Every few days, Vijaykant Chauhan WhatsApps me a photograph of himself. He appears on the screen of my phone as if dressed for battle. The photographs are invariably cramped scenes of crowds gathered along one of North India’s anonymous street corners. Chauhan is right in front: a thickset, mustachioed man in his late thirties, clad in faux-army fatigues, a camouflage-print baseball cap and sunglasses.
He stands with his fists tightly bunched, arms upraised. Occasionally the police make an appearance – their faces creased by patient smiles, their hands held close to their chests, palms facing outwards, in gestures of pacification.
These are photographs of protests, celebrations, rallies and, most often, ‘cultural programmes’: neighbourhood events usually organized under the patronage of the local political representative to promote good values in society.
Onlookers peer out from the margins, their faces inscrutable amid all the posing and scuffling, shouting and jostling. In Punjab, a pink-cheeked boy, standing under a sign that reads shoe store, stares at Chauhan astride a motorcycle festooned with the national flag and a garlanded plastic bust of pre-independence revolutionary Bhagat Singh. In Saharanpur, a young girl, dressed as Mother India in a tricolour sari and a paper crown, stands on a stage with her hand raised in benediction while Chauhan – down on one knee on a stage scattered with tricolour flags and sparkly confetti – aims a shotgun into the unseen audience. A bright pink party cracker peeks out from Chauhan’s pocket, suggesting that this particular programme ends in a celebration of nationalist fervour and happy popping sounds.
Then, last week, I received a photograph of Chauhan posed beside a scooter laden with slabs of raw meat.
‘What’s up, Chauhan-ji?’ I asked, when I called him up that afternoon. ‘Why is a crowd gathered around a hunk of meat?’
‘We found that meat secreted under the scooter’s seat,’ Chauhan said. ‘Proof that cow flesh is still freely traded in these parts.’
Beef, Chauhan reminded me, was an affront to Hindus. ‘Our strength, Aman-ji, comes from four pillars: our cows, our temples, our ancient culture and our girls. Anyone who attacks any one of these pillars should be put to death.’
I chanced upon Chauhan while on assignment for my newspaper, the Business Standard, in Saharanpur, a trading town in western Uttar Pradesh. In the summer of 2014, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its controversial leader, Narendra Modi, had swept the general elections in a campaign that addressed the two presumed weaknesses of the ruling Indian National Congress – the faltering national economy, and the Congress’s alleged appeasement of minorities in the garb of secularism.
All summer long, Modi had dismissed accusations of orchestrating a communal riot that left over a thousand dead in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. He said he was saddened by the loss of life in the manner of an occupant of a car involved in an accident. ‘Someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind,’ he said. ‘Even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is.’ He deflected attention away from the topic with rousing speeches about the need for jobs, progress and development. In the meantime, his lieutenants reached out to men like Chauhan to stage rallies, mobilize crowds and organize cultural events to consolidate the diverse Hindu spectrum against their Muslim neighbours.
If Uttar Pradesh were a country, it would be the fifth most populous in the world. China, India, the US, Indonesia and then Uttar Pradesh, on a par with Brazil and some way above Pakistan, Russia and Japan. More than 200 million people live here, a fifth of whom are Muslim. The rest are mostly Hindu, and divided broadly between three mutually antagonistic caste groups: the upper-caste Brahmins and Thakurs; the lower-caste Dalits; and the ‘Other Backward Classes’ like the Yadavs. While castes were once divided by hereditary occupations like priests, warriors, traders, animal herders and manual scavengers, years of lower-caste political mobilization and emancipation have blurred these hierarchies.
For the last two decades, Uttar Pradesh’s regional parties have formed state governments by promising state patronage to unusual social coalitions. In 2007, the Dalit politician Mayawati struck an unlikely alliance of Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims to sweep the polls; in 2012, the rival Samajwadi Party forged an alliance of Yadavs and Muslims to oust Mayawati.
As a primarily upper-caste Hindu party, the BJP has historically struggled to build broad alliances in Uttar Pradesh, but in 2014 the party saw an opportunity. In 2013, another communal riot had caused an outbreak of violence throughout the region, and the ruling Samajwadi Party had failed to contain it. Most accounts suggest the state administration played one community against the other – leaving the Hindus alienated and the Muslims fearful.
