The Uttar Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is mulling a blanket ban on religious conversions, particularly to keep in check the rampant cases of love jihad being reported from the state, wherein, Muslim men are luring women of other religious denominations to marry them, only to be abandoned after having been converted to Islam. The men are usually caught lying about them not being Muslim, to win over unsuspecting Hindu women. Currently, 11 such cases of love jihad are being probed in Kanpur alone. Kanpur and Meerut alone account for the maximum number of such cases in the state.
The Yogi government, as a result of the blatant allurement of women into the Islamic fold by such fraudulent means, is now all set to roll out an anti-conversion law. The anti-conversion laws in various states seek to prevent any person from converting or attempting to convert, either directly or otherwise, another person through ‘forcible’ or ‘fraudulent’ means, or by ‘allurement’ or ‘inducement’.
“It’s in the process and Acts and laws of other states are being studied and discussed before UP has its own law against religious conversion. The law in Uttar Pradesh would be quite similar in nature which would make religious conversions a complex and cumbersome procedure,” said a senior official in the Uttar Pradesh law department.
At present, eight states have anti-conversion laws — Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand. Odisha was the first state to bring in a law to the same effect in 1967, followed by Madhya Pradesh which banned fraudulent and forcible religious conversions in the year 1968. Interestingly, RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat had raised the issue of religious conversion recently in Lucknow during his two-day visit.
The menace of ‘Love jihad’ is not limited to Uttar Pradesh alone, but plagues many states across India. Additionally, missionary and evangelical organisations too are converting hordes of innocent people, by luring them using financial muscle, and also fooling them into the Christian fold by performing fake and hilarious ‘miracles’ which most of the time make for a funny social media watch. Such activities take place due to the absence of a stringent pan-India anti-conversion law, which keeps the activities of mischievous organisations and individuals, whose only purpose in life is to convert Hindus and other Indic communities, in check.
The Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh is setting an example for not just various state governments to take inspiration from, but also for the Central government, which should not delay legislation to the same effect, banning religious conversions in India right away. With a national anti-conversion law, the phenomenon called love jihad too will die a natural death.