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By NewsGram Desk
“He told me that his name was Raja and belonged to my caste. I eloped with him on August 16 and stayed at his house that night. Next day I realized that he was a Muslim. I tried to run away, but he locked me in a room, forced me to sign an affidavit and a Kazi conducted our Nikah on August 18. After a few days I managed to call up my father and informed him of my whereabouts. I was then rescued.”
Waseem AKA Raja was booked under Section 363 and 366 of the IPC for kidnapping and compelling the minor for marriage.
“Tara was kept under confinement for one month, tortured and forced conversion to Islam. He even changed her name to Sara, to which she protested. Ranjit Kumar Kohli`s actual name is Rakibul Hasan, and Tara got to know of this shocking revelation only after her marriage.On the first night of their marriage Hasan called 20-25 Hajis and forced her to convert to Islam. After her constant refusal, she was beaten up.”
Ranjit Kumar Kohli AKA Rakibul Hasan, husband of national level shooter Tara Shahdeo was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife because of her refusal to convert to Islam.
And undoubtedly, these are not the only dreadful instances of ‘love jihad’
A marriage that was supposed to be based on affection and love turns into a ghastly religious play-off, a trifling imposed conversion.The first instance appeared in 2009 in the states of Kerala and Karnataka. It reportedly happened as part of an organized effort by radical Muslim institutions, the primary being the Popular Front of India,a Kerala Muslim organisation. There are horrific examples of abuse and blackmail, since inter religious marriages are often capped with disapprobation.
Love Jihad is one disturbing truth about conversion of Kafir women to Islam by Islamists under the pretense of love. A brutal version of psychological warfare, where young minds are disabused of their concept of love and marriage. What starts as a romance ends up in a trap and ruins lives.
Conversion is compulsory for any woman marrying a Muslim. The turbulent moot on love jihad has surprisingly created a rumpus both in the media and the society.Allegations stemming from the saffron brigade to secularists have been raging, and rightly so, 2667 young women have been converted to Islam in the state of Kerala alone since 2006 as reported to the state legislature by the current chief Minister of Kerala ,Mr Oommen Chandy
Some do walk out of the marriage but others are compelled to carry on because of the various personal situations. And this is exactly how love jihad’s exploits the situation. The cases where girls choose to stay married, those instances do not become a news is understandable.
Financial allure is shown to boys to participate in Love Jihad, in addition to religious brain washing. Here is a Text message disseminated by ‘Students of Muslim Youth Forum’
“If a Muslim youth marries a Hindu Brahmin girl, he would be awarded with Rs 5 lakhs, similarly if someone gets hitched with a Sikh Punjabi girl, he would be given Rs 7 lakhs. If the girl is from Kshatriya Hindu community, the cash reward would be Rs 4.5 lakhs, Gujarat Brahmin girl Rs 6 lakhs, Punjabi Hindu Rs 6 lakhs, Christian Roman Cathlolic Rs 4 lakhs, Jain Rs 3 lakhs, Gujarati Kutch girl Rs 3 lakhs.”
Such Islamic organisations provide funds to buy costly gifts such as designer dresses , bikes and electronic gadgets to pursue girls, before marrying and converting them. Reportedly funded from abroad, targets have mostly been college women. Nearly 2,000 female students have been converted in the past three years. These figures are of course undervalued. Love Jihad is not pervasive in India alone, but is a global phenomenon. Referred to as “Religious Grooming”, cases have been reported in Europe and specifically in the UK about Islamists aiming young girls and converting them in the smokescreen of love.
The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversions notes the appeal in conversion:
It is well established that effective bonds are of particular salience to conversion in other groups as well, either in the form of existing friendships or even short term acquaintances. Religious leaders from a wide variety of traditions are clearly aware of this and instruct their congregants to create social ties through such techniques as “love bombing” and “flirty fishing”
Because of its secrecy, as maintained by the external sources, it is difficult to locate its origin in our society. By eclipsing it with love , it is easy to cry foul when someone actually raises voice against this. And well ,this is exactly where the Indian pseudo-secularists comes in.
Although marriage in India has primarily been within the same religion,changes in cultural values and impact of westernization has opened course to more mixed marriages. And even though the constitution of India guarantees ‘religious freedom’, but religious biases and conflicts are common, more so where one party is Islam.
Love jihad is one gloomy reality, terror disguised in false love. Anybody ,be it secularists, politicians or activists should never ignore this sheer reality in their attempt of safeguarding their vote bank.Their deranged and deceptive secularism can cause irreparable damage even to the most tolerant Indian society.
At least they should now try to restrain them from corrupting the essence of ‘love’ and ‘marriage’ before it gets ripped into pieces by such sadistic extremists.
Yajush is studying Journalism. Opinions expressed here are his own.
Facebook says it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to work on a new computing platform.
The company said in a blog post Sunday that those high-skilled workers will help build "the metaverse," a futuristic notion for connecting people online that encompasses augmented and virtual reality.
Facebook executives have been touting the metaverse as the next big thing after the mobile internet as they also contend with other matters such as antitrust crackdowns, the testimony of a whistleblowing former employee and concerns about how the company handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform.