A year later, with elections round the corner, Amit Shah – Modi’s most trusted lieutenant – toured the riot-affected areas in the company of local BJP leaders accused of inciting rioters. Shah himself stands accused of ordering extrajudicial killings in his time as Home Minister of Gujarat. ‘This is an election for honour and revenge,’ he announced at one point of his whistle-stop campaign tour. ‘A man can live without food or sleep . . . but when he is insulted, he cannot live. We have to take revenge for this insult.’
The strategy paid off; the BJP won seventy-one of eighty seats in Uttar Pradesh and 282 of 543 seats across the country. While the politicians were transparently opportunistic in their utterances and their aims, I was interested in the motivations of their followers. Who were these men? What were the lives they returned to when the elections ended?
‘Cut my own throat if I’m lying, but I swear to you: around us, right now, all around us, are Hindu women held captive by Muslim husbands,’ Vijaykant Chauhan said on our first meeting. ‘Islamic terrorists are using the sacred land of Hindustan, the wealth of Hindustan and Hindustan’s daughters to breed children who are sent to madrasas, trained in Pakistan and turned into more terrorists who want to destroy India.’
We had been discussing the Uttar Pradesh state elections scheduled for 2017. The BJP leadership had found a new issue to rally their Hindu voters. They called it Love Jihad.
‘I coined the phrase. Everyone called me crazy,’ Chauhan told me. ‘Now they listen to me. I have it all on record. I estimate over 20,000 Hindu women are abducted by Muslims each year, but their parents are too frightened to tell anyone.’
Chauhan describes himself as a foot soldier in the battle to save Hinduism from its enemies. His job, broadly, is to ‘spread awareness’ of the evil designs of Hinduism’s many enemies. He said he had no ties to any political party, but offered ‘issue-based support’ to formations that supported his causes. He said Love Jihad, or the practice of Muslims seducing Hindu girls with the aim of converting them to Islam, was an existential threat to India. ‘They want to make us into a Muslim-majority nation.’
Three months after the general elections, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing organization with affiliations to BJP, put Love Jihad on the covers of Organiser and Panchjanya, their English and Hindi magazines. ‘Love Jihad: Reality or Rhetoric?’ the Organiser cover wondered; the article decided on the side of reality. Panchjanya went with a caricature of a clean-shaven man wearing a keffiyeh and sunglasses with red hearts stuck on the lenses: ‘Pyaar andha ya dhanda? (Is love blind, or a business?)’
‘It’s a big business, there are cash rewards.’ Chauhan fiddled with his smartphone to pull up a pamphlet his friends had been WhatsApping each other. The image, purportedly made by unknown Muslim Love Jihadis, called on all followers to take Hindu wives.
‘You are ordered and requested to bring more and more non-Muslim girls to our great faith islam,’ it read. ‘Here is the cash reward list.’
I noted that the author had a particular taste for upper-caste Hindus: bagging a Gujarati Brahmin girl could win a lucky jihadi six lakh rupees, while a Buddhist girl was worth a mere 1.5 lakhs.
‘We have not made it ourselves, if that is what you are implying,’ Chauhan said, putting the phone away. ‘I’ll WhatsApp it to you and you can read it at your leisure.’
Vijaykant Chauhan was born to a family of Punjabi artisans who crossed over from Rawalpindi in Pakistan to settle in a refugee camp in Saharanpur. In Rawalpindi, his grandfather had made ghungroo, tiny metallic ankle bells worn by subcontinental dancers, and in Saharanpur, his father learned the craft and set up a small business.
In his telling, Chauhan’s father was an impoverished and occasionally violent man, and so young Vijaykant spent a lot of time with his grandparents, particularly his maternal grandmother.
‘My nani told me stories about the partition, and how entire neighbourhoods butchered each other. When the mob came for my nani, she squeezed herself under a pile of fresh corpses that lay in the local vegetable market. That is how she escaped.’
Vijaykant claims he was an extraordinary student – ‘I was perfect’ – but was forced out of school in grade seven on an administrative technicality.
‘My parents tried to reason with the school, but what did they have? No connections, no money – and so my father put me to work at the shop.’
Vijaykant hated it. He escaped to religious functions organized by the RSS and joined the Bajrang Dal, a particularly violent RSS affiliate implicated in everything from attacking young unmarried couples for holding hands to organizing riots and building bombs.
