Lucknow, Dec 1: In 2015, the Narendra Modi government launched its ambitious social campaign, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save girl child, educate girl child), to educate and empower girl children in the country.
More than two years later, a group affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is all set to start its new campaign, Beti Bachao, Bahu Lao (Save girl child, bring daughter-in-law), to help Muslim women marry Hindu men from next week onwards in Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM), affiliated to the RSS, will facilitate the wedding of around 2,100 Muslim women willing to marry Hindu men in the next six months.
The Indian Express report added that such weddings would be as per Hindu rituals and the Muslim women would not be required to convert.
Along with organising the weddings of Hindu men and Muslim women, the HJM will also provide security, financial and social assistance to such couples.
Senior members of the HJM stated that the campaign is to counter alleged "love jihad", where Muslim men marry Hindu women to convert them to Islam.
Currently, the case of Hadiya, the 24-year-old woman from Kerala, who got converted to Islam to marry Shafin Jahan, has started a social and political debate in the country.
UP chief of the HJM, Ajju Chauhan, told The Indian Express, "Only Hindu girls are being targeted by Muslim youths in love jihad. They hide their Muslim identity, wear sacred thread on wrists, tilak on the forehead and even recite Hanuman Chalisa to trap Hindu girls... jo jis bhasha me samjhega usko waise samjhayenge (We will teach them in their own language)."
He added that the campaign will also help to control population in the country, indicating that Muslim couples have more children compared to Hindu ones.
"If a Muslim girl is married into a Muslim family, she will have to deliver 10 children and when these children grow up they will speak against Hindus. But if that girl is married to a Hindu family, she will not have to deliver that many children and she will be an addition to the Hindu population," he said.
At a time when communal politics and mob lynchings of minorities have already dented India's secular fabric, the new campaign by the HJM is likely to further polarise the country on the religious ground.