A peculiar event unfolded in Mangaluru, Karnataka, where Hindu organizations celebrated a love marriage, marking a curious deviation from the widely discussed narrative of ‘Love Jihad’ with immense fervor. This union, contrary to the prevalent notion of interfaith relationships, had a distinctive twist.
The story revolves around Ayesha, a Muslim girl, and Prashant Bhandari, a Bajrang Dal member, who had been in a live-in relationship for three years. This union, typically viewed as ‘Love Jihad’ by Muslim boys engaging with girls of other faiths, has stirred vehement opposition at religious levels. Anti-‘Love Jihad’ laws have been enacted in several states, vehemently opposing such relationships. However, in Surathkal town, Dakshina Kannada region, the narrative took an unexpected turn.
Ayesha’s transition into Akshata, marrying Prashant Bhandari, a figure with a reported history of legal trouble, emerged as a point of contention. On November 30th, seeking approval for marriage, Prashant approached Ayesha’s mother, who intended to consult her family before deciding. However, the couple disappeared that very evening, prompting a police complaint by Ayesha’s parents and a subsequent twist in the tale.
Muslim woman marries Bajrang Dal activist in K’taka; Hindutva brigade celebrates ‘reverse love jihad’
— IANS (@ians_india) December 8, 2023
Subsequently, social media buzzed with news of Ayesha adopting the name Akshata post-marriage, with Hindutva activists hailing this as a victory in ‘Reverse Love Jihad.’ Pictures circulated showing the couple donning traditional Hindu attire, sparking anticipation of controversy in the sensitive area. Nevertheless, the couple voluntarily presented themselves at Surathkal police station, potentially defusing the brewing situation.