The RSS and its many affiliates work on what a friend of mine once called the ‘life insurance model’: the RSS puts out a policy – it could be an agitation against cow slaughter, or the need for a new temple in the place of an old mosque – and leaves it to individual agents to take the initiative, spread the word and find followers who buy into the policy.
‘I began my career as a particularly aggressive enforcer for the RSS,’ Chauhan said. ‘When the Bajrang Dal demanded that the markets close in solidarity with their causes, I made sure all shops downed their shutters immediately.’ On the side, he did odd jobs; he worked briefly as an electrician and he helped out at his father’s shop. Still, there was always a tiny voice that said, ‘I don’t have a school degree, my family has no resources, but God has made me for a special purpose.’
In 2004, that purpose was made manifest. Rashid Masood, an influential Muslim politician from Saharanpur, publicly declared that he would not say ‘Vande Mataram’, as saying a prayer to a deity like Bharat Mata was against his religion.
Chauhan was incensed. Bharat Mata, or Mother India, is the personification of the Indian nation as a female, sari-clad, Hindu deity. She made one of her earliest appearances in Anandamath, an 1882 novel by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, in which a group of Hindu sages rise up against Muslim overlords loyal to the British Empire.
Chauhan is obsessed with Bharat Mata – she is a frequent subject of his WhatsApp messages. ‘Vande Mataram’, or ‘Hail Thee Mother’, a poem from Anandamath, was a rallying cry for the independence movement and is accorded the status of India’s ‘national song’, separate from the national anthem. Chauhan has ‘Vande Mataram’ tattooed on his chest, arms and back.
The morning after Masood’s refusal, Chauhan launched Mission Vande Mataram – the aim of which was to get as many people to say ‘Vande Mataram’ as often as possible.
The following year, Chauhan organized a cultural programme to commemorate his Vande Mataram movement. When the programme sponsors pulled out at the last minute, he sold his house to pay for the arrangements.
‘The programme was a super-duper success. We did a play about Bhagat Singh’s sacrifices to the nation,’ he said. ‘Thousands of people came up to me to thank me for reminding them of their sacred duties as patriots. I asked myself, why do I need a house? Why do I need a job? All I need is two rotis a day, which God shall provide. I decided to devote myself to the nation.’
These days, Chauhan lives in a large open cow shelter in Saharanpur. He sleeps on a string cot and spends his time looking after stray cattle and fighting Love Jihad.
One day I visited Chauhan to watch him at work. The shelter is a large airy space with a temple at one end and a feeding pen at the other. A shipping container, sawn in half, serves as his living space, where, Chauhan said, a veterinary surgeon sometimes examines sick cows.
People dropped by in ones and twos; some brought fodder for the cows, and others put some money in the collection box. Reverentially they fed the assorted cows – healthy, injured and infirm – while their children gaped at two caged white rabbits. A middle-aged man walked up to Chauhan towing along a young girl dressed in a pink shalwar kameez. He shouted, ‘Vande Mataram’; Chauhan replied in kind.
‘She was standing around the market as if she was waiting for someone,’ the man said, pointing to the nervous young girl. ‘She won’t tell me why she’s out in the market on a Sunday afternoon.’
‘Muslim boys keep buzzing up and down this street on their motorcycles, looking for precisely such girls,’ Chauhan said. ‘Hello, hello, what’s your name, girl? Does your father know you have come out to the market?’
The girl looked down at her feet.
‘See, Aman-ji, she’s clearly waiting for a Muslim. This town is full of girls who claim they are going to school, and then go off to service Muslim businessmen who give them money and drop them back in time to catch the school bus home.’
‘But she hasn’t said a word since you brought her here. How do you know?’
‘I have studied this in great detail. Notice she can’t look me in the eye. She’s been brainwashed.’
Love Jihad made its first appearance in Uttar Pradesh in the 1920s. ‘In June 1924, in Meerut, handbills and meetings claimed that various Hindu women were being lured and their pure bodies being violated by lustful and sexually charged Muslim men,’ writes historian Charu Gupta in her article ‘Hindu Women, Muslim Men: Love Jihad and Conversions’, describing a time of intense communal tensions in pre-independence India. Since then, the idea has periodically regained currency when purveyors like Chauhan are granted a fleeting moment of relevance.
