Love-jihad defines religious conversion as unlawful

Source: BBC

With UP government passing a law on love-jihad the issue has gathered different reactions 

Sanskriti Falor

Uttar Pradesh police made its first arrest in Bareily in the new anti-conversion Love Jihad law on Wednesday night. This happened three days after the first FIR was registered by a girl’s father claiming that Owais Ahmad was trying to allure his daughter and there was a threat to her life. 

Passed on November 26, the law punishes people under three different categories, one if the conversion is done through “misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means”, or if the conversions are done at the larger level, or if they target minors or Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). The law also stated, that a marriage would not be considered if its only purpose was to “change a girl’s religion”.

 

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has stood in solidarity with UP government passing the law. After UP, four other BJP-led states, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Haryana and Karnataka supported the UP government’s decision and announced that they intend to pass similar laws. 

Madhya Pradesh government said “jihad will not be permitted in the name of love at any cost,” adding that the government was planning to fix five years imprisonment for the same. Haryana government stated, “a conspiracy of changing religion by trapping someone in love.” Karnataka government said that “young women are being lured by money and love and converted” and they will take it very seriously. 

Even though governments have spoken in favour of the ordinance, courts around the country have made statements in opposition to the law. 

UP government passed the law even after Allahabad High Court in a recent judgement ruled that, “the right to choose a partner, irrespective of religion, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty.”  

Delhi High Court, dismissing a recent alleged ‘love jihad’ case, said that adult women were free to live however they want and with whomever they want. 

Karnataka High Court recently passed a judgement stating, “It is well settled that a right of any major individual to marry the person of his/her choice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India and the said liberty relating to the personal relationships of two individuals cannot be encroached by anybody irrespective of caste or religion.”

 

 

There can be seen an upsurge in anti-Muslim sentiments in the country after Tanishq (a jewellery brand) was forced to take its campaign, where a Hindu woman marries a Muslim man, back and #BoycottNetflix trending after ‘A Suitable Boy’ showed a Hindu-Muslim couple kissing in a temple.

 

 

While love-jihad ordinance was recently passed by the UP government, Yogi Adityanath had been talking about it for a long time. 

The critics have claimed that the “unlawful conversion” act is a threat to democracy and secularism, and can be used as against the Muslims of the country. It has been regarded as an imaginary conspiracy by many.