Bengaluru South Member of Parliament (MP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha national president Tejasvi Surya on Friday said that the "love jihad" law is a women's rights issue, and not Hindu-Muslim one.
While speaking at an event by Deccan Herald, Surya defended the law and said, "If a non-Muslim woman marries a Muslim man, they lose a lot of rights. Should we not speak for them and ensure that if in case they chose to marry, they are given legal protection?"
The BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have implemented laws against religious conversions for the sake of marriage.
Talking about BJP's core Hindutva ideology, he said that it was essentially a socio-political movement aimed at providing a "modern political dimension to all Hindu groups in an inclusive manner."
He claimed that the group has grown with the help of Dalit and OBC leaders and nothing like what the left-wing labels Hindutva as regressive and dominated by upper-caste ideals. "Smaller groups, the subaltern castes, are gaining strength by being part of the larger Hindutva coalition. Communities affected by Muslim aggression are also part of this," he said.
He stressed on the fact that Hindutva stands for modernity, inclusiveness and has advocated new economic structures. "In that sense, development and economic progress are key to Hindutva. Hindutva and economic development are two sides of the same coin," he contended.
When asked if the BJP was dividing people on the basis of religion, he said that the question should be shooted at those who had faith in theocratic religious states. "Hindutva can be aggressive, exclusive or divisive. It is a political response to aggression, religious conversion, and such ideas that believe that only their faiths are true," he said.