Why “Love Jihad” and “Ghar Wapsi” Will Keep Us Alive

Social Commentary

Why “Love Jihad” and “Ghar Wapsi” Will Keep Us Alive

Illustration: Akshita Monga


t’s safe to say that the subcontinent is familiar with the idea of star-crossed lovers. We’ve grown up reading and watching countless adaptations and indigenisation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the folktales of Laila-Majnu, and songs featuring Farhad and Shirin. Lovers that are not meant to be, seem to be our enduring  obsession, second only to cricket.  

But perhaps the reason these refrains of love, which transgress known boundaries of religion, class, and caste, have endured in India more than anywhere else in the world is because we know for a fact that these popular representations of star-crossed lovers are not just mere fantasies. They are borne of reality.