By Ila Ananya
We all know of the Sangh Parivar starting a Hindu Helpline in Ernakulam, Kerala, to ‘save’ Hindu women from Muslim men, screaming about ‘love jihad’. But what didn’t strike most of us was that there’s going to be more people believing quite happily that women have no agency and never know what they want for themselves.
Renjith Abraham Thomas, the leader of the BJP’s minority religious wing, has decided to start a Christian version of the Sangh Parivar’s Hindu Helpline — to ‘save’ Christian women from Muslim men. After all, it seems, what does it matter that the Hindu Helpline has atrocious stories of forcing women to leave Muslim men by drugging them and resorting to violence?
Now, this Christian Helpline is going to get its own office by July, and the Hindu Helpline is going to help them. Hindustan Times reports that a bunch of volunteers are going to “keep in touch with the Christian community” to identify victims, and once identified, they’ll be counselled, and the families will be provided legal help.
Thomas then reportedly went on to say, “We are not against anyone. But at the same time we have to protest the interest of our community. We don’t want human bombs from here. If the community is little alert, we can avert such situations.” We’re not even sure what to say about his ridiculous comment about human bombs — it reminds us of the completely insane case where a Hindu woman who voluntarily converted to Islam and married a Muslim man had her marriage annulled, after her father raised questions about ISIS. Seriously.
The situation seems much murkier, because we also know how the Kerala High Court had recently given the atrocious made-up concept of ‘love jihad’ full legitimacy, ordering the state’s DGP to conduct an investigation into such cases of “radical organisations pursuing activities of converting young girls of Hindu religion to Islam on the pretext of love,” and that “such activities are going on around us in our society.”
Essentially, all these organisations, in one shot, seem to be displaying both how Islamophobic they really are, and just how they treat women, whom they don’t see as free people who can make their own decisions, and who need to be constantly protected.