War triggers over Bishop’s ‘narcotic jihad’ comment in Kerala; Here’s a look into the ongoing issue

Kerala Catholic Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt alleged that Christian youth should beware of ‘narcotics jihad’. ‘Narcotics jihad’ is a term to describe alleged attempts by Muslims in Kerala to lure Christians towards Islam using drugs. In Kerala, a political war is raging over the narcotics jihad reference by Pala bishop. The political parties in the state mainly, CPM, Congress, and BJP have come forward to speak about the ongoing issue.

KCBC said in a statement that the presence of terrorism and the increase in drug use were real and that the bishop had warned about it. BJP also backs the statements by the Pala Bishop. On other hand, protests and voices have been raised in the public on this comment by the Bishop and narcotic jihad” triggered a war of words between different communities.

Rallies and protests have been taking place outside the bishop’s house. The bishop Mar Joseph Kallaranghatt said in his statement that Catholic girls and youth were becoming victims of a “narcotic jihad” carried out by a section and decried authorities for turning a blind eye towards it. The chief minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the bishop’s statement and he was surprised over the comment, saying he was hearing the term, ‘narcotic jihad’ for the first time.

Meanwhile, BJP is accusing the parties CPM and congress saying that they were supporting jihadists. Kerala opposition leader VD Satheesan also criticized it and said it was a trap set by Sangh Parivar outfits. The Muslim League, an ally of the Congress, also called for restraint.

Bishop came out against a particular community while he was addressing a church ceremony and said that Catholic girls and youth were targeted by it. The term ‘love jihad’ was also in talks with the issue. ‘Love jihad’ is a term used by right-wing activists to refer to an alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love. The bishop said Christian girls were largely falling prey to “love and narcotic jihad” in Kerala and wherever arms cannot be used, extremists were using such methods to destroy the youth belonging to other religions. 

Meanwhile, the use of drugs in the state was found to be very high and the high court of Kerala recorded it. The increase in drug consumption and seizures in the state has become a matter of concern and PM Modi highlighted in his statement about the overuse of drugs across several parts of the country. “The scale of drug abuse in Kerala is unacceptably high. The major problem faced by probe agencies is their inability to plug supply channels that bring contraband to the state,” the high court of Kerala had said.

“Even though People from all classes and religions are involved in offenses of drug consumption, it is not right to say that it put everything into the account of a particular community,” said Muslim Educational Society president Dr. Fazal Gafoor. Such statements will destroy the social structure of the state, he said and asked everyone to keep utmost restraint.