Kolkata: At an inauguration for a Jagatddhatri Puja ceremony on Friday, Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan decried the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s narrative against love jihad and opposed the use of "religion as a political tool". It is to be noted that the TMC MP's public denunciation of the term comes amid a move by several BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath, to bring in strict legislation against "love jihad".
"Love is very personal. Love and jihad don't go hand-in-hand," said the MP from the Basirhat Lok Sabha Constituency, while delivering a scathing barrage of critiques against the BJP.
"It is a personal choice who you want to be with. Be in love and start falling in love with each other. Don't make religion a political tool," Nusrat said.
She also lambasted the narrative on the grounds that it is used as a political tool ahead of the polls, adding "Just before polls, people come up with topics like this."
Attacking the BJP directly on this day, Nusrat said, "I only have one suggestion for the BJP — they should first understand that love is personal. They should also learn the meaning the love. Learn to love humanity, instead of polarising human beings along religious lines."
It is to be noted that ever since her marriage to Nikhil Jain, TMC MP Nusrat Jahan had reportedly had to face the wrath of both Islamic and orthodox Hindu fundamentalists. Some radical Islamist groups had even issued several 'fatwas' against Nusrat when she first stepped into the Parliament wearing sindoor and mangalsutra, both traditionally worn by married Hindu women.
Every year, Nusrat also attends the Rathyatra ceremony or the Ashtami Anjali during Durga Puja in Kolkata. For her part though, Nusrat doesn't care what fundamentalists think of her. In her own words, "I am, first and foremost, a Bengali. I love everyone irrespective of their religion."