A case of grooming jihad has emerged from Tamil Nadu cinema industry. A small screen actress has accused a fellow actor of forcing her to convert to Islam to marry her and abandoning after conceiving his child. The actress has accused him of having extra marital affair with a Muslim woman, another colleague. She has also accused him of trying to abort their unborn baby.
Divya Sridhar, a silver screen actress from Karnataka, debuted in the Tamil TV industry along with one Naina Muhammed who introduced himself as Arnaav(Cinema portals give his name as Arnaav Amjath). Their relationship grew beyond profession and they reportedly were in a live-in relationship for 5 years. In September Divya announced on Instagram that she married Arnaav and that they are expecting a child.
Not even a month later she has accused him of using her and abandoning her after she conceived the child. She also revealed that when they planned to get married Arnaav said that only if she converts to Islam his parents will accept her. She converted in February and changed her name but had asked for a Hindu marriage as well. She shared the photos of Hindu marriage ceremony on social media in August. They also got their nikkah done. While Divya told her parents about it, Arnaav kept their relationship secret. Divya’s parents reportedly denounced her.
Meanwhile Arnaav got a new project with Anshitha Akbarshah, a Muslim, as the co-actress. Divya heard from others that they are getting closer and started noticing Arnaav avoiding her. She asked him to announce their marriage. But he reportedly said that his parents won’t accept them and so he has to convince them gradually before making their marriage public. When Divya questioned his relationship with the Muslim actress fights ensued.
Divya says that the latter told her that she loves Arnaav and will marry him asking “What can you do about it?”. She also accuses her of beating her stomach with a water bottle unmindful that she is pregnant. Arnaav reportedly hit her and physically abused her. He is said to have kicked her in the stomach as a result of which her pregnancy has become unstable. Arnaav physically and verbally abused Divya while on call with Akbarshah.
Divya told the media that she paid the down payment for the house they are living in and had been paying every EMI as well. She also paid off his personal loans and interests and for every appliance in their house. Divya’s lawyer says that Arnaav’s family is well-known in Pudukkottai, his native, and that his father holds a position in the local jamat. Arnaav cited this as the reason for not making their marriage public.
While Divya shared a lot of photos of them together on social media tagging Arnaav, he deleted the photos he shared when they worked together. Later Divya was threatened by his siblings to remove photos when she made their marriage public. He told her that as she didn’t delete the videos as requested by him, he will go back to his family and divorce her with their support. He was enraged that she had shared the Hindu marriage pictures and says that she did it on purpose to shame his family.
Divya was married once before and has a girl child. She has mentioned it in many interviews and it is public knowledge. But Arnaav while denying her accusations said that he didn’t know that she had a daughter and that she introduced the child as her niece.
He also accused a third person, who has meddled in other lives in the past, as the reason behind their ‘misunderstanding’. He said that Divya is being misguided and that people are threatening him of ruining his image through Divya. Following this Divya released an audio in which Arnaav can be heard advising her to release a video saying photos and videos of their marriage are not genuine and that they were taken for an advertisement. Not so curiously, Arnaav keeps referring to Divya as ‘that girl’ in interactions and media and never as ‘wife’.
Now he has called her mentally unstable by sharing some clipped videos of her outburst and medical bills. Divya’s lawyer argues that if what he says is true then that means he raped a mentally unstable woman as he claims to have never married her. Arnaav has been charging her on one thing after another each day and Divya is left to dismiss them with proof and defend her honour. Only a very few, including one Muslim actress, have come forward to condemn Arnaav. They say that what Divya says about his extra marital relationship is true and everyone in the set knows about it. Divya still wants to live with the man and his family to recognise the child as their heir.
It is not new for women in the cinema to fall for the grooming jihad trap. But only their marriage gets limelight while problems they face go out of trend soon. This affects young girls of this generation who are brainwashed into believing what they see in the media is true and fall for the same trap. Celebrities can move forward from their problems and find a new life and money. But it is not the same for ordinary Hindu girls whose life is threatened at most of the instances. It is time that Hindu samaj finds ways to create awareness about grooming jihad and distance those who don’t take it seriously and wantonly fall in jihadi trap to set an example.