In a separate blog post Sunday, the company defended its approach to combating hate speech, in response to a Wall Street Journal article that examined the company's inability to detect and remove hateful and excessively violent posts. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Metaverse, Augmented and Virtual Reality
As children, singing the rhyme Rock A Bye Baby was a fun thing to do. It was a statement of thrill and adventure to imagine a child climbing to the top of a tree and rocking to sleep. Especially in the Indian context, rocking a baby to sleep by attaching the cradle to the tree is quite a common thing. But the origin of this rhyme, or lullaby, seems rooted in other histories.
The most popular notion associated with this lullaby is of women leaving their babies tied to tree branches, rocking to sleep with the wind. It is believed that at the time this lullaby was written, it was inspired by a coloniser who saw the Native American women tie their children in birch bark cradles to the trees. The babies went to sleep rocked by the gusts of wind while the parents went about their tasks.
A Native American wooden cradle Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Another interpretation of the rhyme is that it is an allegory to Betty Kenny, or Kenyon, as some versions record it. The Kenyons were a tree-dwelling family, and they used to live in a yew tree. They had carved the tree branches to fit their babies and allowed them to nestle there during the day. The part of the rhyme that talks about falling off the tree is a little scary in this context, but the speculation is that the tree branches were quite low.
The final interpretation of the lullaby has political allusions. King James II of England, was the last Catholic king. He had no heir and reportedly used another baby to impersonate his own. But he was found out and exiled in the Glorious Revolution that took place after he was deposed. The act of falling down from the cradle is a metaphor for those who make mistakes from being overconfident or proud.
The many versions that exist of the rhyme/lullaby make it confusing to really know why it was written in such a strange and morbid manner. Each version points to a different time in history where certain practices were prevalent. However, despite all the various interpretations available, the lullaby itself works wonders in rocking babies to sleep, and perhaps that is the only reason it has survived.
Keywords: Lullaby, Rhyme, King James II, Kenyons, Native Americans, Colonisers
As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.
That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.
"Growing up, there was such little South Asian and Middle Eastern representation in the American media, and Princess Jasmine was really all I had. She was a huge role model to me as someone who was intelligent and strong and independent and beautifully curious, and that's who I wanted to be," says Narayan, who grew up in Pennsylvania.
The pair arrived at "Aladdin" in very different ways. Maliakel is making his Broadway debut, but Narayan is a musical theater veteran, having made her Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and touring with "Hamilton" as Eliza Hamilton.
She was in "Wicked" as Nessarose when the pandemic shut down Broadway in March 2020. Her agent called in April with the prospect of auditioning for Jasmine. She sang "A Whole New World" over Zoom on gallery mode, pretending to be on a magic carpet. "It was a very unique experience," she says, laughing.
Disney producers flew her to New York to meet face-to-face and go through the material again. Narayan was asked to read with different Aladdin potential actors. She got the gig: "I went from a wicked witch to a Disney princess. Can't complain."
Maliakel, a native of New Jersey, came from the world of opera, a baritone who studied at Johns Hopkins University and the 2014 winner at the National Musical Theatre Competition. He trained his voice to be flexible, waiting for the right window to open.
"I didn't really see a lot of people doing what I wanted to do in the world," he says. "There just wasn't a whole lot of representation. So it's really hard to imagine yourself in those scenarios when you have no one to look up to as a role model or an example of how it could be done."
He played Porter and understudied Raoul in a national tour of "The Phantom of the Opera," which ended its run in Toronto just before the pandemic hit.
"I always dreamed that Broadway might happen someday," he says, laughing. "I'm just kind of dipping my toes into the waters in one of the biggest male roles in the business right now, and it's kind of surreal."
'Aladdin' featured as a Broadway Musical with a cast of Indian origin playing the main roles Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Broadway's "Aladdin" is a musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Robin Williams. The musical's story by Chad Beguelin hews close to the film: A street urchin finds a genie in a lamp and hopes to woo a princess while staying true to his values and away from palace intrigue.
Key Alan Menken songs from the film — including "Friend Like Me," ″Prince Ali" and "A Whole New World" — are used. The lyricists are the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Beguelin.
The show — and it's two new leads — had a few performances to celebrate Broadway's return from the pandemic this fall before it was forced to close for several days when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were detected. The actors say the safety of the cast, crew and audience are paramount and closing was the smart move.
"This is how we keep theater going in the pandemic," Maliakel says. "The other option is to just not do it at all. And that's not an option. A week's worth of lost performances, when we look back on things in a year or so, I think will just be a little blip on the radar."
They both look back with heart-thumping appreciation at the early performances when they welcomed back theater-starved audiences, who gave the company 3-minute standing ovations just for singing "A Whole New World."
"It is every brown girl's dream to be singing that song on an actual flying carpet," says Narayan. "And the fact that I got to do it on Broadway in the full costume with the lights and the 32-piece orchestra beneath me — oh, my gosh, I really had to hold it together. It was emotional overload for me."
Maliakel recalls that he and his brothers wore out their VHS cassette version of "Aladdin." He remembers having lunchboxes, pajamas and bed sheets with the film's theme. Aladdin was "every little brown kid's prince." Now he is that prince.
"Now, finally, to get to get paid to do it on the world's largest stage — it's not lost on me how crazy that is," he says. "The responsibility of my position right now feels really great. This moment sort of feels bigger than me in some ways, and I don't take that lightly. I think it's a really exciting time." (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Aladdin, Broadway, Musical, Indian Descendant cast,