My conversations with Chauhan suggested that, for him, Love Jihad is a game of deception that had to be countered by the same coin. After all, why would a Hindu girl willingly fall in love with a Muslim? In the past, Chauhan has stormed district courts to prevent Hindu girls from marrying their Muslim fiancés. In one instance, he claimed he was already married to the girl and produced false papers to stake his claim. ‘It is true the papers were false, but the scriptures allow the righteous to adopt falsehood to do good.’
Most Muslim Love Jihadis, Chauhan insisted, disguise themselves as Hindus. A pamphlet doing the rounds in Saharanpur offers an insight into their methods: when girls go to recharge the talk time on their mobile phones, some stores pass on their numbers to Love Jihadis who seduce them via text messages.
If that doesn’t work, the Jihadis pose as electricians, auto mechanics and vegetable vendors to gain access to middle-class Hindu homes and seduce their daughters.
The young girl before us at the cow shelter didn’t seem brainwashed; she just looked very scared.
‘Let’s drop her home,’ Chauhan said. ‘Come along.’
We piled into a battered Hyundai piloted by one of his friends. ‘Me? I’m a farmer; actually I’m a farmer turned businessman. Make that a farmer turned real estate agent,’ said the driver when I asked him what he did for a living. ‘But most importantly, I am a Hindu. I am an admirer of Vijaykant-ji and support him whenever I can.’
The ride takes about fifteen minutes. The girl sits silently in the back seat, occasionally giving directions. We turn into an alley and stop before a woman sleeping in the doorway of a brick hut.
‘This your daughter?’ Chauhan asked, awakening the woman. ‘Do you know where she was? She was waiting for her Muslim boyfriend.’
‘I have a fever,’ the woman replied.
‘I will return in the evening to speak with her father.’
The girl ran to her mother; we got into the car and drove off. As we made our way back to the city I asked Chauhan if he wanted to enter mainstream politics.
‘It’s not possible,’ he said. ‘You need money, you need connections. I don’t even have a house any more. But I live on the love and support of the people. I am happy.’
Does he wish his life had panned out differently?
‘When I was younger, I thought: If I hadn’t been thrown out of school I could have become a police officer, or joined the army, or risen to a position where I could serve my people better. But now I feel that God has always had a plan for me; he wants me to fulfil a special purpose.’
‘The problem with Chauhan is that he will go back in the evening and speak with the girl’s father. And who knows what he will say,’ remarked Shandar Ghufran, pulling on a cigarette. Ghufran, a boyish forty-year-old schoolteacher and political activist, has been monitoring the communal polarization in western Uttar Pradesh for some time now. ‘This Love Jihad idea has ruptured what remains of Uttar Pradesh’s social fabric.’
Across the country, the campaign has imbued all contact between the two communities with the possibility of tragic consequences. In Meerut, for instance, the police had to be called in to confront a mob of right-wing Hindus when a fifteen-year-old Muslim boy had run away with his fourteen-year-old Hindu classmate.
The two children were found in Jaipur, en route to Mumbai to become Bollywood singers. The boy, the son of a carpenter, told his friend of his plan to make it big in Mumbai, and she decided to go along with him. By the time the police brought them home, two Muslim-owned shops had been vandalized and a Muslim home was attacked. In Bhopal, in Madhya Pradesh, a Hindu woman insisted that the state’s women’s commission order a medical examination of her Hindu husband to ensure the foreskin of his penis was intact, when she learned that he had a Muslim lover.
Such incidents, Ghufran said, will continue until the 2017 state elections. Each party will consolidate its base at the cost of the others, ratcheting up the tension in a region primed for conflict. ‘Things appear peaceful, but I fear that any single incident could trigger a riot,’ he said. ‘There is, of course, a history to this.’
In August 2013, three young men – one Muslim and two Hindus – were killed in the course of an altercation in Kawal, a village on the outskirts of Muzaffarnagar. Some say the Hindu boys killed the Muslim in an argument that began as a traffic accident, and others say the argument began over the harassment of a Hindu girl, but all agree that the incident came at a time of rising communal tension.
In the weeks that followed, both the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, then Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party, did their best to keep tensions alive by sending their representatives to deliver inflammatory speeches before angry crowds. In the course of the riots that swept the western Uttar Pradesh countryside through the end of September, at least sixty-two people had died, several women were raped and over 50,000 mostly Muslim villagers were displaced from their homes.
