New Delhi: The ‘love jihad’ phenomenon was the predominant topic of discussion on prime time debates Sunday night after the Uttar Pradesh government announced it had initiated the process to bring an ordinance against it. ‘Love jihad’ refers to the alleged campaign by Muslims to convert Hindu women under the guise of love.
The other major topic of discussion was the arrest of comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya by the Narcotics Control Bureau for drug possession.
On NDTV 24/7, anchor Sarah Jacob asked if political parties were “communalising inter-faith love for political mileage”.
Almost all BJP-ruled states including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh announced that they will be bringing in laws against ‘love jihad’.
Ranu, co-founder of the organisation Dhanak that promotes interfaith marriages, said, “When it comes to choosing life partners, people think that women are not capable of making the decision. Her ability to assert herself is constantly challenged.”
Lawyer Sadaf Chowdhury, who recently married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act, agreed and noted, “It never struck our minds that we would face so much resistance when we decided to get married.”
Aaj Tak’s Anjana Om Kashyap talked about AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks that the laws against “so-called ‘love jihad’” are an attempt by the BJP to divert people’s attention from real issues faced by the country.
BJP spokesperson K K Sharma targeted Owaisi and said that he has been terming every law and action that the BJP has brought as unconstitutional, including the law against triple talaq.
“There is no issue with people marrying someone from a different religion, the problem is when you hide your identity and force the other person to convert,” Sharma said.
AIMIM’s spokesperson Aseem Waqar responded, “No such term exists in India. ‘Love jihad’ is a term coined by the BJP-RSS and is an attempt to control people’s personal lives”.
Times Now was preoccupied with the latest crisis in Congress. After senior leader Kapil Sibal talked about how the party was not seen as an “effective” Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad, another senior leader, also called for an overhaul in the party.
He noted that the party was at its lowest in 72 years and called for elections to party posts.
BJP spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal was not convinced this was going to help the Congress: “Elections within the Congress are nothing but a sham.”
He then asked, “How can Congress workers develop leadership if they’re always dependent on the Gandhi parivar?”
To which, political analyst and self-professed ‘Gandhivadi’, Dushyant Nagar, said that elections for the top post in the party are expected to take place soon and those who had spoken out should fight to contest the posts.
He added rather lamely, “The Congress party has the support of the youth.”
Zee News discussed comedian Bharti Singh’s arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau after her house was raided Saturday and 80.6 grams of cannabis (ganja) was found.
Anchor Aditi Tyagi asked why consuming drugs has become an important part of the entertainment culture. #AsliDeshNakliHero was the hashtag flashing on the screen.
“We are ashamed of being Indian. We do not want comedy that comes after being drugged. Do we want heroes who consume drugs?” asked Tyagi.
Comedian Sunil Pal said, “I have seen Bharti becoming a hero from zero. I do not understand what was the need for her to consume drugs? Almost 80 per cent of people in the industry endorse such practices.”
Gajendra Chauhan, former Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) chairperson and actor, expressed disappointment that Bharti, who came out of a small town and made her own place, got into substance abuse.
“I have seen this new trend that people who do not hang out with those into drugs, are sidelined. People like me have been out of work because we refuse to hang out with such people,” Chauhan said.