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Radia tapes famed Vir Sanghvi pontificates on ‘Love Jihad’ and passport norms in an ill-conceived article

Since, Sushma Swaraj’s mishandling of the passport case and subsequent backlash, Internet has been filled with Journalists and lookalikes who have been trying hard to regain whatever little credibility they had left. One such lookalike is Vir Sanghvi, the former columnist and current Editorial Director of Hindustan Times. He now hosts a talk show in CNN-News18.

Sanghvi, just like Vinod Dua from the leftist propaganda website The Wire, also used to host a travel and food show in NDTV and enjoyed similar reverence from the dynasty, albeit not to that extent. Sonia Gandhi released the biography Madhavrap Scindia, which Sanghvi authored in 2009.

Sanghvi in “Asian Angle” has published an article whose title should have been – “I am unaware but hey I have a degree from Oxford so here is an article which is derived from my ignorance and politically coloured view of the world”.

He starts off by branding the entire passport fiasco as a Hindu-Muslim issue and not an administrative one, which is actually what it was. The foreign affairs minister’s selectively highlighting the crude remarks and avoiding genuine criticism also played a significant part in the formulation of opinions of people like Sanghvi and his ilk.

The main criticism which came from the Twitterati was of overzealousness on the Ministry’s part. The ministry hastily reprimanded the officer in question without proper procedural inquiries or counter checks. There were several questions as to why the main accuser went to that particular office and not to the nearest one in Ghaziabad, questions which should be asked by the media but when narrative mongering become virtue such questions are buried, we at OpIndia did ask these questions and the several loopholes that emerged, you can read about the fiasco and the tip-toeing done by the Ministry in this particular case here.

The choice of words in this article is also very telling of the presumptive and politically aided nature of Sanghvi’s article. He uses – “Hindu Vs Muslims” to describe the passport issue and criticism she faced. Now, it is no secret that India is home to the second largest Muslim populous in the world. Despite people like Sanghvi continuously claiming they are in danger, the Muslim populous has continued to prosper in India and Indian Muslims are significantly much more secure and thriving than other nations such as Bangladesh or Pakistan or Kuwait.

He also skips the incident where Sushma Swaraj helped Uzma Ahmad, by securing her return to India, who was held hostage by her husband in Pakistan. Twitterati did not criticize her for helping Muslims then, as it is not doing now. The fundamental difference between people like Sanghvi and the common lot is they are not divorced from reality and the people of India are not bound by their short-sighted ivory-tower preaching, which they masquerade as journalism and opinions.

So to conclude this portion of the article, no, India is not intolerant of Muslims and if there is a country where Muslims find acceptance without any discrimination, it is the Indian Union. Thus the proper heading would have been – “India- A democracy devoid of religious prejudice” but what do I know, I don’t have an Oxford degree.

He mentions ‘Love Jihad’ as a term created by Hindu and it only slid into popular usage in the last three years.

Here is how he describes Love Jihad:

“Love jihad is a term that has only slid into common usage in India over the past three years. It refers to the Hindu Right’s contention that Muslim men are seducing Hindu women and luring them away from their faith as part of a jihad or holy war against Hindus.”

The term ‘Love Jihad’ itself was first used by KS Samson, an office bearer of a Kochi based Christian Association for Social Action (CASA), a voluntary Christian organization, in an interview given to Times of India in 2009. Thus, this assumption that this word has slid into common usage in the last three years is farcical and holds no merit under scrutiny.

It is important to note that the assumption that inter-faith marriages are being branded as cases of ‘Love-Jihad’ is not true. The main difference between an inter-faith marriage and a case of ‘Love Jihad’ is that of deception from any of the party’s part regarding his or her religion. It is only when one engages in deceit in order to marry someone it is termed as ‘Love Jihad’.

The Kerala High Court while reviewing a case of an inter-faith couple observed:

“Any centre for forcible conversion or re-conversion has to be busted by the police whether it is Hindu, Muslim or Christian lest it offends the Constitutional rights. Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of India guarantees to every citizen the right to freely profess, practice and propagate any religion which cannot be trampled upon by subversive forces or religious outfits,”

So, there is a clear distinction between inter-faith marriages and ‘Love Jihad’ one which Sanghvi chose to ignore. These ill-informed assumptions continue throughout the said article. He goes on to say that there are two views in the BJP party regarding this approach towards hard-line communal issues. I have serious doubts about this claim and the germination of such opinion although, Sanghvi is known to be a ‘pen for hire’.

He was one of the most significant elements in the ‘Radia Tapes’ scandal which exposed the sycophantic nature of Indian media elite, and Sanghvi was heard taking pointers from corporate as to what to write and how to write his column. The chance of the same thing happening in this particular piece of writing is not inadmissible. You can read and also heard about how he was ‘trying to meet with Rahul and can’t get to Sonia in the short term’ and thus he will try to get through to Ahmed in this article by Outlook.

He concludes by stating, “this is a new and dangerous India where Twitter takes centre-stage, trolls are instruments of political action, and hatred is becoming a mainstream activity.”

Whereas the honest conclusion should have been – This is a new and confident India where common people have the power to voice their opinions through social media. Different opinions will be given space whether half-Britons like it or not, and where the morally corrupt and politically poised people and their blatant agenda mongering would be exposed.

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