Social media pokes at Love Jihad and interfaith marriage yet again after reports of Tina Dabi’s divorce

Ankit Kumar
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tina dabi and athar khan

One or two failed marriage can’t represent the failure of interfaith marriages


 

The celebrated interfaith-marriage couple of 2015 UPSC topper Tina Dabi and Athar Aamir Khan, recently filed for divorce in Jaipur. Once the news came into the public domain, many users on Twitter who are against the interfaith marriage took the opportunity to criticize the interfaith marriage. A majority of Twitter users that said that this wedding was never going to work and it was a classical case of Love Jihad. They said that Tina was able to file a divorce only because she was in a power situation. Had she been a normal Hindu girl, she could have suffered in her life. However, there were few who pointed out that one failed marriage doesn’t say everything about interfaith marriages. There are many examples of interfaith marriage which are strong even after years. Look at some reactions:

 

Read more: Love Jihad Law: What is the fuss about anti-Love Jihad law

An opportunity not missed by extremists

Reactions on Twitter shows that people have made a habit of poking in everything. We wonder if they have anything else to do rather than preparing a false narrative and bullying other social media users.

When Tina had married Athar in 2018, the marriage was presented as a great example of interfaith marriage and secularism of India. Critics of interfaith marriage had then raised objection against the celebration and called the marriage an act of “Love Jihad”. We understand that, now because the marriage has failed, there is this itchiness to attack people who were in support of these types of marriages.

In March 2018, Tina Dabi, who came on top in the 2015 UPSC exams had married to a man from Kashmir – Athar Aamir Khan, who had come second in the same exam. The couple had reportedly fallen in love when they were training at the Department of Personnel and Training office in New Delhi.

Roushan Nilay, a software engineer based in Delhi said, “Yes there is a conspiracy from certain people to convert our secular India into an Islamist country. If people won’t talk about it on Twitter, the Islamist forces will gain power and continue to lure our women and convert them into Muslim.”

Vikas Paswan, “It’s important to be active on Twitter, especially against certain people who are trying to destabilize the country. It might backfire on me someday as a group of people might attack me on social media but for now, I am not worried about it. Just feel that if there won’t be people like them (Twitter users who are Hindu-nationalists), Muslims will gain the power to neutralize us (Hindus).”

 

Love Jihad angle

Love Jihad, allegedly a term used by Hindu-extremists to define a wedding between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman, has been in news in the last few days. Hindu-extremists say that Muslims marry Hindu girl in order to change her religion and finally change India into an Islamic state. People on Twitter have opined that the Athar Amir did “Love Jihad” by marrying Tina. Some of them claimed that Tina was able to file a divorce case only because she was in a powerful position. Had she been a normal girl, her dead body would have been found in a bag somewhere. There could be only two reasons behind these reactions, either people are not educated enough to understand secularism or they are want to shape a false narrative so that they could benefit a specific political and religious group.

Sagarika Ghose, a known author and journalist, in her book, Why I am a Liberal, while talking about Love Jihad has written: “Many reports have now shown that love jihad-or so-called practice of Muslim men abducting, assaulting, and making Hindu women convert to Islam- is a myth.” She adds, “Those who think Muslim as the perennial, black-bearded foreigner bent on deflowering that patriarchal construct known as ‘our women’, love jihad is a delicious political fantasy, mixed with nasty voyeuristic impulses and mobilization campaigns.”

One, two or 10 examples are not a testimony that interfaith marriages can not work. There are literally thousands of examples where an interfaith marriage has worked. Look at Shahrukh Khan-Gauri Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan-Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu- Soha Ali Khan, Zaheer Khan- Sagarika Ghatge, and many more. So, people who are saying that an interfaith marriage can’t work, should look around them and think twice before they make this claim.

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