KOCHI: Reacting to Union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan's statement that the NDA would bring a law against Love Jihad in Kerala, former Union Minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid asked why the BJP has combined the words "love" and "jihad" apparently without understanding their meaning.
Khurshid said, "I don't know whether BJP members understand the English language. Do they know what is Jihad? And do they know what is love? They have combined these two words again."
Khurshid further said, "The Supreme Court has clarified in the case that they came from Kerala, clarified in cases that came from Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere. There is a right to autonomy and the right to dignity that every human being has. Every person under the Constitution has this right. And the implications of autonomy and equality and dignity. The implications of that can be seen in different cases on different facts. I am not quite sure that the judgment given by the Supreme Court has in any way endorsed what the BJP thinks."
"Frankly, who would endorse something the BJP thinks, because one doesn't know on they think. I don't know what they mean by it. What is it I wish they would explain. And one could disabuse them and say I am sorry but this is all you are talking about. Reality is completely different," he said.
On the NDA's promise to bring a law to protect the traditions of Sabarimala, he said, "Sabarimala is as we all know an extremely important and sensitive subject. This subject is one on which the Supreme Court's constitutional bench pronounced its judgement. Curiously, it was the only woman judge, Justice Malhotra who dissented and said the constitutional morality of our constitution doesn't permit interference whereas four judges said that interference was justified."
"This is something that one can simply say it is the final word although there is four-judge majority in this. I think it has become more apparent that the way people have responded that this is not the final word. This is not the only area in which there is difficulty in how we and society perceive our traditional rights what we associate as being religious rights and the manner in which moral cause has sometimes interpreted has not been relevant," the Congress leader said.
He further said, "This is not something you should exploit for an election. This is a very important sensitive thing on which people may have to separate views. But the fact that you have a separate view shouldn't mean that you should insult the view of the other side or that you should consider that to be relevant."
"I personally think and I believe all sensible people will say this. Sabarimala is the problem with we all have to internalise and find an ultimate working solution. It is not that something you should exploit for the purpose of an election and reduce it to slogans," he added.
The BJP has supported the remark of Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani who had said that the alleged 'love jihad' cases in Kerala should be studied and clarified if there is such suspicion.
Speaking to ANI, Muraleedharan said BJP didn't rake up the issue and the Christian community is worried about this. "BJP didn't rake up the issue. This is an issue that has been there and alive in the society about which many community leaders had expressed their opinion. Christian community is worried about the issue that marriages are happening in the guise of love marriage ultimately aiming at conversion," Muraleedharan said.
"I would say Jose K Mani has raised worries and apprehensions of the Christian community. It is for mainstream parties to come out openly and express their opinions on the issue. BJP has responded to this and has come out openly to a live issue saying that there are apprehensions in minds of people and it should be addressed," he said.
State assembly elections for the 140-member Kerala will be held in a single phase on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.