A year later, the riot relief camps still dot the villages around Muzaffarnagar.
‘We left our village the moment we heard news that a riot had broken out. That was the mistake we made,’ recounted Mohammed Aslam, as he sat hunched on a string cot beside a torn tent. ‘We should have waited for someone to get killed first.’
The government, Aslam said, does not consider his village to be riot-affected and hence he is ineligible for the riot compensation of 500,000 rupees (five lakhs, about £5,000) per family.
Thus far, 768 families have been granted compensation as per state records, and the Supreme Court has ordered the state government to compensate another 203 people. Yet, the administration is in a bind: they need a framework to distribute the compensation, failing which they could be accused of distributing state money in return for political support. In a state as poor as Uttar Pradesh, living in the putrid environs of a riot relief camp is not sufficient grounds for state-sanctioned relief.
Most of those who received support have sold their homes in their villages and have purchased lands in Muslim-majority settlements. The countryside is slowly reordering itself into Hindu- and Muslim-dominated pockets. Those with nothing are stranded where they stopped running.
Before the riots, Aslam said, he sold plastic crockery from the back of his bicycle. In the late 1980s, his father had gone to Saudi Arabia to work as a labourer and had returned with enough money to build a house, a portion of which was inherited by Aslam.
Four years ago, the household was hit by crisis: two of his daughters, aged seven and four, fell sick when they drank contaminated water from a village drain. Aslam sold his house to pay for their treatment, but both girls died within hours of each other. After that, the family was kept afloat by a monthly loan from a Hindu neighbour, paid back at 5 per cent a month or 60 per cent a year. When the riots rippled through western Uttar Pradesh, Aslam and his family fled to this camp, leaving behind a trail of possessions and IOUs. It’s been a year since Aslam worked, let alone considered paying his dues.
‘I’m too scared to go back home and I have no money to buy a house anywhere else,’ said Aslam. ‘I really don’t know what to do.’
The retired schoolmaster sat with his head propped up on his palms, his elbows balanced on his knees, his radio by his side. ‘It’s a year today, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘No one has returned.’
We sat on plastic chairs in his tiny yard at the edge of the Hindu quarter in Lissad, a village in Muzaffarnagar district, and looked out at the abandoned homes around us. At least thirteen Muslims were killed here and several homes torched in the course of the 2013 riots.
‘This was once a very busy neighbourhood,’ he said. ‘That building over there, that was my son’s school. He is Hindu, but all his students were Muslims. It’s shut now. There are no Muslims in this village.’
‘Why haven’t they returned?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know, things have changed, I suppose, times have changed,’ he replied, as a young man in a tracksuit came to sit beside us. ‘I hear some people from the village went to call the Muslims back, but they refused to return.’
Did he miss them?
‘What is there to miss?’ asked the young man. ‘They kept to themselves, we kept to ourselves.’
‘You lived together for many years before the riot,’ I said. ‘What changed?’
The old man stayed silent – I sensed there was something he wanted to say, an explanation he wanted to offer. Perhaps he too was trying to understand why his village had suddenly turned on its neighbours, or how a schoolteacher and his students could be pulled into opposing camps.
‘I don’t know,’ he said, turning his back to me. ‘My heart doesn’t accept it.’
His young companion looked up. ‘Ask the Muslims what changed. We are still here.’
I left the old man to his radio and walked down into the abandoned settlement. The homes had been stripped clean, doors ripped off their frameworks, cupboards broken open. The roofs had caved in in many places, but the walls were mostly intact; some bore telltale signs of fire.
Down an alley of broken homes, I spotted a group of four young Hindu men. ‘Come sit, sit, sit,’ said one, as he cleaned out a stalk of marijuana and mixed it with tobacco. ‘Do you work for a television channel?’
‘A newspaper. And what do you do?’
‘We?’ he said. ‘We get high.’
So here’s the real issue, they said, between bouts of hysterical laughter. ‘Think about it, here we all are, sitting around. And them? They’ve got five lakhs compensation per house. Do any of these homes look like they are worth five lakhs?’
‘Some families? They claimed their sons were living separately. Five sons, twenty-five lakhs.’
‘They could buy themselves a BMW with that money.’ More laughter.
‘An Audi,’ suggested the plump young man who said he worked as a hardware technician in Gurgaon, a suburb in Delhi’s outskirts.
