Book Title: Love Jihadis
Author: Mihir Srivastava and Raul Irani
The title of the book ‘Love Jihadis‘ is interesting and thought-provoking.
The cover image of the book is an artistic way of representing Islam and Hinduism which is found in equal amounts in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The Trishul and the sacred beads represent the religions.
Inside the book
In recent years, a division based on religious identity has come to preoccupy the political discourse in our country. Not to mention the particular political acumen but it has been since the partition. Now, it is managed openly and thus the public is aware of every political alignment. Many media stories on love jihad or religious conversion have come out of Western UP providing the muddied waters for politicians to fish in for votes. This also happens in various parts of the country and especially at places where the same government exists. And thus, it is also seen rampantly in some parts of Northern India and most prominently as said above in parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Reading this book is like coming out of the comfort zone after facing extreme raw reality. It was pricking, thoughtful, piercing, emotional, irritating, and comforting and left me speechless. I liked reading it. Even though it is relatively known or something that is not new, the punch lies in the way the authors narrated it. The book unveils layers like a flower. The authors describe every emotion and feeling that the people mentioned in the book underwent in such a realistic manner.
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But what really is the truth behind love jihad, religious conversions, Hindutva or cow gau rakshaks? Why do the media carry sensational stories which provoke the communal sentiments thus leading to hostile situations? There are many incidents when media took the power into its hands, provided wrong and doctored information to gain attention and publicity but later when proved wrong have never come out and apologized or at least made a statement.
Unlike others, in this book as per the given information, facts, and factual details, the authors Mihir Srivastava and Raul Irani undertake a sincere and painstaking journey through western UP—Meerut, Deoband, Agra, Kairana, Mathura to find out the truth. The details gathered are hereby combined and presented in the book.
What to expect
This book ‘Love Jihadis‘, pierces and digs deep into a range of interlinked issues — political, structural, and psychological — to present a nuanced analysis of the phenomenon. With changed names in the book, incidents that reveal the drift between people due to religions even in this generation mostly in the parts of Uttar Pradesh are mentioned.
How good is the author’s writing style
Authors Mihir and Raul bring out this book to show that there exist two different sides of the same place in this New India. The focus is in the state of Uttar Pradesh which has been notoriously famous for religious riots in recent times.
In the book, the authors make it very clear that the contents of the book are not to investigate but, instead, provide an unbiased narrative of reality. It is this investigative manner the contents inside the book uncover and unveil shocking and surprising complications and traditions. The authors further discovered that many of the allegations are, in reality, political hoaxes that are used to inflame sentiments before elections and are promptly discarded after an election has been won.
The scope of the book plot is enormous; it engages in discussions with the problems of New India — the brutal, everyday realities of Muslim lives, the growing communal polarization, and women’s bodies being used as symbols of community honor.
Who can read the book
This book is strictly meant for adults who like to read raw realities. Usually, the villain is masked and project ideas savior of the religion or the caste for unsaid gains. In this book, the incidents that are mentioned show the ugly side of a religion and their followers who pose themselves as the torchbearers. With a government in the center and state that runs on a particular belief system, penning this book is a mark of bravery. Because journalists in recent times have been whooshed off for being true in their verbal and written communication, who displeased the people in power.
Therefore, this book is for those readers who are courageous enough to see and understand the truth. This book is for those readers who read with an open and rational mind.
This book is for those readers who are not judgmental.