad, a North Indian town. Nikita, it is reported, had turned down Tauseef’s proposal in the past. The young man could not take the rejection and killed her.
The entire incident was recorded on CCTV camera, which has gone viral. It shows Tauseef, described variously as a brilliant student, tried to kidnap Nikita, but having failed to do so, he shot her and ran away. There seem to be other accomplices too in the crime. The Haryana government swung into action and formed an SIT to probe into the incident and has got the accused arrested.
Normally, this should have been seen as an incident of a young boy feeling humiliated after the ‘rejection’ by a girl, but since the story is between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy, the media has jumped into it suggesting it as Love Jihad. Irresponsible reporting by a TV channel in this matter is highly despicable.
Things have not top stopped to media reporting. Efforts are being made to it turn into an electoral issue in the backdrop of Bihar elections and other bypolls. The whole effort is to blame the entire community for what had happened. If the accused was not Tauseef but a Hindu, would the channel have reported the issue at all? They would have said, it is a failed love story or a Romeo trying to intimidate the girl, who does not want to respond or reject the boy’s overtures.
This is not an isolated event. A few weeks back, a young boy named Rahul was allegedly killed by the relatives and family of a girl who happened to be in relationship with him, but belonged to the Muslim community. Both Nikita’s and Rahul’s murder have become high points of anti-Muslim propaganda by the notorious IT Cell of BJP. The Karni Sena too has jumped in to call it Love Jihad.
As part of the campaign, someone has suggested that Tauseef is the relative of a Congress MLA in Haryana. However, being a relative of a person does not make one accomplice in the crime, as reported by some newspapers. In fact, Nikita’s family had filed a case against Tauseef in March. The issue is, why did the police fail to take action earlier?
Be that as it may, whether this was a one sided-love or an affair, the fact is, a girl was murdered just because she refused to surrendered. Meanwhile, police have arrested the accused and is filing a case against the boy. Nikita’s family has sought death penalty. There are a few lessons that need to be drawn from the way we look at such incidents.
Unsurprisingly, there is not much reaction from the ‘liberals’ on the issue. Not that they need to, but it is important that that they understood implications of how things are sought to be interpreted. In our activism or criticism, we are often extremely selective. This is done in order to be seen as champions in the eyes of our friends.
A few days back, “secular” and “liberal” celebrities were upset with Tatas for withdrawing a Tanishka advertisement under pressure from the troll army, which felt that Hindu sentiments were ‘hurt’. Tanishka withdrew the advertisement, and “liberals” were upset. However, the same liberals don’t give Charlie Habdo the right to “offend”, which is very much part of the French culture. It may not be part of our culture, but is definitely theirs.
Best way for an interfaith marriage to sustain is to not ask the partner to convert but enjoy good practices and values of both the culturesThe issue is not Love Jihad but why has it come to this level that every interfaith marriage or affair has the potential of being turned into a communal flareup. If we know that our actions are resulting in our communities behaving in particular way, going so far as to seek blood of the other community, then what is the way out? The same question should be asked to people who marry beyond their castes – inter-caste violence is also known happen in such cases.
So what is the way out? Should we discourage our youngsters to look for their own partners? Indeed, the Love Jihad campaign is nothing but an attempt to suggest that only parents and relatives should decide one’s future, and no young adults have the right to decide being in relationship or marry, because everything that we decide must have the ‘approval’ of ‘society’ and ‘family’.
The best way for an interfaith marriage to sustain is not to ask your partner to convert and enjoy the good practices and cultural values of both the cultures. Imposing one’s culture and value system will create issues. Indeed, it is time come out of the calculations of whether a particular issue would help Hindutva forces or the likes of Asaduddin Owaisi, because unless we speak up boldly and categorically, things are going to get worse.
The youngsters who claim to love someone must understand that a woman is not here to be ‘owned’ by someone. She has the right to reject you even if you were in a relationship. The youngsters must be very clear that if their partner or lover belong to any other religion or caste or nationality, they should consider all the pros and cons.
Asking your female partner to change as per your ‘culture’, ‘religion’ and ‘nationality’ will only bring disaster to such the relationship. It might have worked in the past or in certain cases where women have ‘accepted’ things, it but it won’t succeed all the time