There is nothing, repeat nothing, called love jihad. Adult citizens fall in love, sometimes they get married, sometimes they just have sex. Their religious beliefs and origins are irrelevant in the eyes of the Indian Constitution.
But in Rajasthan, a Muslim man was hacked to death for the imaginary crime of love jihad. Not only that, the video was put online by the swaggering murderer, as warning to other Muslims. The killer is no deranged lone wolf, any more than an Islamic State attacker is one – he is inspired by a murderous ideology. The concept of love jihad makes sense only to those who think religious communities must be kept separate, and those who fear and hate Muslims. Even though no Hindu woman has claimed coercion, these male guardians of their “honour” continue their reign of terror.
This noxious notion, that Hindu women are passive property that a Muslim man trespasses upon, is an old one propagated far and wide in recent years. While murder is an extreme event, the same logic drives anti-Romeo squads in BJP run states. This is a nation of many diversities that mingle together, where no community order can override individual rights. In Saif Ali Khan’s words “intermarriage is not jihad. Intermarriage is India”. Rajasthan has recently been the site of many shameful crimes by Hindutva terrorists – in the name of cow slaughter, cleanliness, and now this. If the government does not take exemplary action now, with results to show, it makes its complicity abundantly clear.