Mumbai: Hindu groups hold rally seeking laws against ‘love jihad’ and religious conversions
One of the speakers at the march, T Raja Singh, reportedly urged Hindus to boycott goods from shops run by Muslims.
An umbrella body of Hindu organisations on Sunday held a protest in Mumbai calling for laws against “love jihad” and religious conversions, The Indian Express reported.
“Love jihad” is a debunked Hindutva idea that Muslim men lure Hindu women into romantic relationships in order to convert them to Islam.
Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders – including the party’s Mumbai president Ashish Shelar, MPs Gopal Shetty and Manoj Kotak and former MP Kirit Somaiya – attended the rally on Sunday. Several leaders of the Shiv Sena faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also took part in the event.
The 2.7-kilometre march organised by umbrella body Sakal Hindu Samaj began at 10 am at Shivaji Park in Dadar, and ended at Kamgar Maidan in Prabhadevi.
One of the speakers at Kamgar Maidan – Telangana MLA T Raja Singh – urged Hindus to boycott goods from shops run by Muslims, The Indian Express reported.
“It is time the Hindu community stands up against the domination by these people,” the Goshamahal MLA said. “There’s anger in the hearts and minds of people…Our sisters and daughters are falling prey to the systematic designs of the other community.”
Singh was suspended from the BJP in August for having posted a video with alleged derogatory remarks about Prophet Muhammad.
Speaking to reporters during the march, Shelar said that Hindus must keep party politics aside and come together. “When Hindu women are torn to pieces, the Hindu family and all of us bear this with sadness,” he said. “These protestors have come out to express this sadness.”
Shelar further said: “A specific community grabs land by building places of worship at any vacant plot of land. The citizens of Mumbai are opposed to this.”
Another conspiracy theory – land jihad – claims that Muslims encroach on government land and buy homes in Hindu-dominated areas with the aim of turning them into Muslim-dominated localities in a few years.
The BJP’s Mumbai president also alleged that cases of “love jihad” have been sharply rising in the city and its surrounding areas.
In the past three months, the Sakal Hindu Samaj has held similar rallies in over 20 districts of Maharashtra, including Parbhani, Nanded, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Pune and Nagpur.