When 'Love Jihad' And Violation of Personal Liberties Ruled Social Media Discussions

Athira Nair
·4-min read

Over the past few days, ‘love jihad’- a term which has been integrated into India’s political lexicon in the past few years – has been trending on social media.

The concept, which has no credible/legal evidence, is about Muslim men wooing Hindu girls and forcing them into marriage through religious conversion.

When the term became popular a few years ago, it had launched a million humorous memes; but it’s not joking matter anymore. States like Haryana, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh, have already declared that they are bringing laws against ‘love jihad,’ which includes imprisonment for forcing someone to convert their religion.

Female activist protests from the cell phone screen. Young Black woman holds megaphone and tells her speech. vector illustration
Women and their allies had quite a disturbing week on social media.

Naturally ‘love jihad’ was the most popular topic of discussion for netizens in the past week, with many voicing their concerns over such legislations marring democratic values of personal liberty and freedom of religion.

Journalists Barkha Dutt, Tavleen Singh, and Rohini Mohan, and Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy were among those who pointed out the irony that is India when it comes to gender rights:

Another topic that continues to make noise nationally was the attack on press freedom in the country. While journalist-turned-showman Arnab Goswami was arrested and released in the blink of an eye a few days ago, the arrest of three journalists, including Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan on October 5 when they were on the way to cover Hathras case, is still making news – and for all the wrong reasons. Journalists Rana Ayyub, Pamela Philipose and Sakshi Joshii called out this hypocrisy via tweets:

Another person who remained in the news for all the wrong reasons was actor Kangana Ranaut, who made hateful comments against a young artist who spoke on Twitter about her mental health issues. (See the thread.)

But the social media world has not forgotten the biggest threat among us too – the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

All in all, it was not exactly a cheerful week. And before wrapping up, another gentle reminder about the world we live in:

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