Uttarakhand BJP Leader Defends Daughter’s Marriage to Muslim, Slams Hardliners

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When the Hindutva protagonists started their campaign against the so-called 'Love Jihad' thereby targeting and demonising Muslims they chose to conveniently forget the cases of the BJP stalwarts like Mukhrar Abbas Naqvi, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, et al whose spouses are Hindus. 

Behzad Parvez | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Senior Uttarakhand BJP leader and former MLA Yashpal Benam, whose daughter is getting married to a Muslim later this month, has heavily criticised hardliners of the BJP, VHP, and other rightwing outfits for their opposition to the scheduled matrimonial alliance. 

“This is the twenty-first century”, Benam reminded them. “I want to tell those who are viewing this event through the lens of religion that it is very important for the two families. Two young people are involved, and religion is not essential to me in this circumstance. However, this marriage will be conducted in accordance with Hindu tradition,” media reports quoted Benam as saying.

Ironically, the right-wing Hindutva parties are busy with their Islamophobic nuances day in and day out. But their hypocricy and double standards have always been apparent when it comes to their personal and political lives. When the Hindutva protagonists started their campaign against the so-called ‘Love Jihad’ thereby targeting and demonising Muslims they chose to conveniently forget the cases of the BJP stalwarts like Mukhrar Abbas Naqvi, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, et al whose spouses are Hindus. Once Muslim faces of the BJP, they now have systematically been sidelined in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dispensation.

Similarly, the younger daughter of Subramanian Swamy, another fallen BJP leader and former member of parliament, Suhasini Haidar, is married to Nadeem Haidar.

Suhasini is a print and television journalist and Nadeem Haidar is the son of former Indian Foreign Secretary Salman Haidar.

Amusingly, Swamy is a strong proponent of depriving Muslims of their voting right and wants them to be second-class citizens of the country.

Back in Uttarakhand’s Kotdwar, members of various Hindutva outfits burnt Benam’s effigy on Friday in protest against his daughter’s marriage.

Dharmveer Gusain, a BJP member and member of the state government-managed Gosewa Ayog (cow-protection commission), told reporters: “We still follow the tradition of short dhoti (lower-rung Brahmin) and long dhoti (higher-rung Brahmin) in Uttarakhand. This means we believe in our traditions and cannot accept anything that is objectionable in our culture. We cannot accept such marriages,” the Telegraph online quoted him as saying.

The VHP, Bhairav Sena, and Bajrang Dal took part in the Kotdwar protest.

“We strongly oppose such a marriage,” the working president of district VHP Dipak Gaud said.

A photo of the wedding card of the BJP leader’s daughter turned up on social media on Thursday, stoking resentment among the hardliners.

The wedding is slated to take place at a resort in the Ghuddaudi area on May 28.

Benam is the Pauri Municipal Corporation chairman at present. A former MLA, he joined BJP after defecting from Congress earlier.

People close to Benam said on condition of anonymity that his daughter studied at Lucknow University and had an affair with the man she is going to marry.

Political leaders from both BJP and Congress have been invited to the wedding. (With media inputs)

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