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‘Religious frenzy causes inhuman behaviour’: Hindu Right press links Shraddha murder to ‘love jihad’

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the past few weeks.

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New Delhi: While condemning the Shraddha Walkar murder by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala in Delhi in its monthly magazine Rashtriya Chhatrashakti, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) highlighted how the crime has once again brought the issue of ‘love jihad’ to the fore.

“Instances of ‘love jihad’, the issue that came up during a case in the Kerala High Court, are surfacing time and again. Targeting women (from other religions), feigning love and trying to establish religious dominance or convert them and then killing them — this sort of targeted violence against women is creating a picture of an insecure and inhumane society,” it said.

“Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad condemns such acts. Such gruesome crimes deeply hurt the social system. Our governments should rein in the institutions which develop such mentality among the people and justice should be given to Shraddha. The accused should be given a punishment that acts as a deterrent for others,” writes Akshit Dahiya, state secretary, ABVP Delhi.

On 18 May, 27-year-old Shraddha Walkar was allegedly killed by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala after the couple had a fight. According to sources in the Delhi Police, Aftab claimed that he killed her in a “fit of rage” and then disposed of her remains by chopping the body into 35 pieces.

Apart from this, the Hindu Right press wrote about the recent SC ruling on the EWS quota, how the Van Gujjar community of Himachal Pradesh has been “infiltrated by members of Tablighi Jamaat”, failure of the AAP government in curbing pollution in Delhi and challenges ahead of Rishi Sunak.

Also Read: ‘Flood jihad’ — Hindu Right press sees ‘jihadist conspiracy’ in Assam deluge

‘Why should Hindus bear brunt of failures of Abrahamic faiths’

Right-leaning author and professor Makarand Paranjape argued in favour of ‘de-reservation’, in an article published in New Indian Express, referring to the Supreme Court verdict upholding the 10 per cent reservation quota for EWS (economically weaker section) earlier this month.  

Paranjpe said that being entitled by birth to never-ending privileges is the opposite of moving from a caste-based to a casteless society. “It is, to invoke Dr B R Ambedkar, the very antithesis of “the annihilation of caste”, Paranjape wrote.

He further argued that if reservation is extended to Scheduled Castes (SCs) who have converted from Hinduism to Christianity or Islam, it would actually incentivise proselytisation and weaken Hindu society. “Why should Hindu society have to bear the brunt of the failures of Abrahamic faiths? It is like saying all the ills come from Hinduism and all the paybacks from the latter. Let the state pay for the ills of Hinduism by guaranteeing reservation to converts while the faiths they converted to give them both respectability and social mobility in this world, and salvation in the next.” 

Former BJP MP and right leaning commentator Balbir Punj suggested that Pakistan could be on the brink of a civil war in near future, which is reflected by the “unprecedented events that have shaken the Islamic state”. 

In an article in OneIndia Tuesday, Punj said the current and former head of the nation have also indicated this possibility.

“The possibility of a civil war was mentioned by Prime Minister Shehbaz (Sharif) during a recent press conference in Lahore. Imran Khan, on a warpath against the establishment, too has repeatedly warned about such an ominous possibility. Following a failed assassination attempt on his life, violence has already broken out in different parts of the country,” he wrote.

Punj added that while the top political leadership and army are busy in a power struggle, a tanking economy, backbreaking inflation, massive unemployment and sporadic violence have further added to the woes of the common man who continues to seek comfort in Islamic mores.   

Van Gujjars of Himachal ‘infiltrated by Tablighi Jamaat’ 

The RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya in a report said that the members of the Tablighi Jamaat (a transnational Deobandi Islamic missionary movement) have been ‘influencing’ the Van Gujjar community residing in at least seven districts of Himachal Pradesh, referring to their societal interaction with the Hindu community and clothing.

“For the past few years, radical Deobandis have been carrying out their agenda in secret by going among the Gujjars settled in the forests of the hills of these districts bordering Jammu and Kashmir. According to the information, a large border of Himachal Pradesh is with Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmiri Gujjars are related to the Gujjars of Himachal Pradesh and this community mostly lives in the forests of Himachal Pradesh. Their ancestral work was of cattle grazing, but now their new generation has started doing other work as well,” the report stated

It also quoted that a change in lifestyle of the Van Gujjars has been also observed recently. 

“Ever since the Tablighi Jamaat of Deoband became active in the seven districts of Himachal — Kangra, Mandi, Jogendranagar, Noorpur, Teesa, Chamba, Palampur — Muslim Gujjar women have started appearing in the markets in burqas. Men used to wear their traditional costumes, but now there has been a change in their dress as well. Short pajamas and a skullcap have become their dress. Earlier, they used to wear turbans,” it said.

Also Read: Crackdown on PFI will ‘curb spread of Islamic radicalism’, says Hindu Right press

Kejriwal’s ‘failure’ to curb air pollution in Delhi 

Criticising the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi over its failure to curb air pollution, Panchjanya, in its editorial, wrote that instead of doing concrete work, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is busy making ostentatious announcements, doing politics and bragging through advertisements.

“Remember, till last year, Chief Minister Kejriwal had been blaming stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for Delhi’s pollution. He kept blaming the previous Captain Amarinder Singh government of Punjab and other neighbouring states while suggesting ‘easy’ measures (to curb pollution). But now after the formation of the AAP government in Punjab, they are not able to implement those measures in Punjab itself. The incidents of stubble burning there have increased this year,” the editorial pointed out. 

Kejriwal is now shielding Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann government citing that it is newly-formed, it said, adding that the AAP government has no concrete plan to solve the problem. 

SJM warns Rishi Sunak of challenges ahead

Swadeshi Jagaran Manch’s co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan wrote in Organiser about the economical challenges that newly-elected Indian-origin British PM Rishi Sunak faces, adding that his “plans look better than Liz Truss’ in terms of market acceptability”. 

“The government debt and the economy’s recovery have also become difficult due to rising interest rates. On the other hand, the general public is already struggling with declining purchasing power due to rising prices. Rising fuel and food prices have already spoiled the budget of the middle class. In such a situation, the recovery by mortgage companies is also endangered. This can also affect the health of banks and financial institutions. Significantly, Sunak, a strong opponent of the policy of reducing taxes, increasing expenditure and borrowing, believes that it is not in accordance with ‘conservative’ principles and it is actually socialism…,” he writes.

“Sunak’s plan looks better than Liz Truss’s policies in terms of market acceptability. It remains to be seen how he turns his plans into reality. But there is no doubt that the time ahead for Sunak is not smooth. On the one hand, he has to handle the British economy, and on the other hand, he has to maintain public support for his ‘Conservative Party’ in view of the rising popularity of the ‘Labor Party’,” he adds.

Bhupendra Patel BJP’s ship-captain in Gujarat

An article in Organiser pitched Patel as the “ship-captain for BJP in Gujarat who is a low profile, first-time legislator”, adding that he has been mentored by PM Narendra Modi.

“Mentored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his initial days of political career, Bhupendra Patel has aptly developed a signature style of his own. This factor is important for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the upcoming election in Gujarat… This is Modi’s home State. Fortunately, Bhupendra Patel has fewer enemies even amongst the Opposition camp and his administration has been fairly efficient,” the author Nirendra Dev wrote. 

(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)

Also Read: ‘Rishi Sunak is a Sanatani from Bhrigu Gotra’ — what Hindu Right press said about new British PM


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