AHMEDABAD: The topic of 'love jihad' and 'Kerala Story' is once again in the spotlight ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat. 'Vishwa Umiadham organization' of Gujarat invited five girls from Kerala who were victims of love jihad and the subjects of the film 'The Kerala Story' to Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Narrating the suffering they went through these girls urged Hindu girls to stay away from love jihadists, Congress said it was an attempt to destabilize the atmosphere of religious harmony ahead of the elections.
‘Vishwa Umiya Dham’ organization On Tuesday claimed, they announced a novel program to prevent incidences of love jihad across the country. As part of this initiative, the five women whose lives inspired the film "Kerala Story" paid a visit to ‘Vishwa Umiya Dham’.
During the event at Shree Umiya K.V.C. Nursing College in Ahmedabad, these women told their stories to girls from different communities. The organization stated that the project attempts to protect these young women from falling victim to love jihad.
Shruti, who worked as a teacher in Kerala and converted to the Muslim religion, shared her tale with the media and said, “I knew very little about Hinduism when I started studying B.A Literature at a Muslim Management College. At the time, there were many Muslim girls in my class, and they used to ask me a lot of questions about Hinduism. They ridiculed Hinduism, and I was going to feel guilty, but they also subtly injected Islamic concepts into my mind.”
“Then, realizing that I was interested in learning about the Muslim religion, they gradually began to explain it to me in trying to convert me, I began doing 'Namaz' and 'Roja'. I soon quit my work as a teacher, and I began to despise my parents.” She added
Talking about her Conversion Shruti said “They recommended me to convert, and I followed their advice and went to the famed conversion centre in Malappuram, Kerala. And I was named Rehmat, and I was taught anti-national sentiments.”
R.P. Patel, President of Umiadham, told the media that a collaborative endeavour of Vishwa Umiadham and KVC Umiya College has launched the first 'Awareness Campaign Against Love Jihad' to raise awareness among Patidar females and other communities about occurrences of love jihad.
However, the Gujarat Congress described the entire event as a ploy to spread communalism in Gujarat before the Lok Sabha elections.
Gujarat Congress leader Hiren Banker stated, "The Gujarat government has been ineffective in stopping atrocities against women; incidents such as rape and murder of women occur daily in Gujarat; to conceal its ineffectiveness in such incidents, the government raises the issue of love jihad every time. " Yes, this is an effort to foster communalism in Gujarat." He added
Importantly, the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha enacted the 'Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2021' with a majority to increase the severity of penalties for forced religious conversions through marriage or “love jihad”,