Love Jihad

As we all know, a few days ago in Uttar Pradesh, police come and allegedly beaten up a Muslim guy and halted his marriage because the police received false and unauthentic information that a Muslim man and a Hindu girl were marrying after a Dalit girl converted her faith from Hindu to Muslim. This is not the only incident like this that has occurred; there have been numerous incidents in this country where Muslim men have been repeatedly beaten up by the police based on false information and rumours, and now there is a widespread belief that marrying a Hindu girl to a Muslim man should be prohibited. As a result, exploitation of a particular religious community happens in India, and political parties have been subjected to numerous Interfaith issues, with political leaders profiting from the proclamation of Love Jihad.

What is Love Jihad? Radical Hindu organisations have coined the phrase “love jihad” to refer to an alleged campaign by Muslim men to convert Hindu girls under the guise of love.

What is the law of ‘Love Jihad’?
The infamously known as the ‘Love Jihad’ law, the “UP Vidhi Virudh Dharma Samparivartan Pratishedh Adyadesh 2020” (prohibition of unlawful religious conversion), states, among other things, that a marriage will be declared null and void if the “sole intention” of the same is to “change a girl’s religion.” The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved a law that divides punishment and fines into three categories. Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Karnataka, all BJP-ruled states, are currently considering legislation to outlaw “forcible conversions” through marriage.

The origin of the phrase “love jihad” is as follows:
In the year 1924, an event occurred in Kanpur in which a Muslim bureaucrat was accused of kidnapping and wooing a Hindu woman before forcibly converting her to Islam. This phrase came to the public’s attention in 2009 as a result of several developments in Karnataka and Kerala.

In my opinion, there is no need for a legislation, and the way forward is to pass an honest law that deals with inter-religious marriages that do not require a man or woman to convert, i.e., inter-religious marriages that do not require any conversion. Fundamentally, we need to enhance the Special Marriage Act of 1954. Because this is the only rule that permits inter-caste and inter-religious marriages without requiring conversion, However, there is a problem with this Act: unlike other personal laws, where you can get married in a jiffy, if you marry under the special marriage act, you must give a notice of 30 days. After 30 days, you can come in and they will register your marriage, but your marriage application will be prominently displayed at our office, infringing on that individual’s right to privacy.