News Analysis |
Six people have been sentenced to death for the murder of a man from India’s Dalit community in an “honour killing” in Tamil Nadu last year. This horrific killing struck parallels with atrocities against Muslims on the slogan of “Love Jihad”.
Sankar, 22, was hacked to death on a crowded road in broad daylight. People watched in horror as the attackers then fled on a motorcycle. According to Police, he was murdered for marrying a woman from a higher Hindu caste. She was also injured in the assault.
Dalits, formerly called untouchables, are at the bottom of the caste system. The bride’s father, who handed himself in and admitted to carrying out the attack, was one of those sentenced to death.
Hindutva groups especially the RSS, has been instrumental in protecting atrocities against Dalits which is why few Dalits are found among the Sangh Parivar ranks.
Eleven people stood trial in the case. Apart from the six death sentences, one man was sentenced to life in prison while another got five years in jail. Three others, including the bride’s mother, were acquitted of all charges.
This move echoes various atrocities committed against Indian Muslims over the allegation of “Love Jihad”. Used by Hindutva extremists to refer to marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women, it is used as a slogan to safeguard Hindu honor.
Read more: ‘Jihad against love’ in India?
In a recent horrific incident, a Muslim man was burnt alive in Rajasthan by Indian extremists for being in a relationship with a Hindu girl. The fanatics also made a video of the barbaric act and uploaded it on social media. The crime was committed allegedly in the name of ‘Love Jihad’. Police has identified the man as Muhammad Afzal who is the resident of West Bengal. According to Indian media, the main suspect of the heinous crime has been detained. The murderer, a man who has now been identified as one Shambhu Lal Regar, a resident of Rajsamand has been taken into custody.
Love Jihad has become an integral part of the Hindutva lexicon. It refers to the marriages between Muslim men and Hindu women. Its appeal to communal sensibilities by demonizing the matrimonial relations of Muslim men and Hindu women and thus synchronizes with the communal slogan of “Hindu Khatre mein hay” (Hindus are in danger). Hindutva fundamentalists use the threat of Love Jihad as one of the many perceived perils to the Indian Hindu community.
Love Jihad appeals to both communal hatreds as well as the patriarchy inbuilt in several Indian cultures. Love Jihad posits Hindu men as the protectors of Hindu women. Not only are they protecting the survival of their faith but also safeguarding their honor and family by stopping Muslims from marrying Hindus.
Sankar, 22, was hacked to death on a crowded road in broad daylight. People watched in horror as the attackers then fled on a motorcycle.
Hindutva proclaims that a good Hindu woman is one who is subservient to her male counterpart. The Hindutva ideology pushes for a docile wife subservient to a patriarchal system. Career-oriented women are discouraged and deemed to be the opposite of good mothers and wives. This is apparent by the statement of the RSS chief that the duty of the woman is to look after her husband. If she fails to do this, he can disown her and refuse to take care of her.
It seeks the Hindu women as nothing more than a breeding station for the Hindu populace. It is this Hindu populace which is under threat from outside forces such as Muslims. Not only are marriages between Muslim men and women imperiling the honor of Hindus but also putting the survival of the Hindu nation at stake. The “breeding posts” of good Hindu men are being subverted by Muslims who instead are utilizing them to produce Muslim children.
Six people have been sentenced to death for the murder of a man from India’s Dalit community in an “honour killing” in Tamil Nadu last year.
It is often presumed that the roots of hatred of Hindutva activists come from the caste system of ancient Hinduism. The Dalits are the lowest caste in the Hindu Varna system. The term Dalit, which means “oppressed” in Sanskrit, was coined by the great Dalit figure Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in the 20th century.
While Hindutva leaders outwardly espouse anti-caste system views and call for Hindu unity, the reality has been quite the opposite. Hindutva groups especially the RSS, has been instrumental in protecting atrocities against Dalits which is why few Dalits are found among the Sangh Parivar ranks.
Similarly Muslims and Christians are termed as “Maleechs” which translates into dirty or subhuman by Hindutva ideologues. They share a similar space as Dalits being the lowest of the low and by definition outside of the Hindu system.