One of the Indian’s largest Hindu groups has vowed to step up campaign against Love Jihad and Islamic conversations. Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organization, urged the members to raise public awareness over the multi-front jihad being waged in the country and organize the Hindu community around the issue.
“Check conversions & ‘love jihad’, Mohan Bhagwat tells RSS,” Times of India, September 25, 2023:
Expressing his serious concern over the rise in incidents of religious conversion and ‘love jihad’, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday asked Sangh functionaries to take up the twin issues to the people aggressively and ensure that they are curbed.
Chairing an organisational meeting of Awadh region in Lucknow, Bhagwat said the menace of religious conversion seemed much more profound in rural areas, which was a cause of “serious worry”. “We need to focus especially in areas where anti-nationalist and anti-social elements were active,” he told RSS workers.
The RSS chief warned about Love Jihad amid growing reports of grooming of Hindu girls and their conversion to Islam. Land Jihad, or the illegal encroachment on public land, and building of mosques and madrasas on those properties, was another matter of concern for the Hindu group. “Land jihad is the new activity in the rural areas of [the northern Indian state of] Uttar Pradesh, bordering Nepal. People are grabbing Hindus’ lands there to build mosques, mazars and dargahs,” Bhagwat warned.
The RSS is particularly alarmed over large-scale conversations, or “dawah” activities, undertaken by Muslim groups near India’s border with Pakistan, thus posing a security threat to the nation, Indian media reports suggest. The RSS chief’s “fresh reiteration on the subject was, not surprisingly, seen with much significance amid recurrent incidents being reported from various parts of the country, especially in areas close to the international border,” the Times of India reported in an apparent reference to India’s 2300-mile border with Pakistan.
The RSS, which is estimated to have a nationwide membership of over six million, regards itself as a grassroots Hindu community organization, but has a considerable influence on India’s national politics. Country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has close organizational ties to the RSS, with many of India’s cabinet ministers being current or former members of the organization. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was himself a community organizer for the RSS before his foray into party politics in 1998.