I attended an event called “Love Without Fear” organised by AISA – All India Students’ Association outside the premises of Arts Faculty, Delhi University on the 13th of February. Posters shouting azadi and slogans of solidarity scribbled on placards were hanging all around, with a layer of barricades and police surrounding the venue. I with my other comrades were standing at the entrance, and amidst the voices of songs and slogans going at the background, a professor seeming lady, probably in her late fifties, emerged unexpectedly to enquire about the event. One question she asked was quite interesting. Since when ‘love’ has become political? To which none amongst us could reply properly.
I was thinking about it today, and realised eventually, that politics on hatred is quite mainstream, so politics on love could prove to be a counter force against it. Since there are several political outfits who rely on spreading hatred to gain some mileage, there should and must be voices of love which soughts to dominate the narratives of hatred. In the ongoing polls in Uttar Pradesh, BJP national president Amit Shah promised to establish Anti-Romeo squads to prevent young women from harassment, if the party is voted to power. Well, this didn’t translate down fairly when a National Co-Convener of BJP Sunil Bharala interpreted it as protection of young hindu girls from harassment. “Love jihad targets innocent girls and lure them. The Muzaffarnagar riots took place because of this love jihad,” says Mr. Bharala.
Politicians like him are habitual perpetrators of hatred, let’s not talk about them. But wait, does BJP even understand who Romeo is? As far as I have read, Romeo is one of the finest literary characters from one of the Shakespeare’s famous play, whose love life didn’t end well with Juliet. He is a tragic lover, and associating him with the rowdy corner boys would be doing injustice with his character. Romeo is a symbol of love, and BJP promising to create an Anti-Romeo squad speaks well of the party’s stance on love.
Enough of word twisting, now talking about the BJP’s manifesto for Uttar Pradesh, the party whose manifesto once again raked up the issue of Ram Temple, promised to end the custom of triple talaq, and talks about the issue of ‘exodus’ in Kairana, can it be trusted to deliver what it promises by launching Anti-Romeo squads? I doubt.