The Leftfront LDF’s ally Kerala Congress (M) which is a regional Christian party has put the left parties and their leaders who insist that Love Jihad is a myth and propaganda of the communal BJP and Sangh Parivar in a tight spot.

Jose K Mani, who openly wears in his sleeve his Christian identity and is head of a party which is for all purposes a Christian party, stunned the Left party honchos in Kerala by stating that, Love Jihad is a concern raised by society, which needs to be addressed and apprehensions about it should be cleared.

According to a report by the Indian Express, recently in a TV programme, Mani, who is contesting from Pala constituency in Kottayam, said: “‘Love jihad’ has again come up as an issue. Society has apprehensions about it. As the issue has emerged again, the apprehensions about it should be cleared.”

Notably, Pala constituency has sizable Catholic population and Jose is challenging a sitting legislator and NCP (Kerala) leader Mani C Kappan.

Pertinently, the Catholic Church in Kerala has consistently raised the issue of “love jihad”. The Church authorities were the first to raise the issue of Love Jihad as early as 2012. The Kerala Catholics Bishops Council (KCBC) had even sought the help and support of BJP on this issue.

The Mathrubhumi reported that the KCBC has extended its support to Kerala Congress leader (M) Jose K Mani for raising the issue of Love Jihad. Fr Jacob Palackappilly, expressed his happiness over Jose’s response to Love Jihad, which he said is a fact. The KCBC was very disappointed with the Congress and the left parties in not taking Love Jihad menace seriously which targets Christian girls to convert to Islam and later even kills them in the name of Jihad.

The Hindu community has been crying hoarse about rampant organised Love Jihad in Kerala which targets non-Muslim girls to convert them to Islam and even draw them into ISIS like terrorist organisations.

The BJP manifesto released last week had promised a ‘love jihad’ legislation. When the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh enacted a law to curb Love Jihad and forced conversions of women under the pretext of marriage, the CPI (M) had denounced the move. The CPI (M) state secretary and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan had gone to the extent of accusing that, “love jihad” is a myth, raked up and manufactured by forces of extreme Hindutva.

It is now certainly interesting to see the Leftfront leaders squirm and be uncomfortable when Jose K Mani raised the issue of Love Jihad as a LDF candidate, the Leftists are too stunned to react, its a catch 22 situation for them. As Mani’s reference to the Love Jihad issue improves his chances in the Christian dominated Pala constituency, where he faces a stiff challenge from incumbent NCP MLA, Kappan.

BJP leader and MoS MEA V Muraleedharan on Monday justified the need a law against Love Jihad and acknowledged the Christian community’s apprehensions about Love Jihad as reported by Republicworld. Muraleedharan asserted the existence of Love Jihad, where inter faith marriages are not based on true love, but indulged in for targeted conversions of non-Muslim impressionable young women. He also urged the Congress and Left parties to shun their duplicity acknowledge the phenomena of ‘Love Jihad’ and come forward to tackle it.

Notably, in 2010, the then Left-front Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan had accused PFI and some other organizations of conspiring to turn Kerala into a Muslim-majority state by nefarious conversions using money and muscle power.

 On the issue of excessive conversions to Islam and Love Jihad in Kerala, in 2012 the Congress Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in a statement to Kerala assembly stated that, a total number of 7713 persons were converted to Islam during 2006-2012. He further stated during 2009-12, as many as 2667 young women converted to Islam of which 2195 were Hindus and 492 were Christians. Whereas in the same period, 2009-2012, the number of young women converted to Hinduism was only two!

Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is also accused in the un-natural death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, criticised the BJP on the issue of Love Jihad and grandly claimed in his social media post, that the BJP can only offer communalism, scare-mongering over Love Jihad and hate-filled politics of division which will not succeed in a pluralist state like Kerala as reported by Opindia.

It is very evident from the Jose K Mani episode, that the Congress and Left parties shy away from acknowledging the menace of Love Jihad as they do not want to upset the captive Muslim community votebank by raising the menace of Love Jihad which is plaguing the nation like a pandemic. It is interesting to note that both the Congress and the Left parties are mum about Jose’s statement on Love Jihad.

News Input : Indian Express, Mathrubhumi, Republic World,

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