‘They’ve given our names to the police, though,’ said another, a well-built boy in a striped shirt. ‘I knew the Muslim boy who did it. I said why have you put my name on the list of rioters? I paid him thirty thousand rupees to strike my name off the report. He said the cops took twenty thousand to do it.’
‘My name is still in the police files,’ said a third young man whose thick spectacles magnified his slightly dilated pupils. ‘The cops asked for a lakh to strike my name. I don’t have a lakh, but it doesn’t matter.’
‘It doesn’t matter for him, because he’s not applying for a government job, you know,’ said the last, a boy who looked about nineteen. ‘We all want government jobs. You can’t get a government job if you have a pending case. He hasn’t gone to college. But wait, you came first in school, didn’t you?’
‘Yes.’ The boy with the spectacles frowned. ‘Yes, you could say that.’
The afternoon sun dipped and a mild, early-evening melancholia set in. I sat with them for a while, listening as they ribbed each other, but the fun seemed to have slipped away with the sunshine and everyone seemed preoccupied by the thought of going home to face their parents.
As I got up to leave, the boy with the spectacles spoke up. ‘I knew those boys, we played together. But they’ve gotten out. They’ve got five lakhs to move to the city, start a business or a shop or something. We are still stuck in this village.’
For years, the Muslim film-maker nursed the possibility that he would – one day – marry his Hindu girlfriend. We met at a dinner organized by a friend in Muzaffarnagar. When I mentioned my work, he called me over for tea the next day. Our conversation about Love Jihad and the repercussions of the Muzaffarnagar riots had prompted a recollection of love and riots at another time and place.
‘I saw her on a train,’ he recalled, when we met in his studio. ‘She was travelling from Dehradun to Ahmedabad, where she lived, while I was going to Mumbai to try to break into the film industry.’
She gave him her phone number, and asked for his.
‘But I didn’t have a number,’ he said. ‘I was living out of a cheap hotel room in Mumbai’s red-light district.’
So he decided he would visit Ahmedabad every few weeks to see her.
‘I would take the overnight train and wait for her at the temple outside her office. She would sneak out at lunchtime, and then again for a few hours after work.’
They’d talk till she left for home and he’d take the train back to Mumbai and wait for the next time they would meet. But when her sister found out about the romance, she wasn’t pleased. Loving a Muslim, the sister said, was a path to schizophrenia.
‘Their mother had schizophrenia – so her sister’s remarks hit home. The logic was that marrying someone outside the Hindu fold would cause some sort of psychic schism.’
The pressure from her family grew, and his trips to see her became less frequent. In February 2002, a train carrying Hindu pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat was set alight, killing fifty-nine people. More than a thousand people, most of whom were Muslim, were killed in the riots that ensued.
‘She said it was too dangerous for me to come to Ahmedabad after the riots,’ the film-maker said. He took off his spectacles and wiped his eyes. We both sipped our tea. ‘We continued to meet, but it wasn’t the same.
‘She called me after her wedding. Asked me how I was. I said, “Please don’t call me. Don’t send me news. If you are sad, I shall be sad. If you are happy, I shall still be sad.”’
It’s been five years since he moved back to Muzaffarnagar. He’s married as well now. He loves his wife and his young daughter. Sometimes he is tempted to look back at the whole episode as a shared, youthful folly.
‘But it was love,’ he said. ‘For what it was, for as long as it lasted, it was love.’
I once asked Vijaykant Chauhan if he thought it was possible for a Hindu and a Muslim, with complete knowledge of each other’s beliefs, to be in love. My fear, I told him, was that his campaign was fostering suspicion and fear rather than amity and understanding.
‘We are not against love, Aman-ji. We are against deception and forcible conversion,’ he said. He referred to Muslim Bollywood superstars with Hindu wives. ‘In most cases, the women are brainwashed and converted. Like Indira Gandhi.’
‘Yes, she was married to Feroze Gandhi – but he was actually Feroze Khan, a Muslim. She was the first victim of Love Jihad.’
‘But Feroze Gandhi was Parsi.’
‘That’s what you think, Aman-ji, that’s just what you think. Everyone knows Feroze Gandhi Khan was a Muslim. It’s all over the Internet.’
Image courtesy of the author, Vijaykant Chauhan, Saharanpur, 2014