As many states proposed a new law to deal with the rising number of cases of love jihad, the ‘secular’ opposition is arguing that such a law is unconstitutional and illegal. “Such a law is against sections 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Then abolish the Special Marriage Act. They should read the constitution before talking about the law,” said Owaisi, the leader of AIMIM.
Owaisi was probably referring to Article 14 of the constitution which is about equality before the law. “Protection of life and liberty and equality before the law – No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except according to the procedure established by law, nor shall any person be denied equality before the law or the equal protection of the law within the territory of India,” reads the Article 14.
Article 21 is also about equality before law and right to life, it reads, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law, nor shall any person be denied equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
However, none of these laws prevents the state from making a law against those who force their spouse/lover to convert to another faith. Also, those who change names in order to marry a girl of another faith, thus cheating the girl, could also not be protected under Article 14 and Article 21 which is about equality before law and right to life.
So far, five BJP-ruled states- Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam- have promised to bring a law to address the rising number of cases of love jihad in India.
What the BJP ruled states are trying to address is an unlawful conversion because religious conversion is the motive behind most of the cases of love jihad. More than 80 per cent of the cases of Love Jihad are related to religious conversion, not love. There have been thousands of cases reported where it was found that there is a catalogue of prices for Muslim men who marry women of other faith and forcefully convert them into their own religious faith.
The proposed law by Uttar Pradesh addresses unlawful conversion from all religions. “The Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020… does not treat religious conversion in terms of ‘Hindu-Muslim’ only. Instead, it is applicable to all religions,” said Justice Aditya Mittal, who heads the UP Law Commission – an advisory body to the state law department.
“It only proposes that religious conversion by force, or by giving inducement or by facilitating conversion through marriages, should be included in the category of crime. Under this law, religious conversion is allowed, but conversion by force or through any kind of inducement is not,” he added.
Love Jihad is actually a misnomer because if there is actual love, then the question of jihad does not rise. While ‘Jihad’ means a struggle for the Muslim faith, ‘Love Jihad’ is a term that means waging jihad through fake love and conversion.
Most of the other state laws would be probably modelled after the law introduced by the Uttar Pradesh government whose draft is named ‘Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020’ and has no mention of the term ‘Love Jihad’. Therefore, the issue here is not about people of two faiths marrying each other but about ‘unlawful conversions’ which constitutional scholars like Owaisi fail to understand ‘deliberately’.
“There have been thousands of cases reported where it was found that there is a catalogue of prices for Muslim men who marry women of other faith and forcefully convert them into their own religious faith.” This statement is fake news because you need to substantiate with source of data, which I suspect doesn’t exist except in stories. Problem is you have a theory based on anecdotal evidence and now you are trying to twist everything to prove it. Conversion is a fact in inter-religious marriages and usually the girl takes boys religion because of patriarchal system followed by most communities. And this is done so the children born to the have a clear identity, again it’s father’s because that’s what’s the tradition whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian or most others. There are couples who are today opting to keep their respective faiths and that needs to be encouraged.
First of all true love is unconditional ; in most cases of the so called love jihad, there is liitle love but mainly deception ( hiding religious identity), demand for conversion and bringing up the children in the Islamic faith, and threats to life if the woman goes back to her religion. Most of the documented cases are in regional language print media. A second point is that the love jihad is a one way street, most of the documented cases are Muslim boys-Hindu (Christian) girls. So the question is – why is it so one- sided? Again there are reports that in a few cases of M girls -Hindu boys ,the boy is killed by the girl’s family ( eg. Ankit Saxena case). Perhaps , this is a deterrent for such marriages, I am referring to rural regions and the middle class (also poor) in cities and towns, not celebrities. I agree that hard data must be produced to confirm these statements, and my request is that Hindu media like TFIP or organizations do their homework and collect data to substantiate their claims of love Jihad , better called ‘ Grooming Jihad ‘ ( as suggested by Nupur J.Sharma in OpIndia). Please note that accusations against Muslim men for trapping white girls and Sikh girls in U.K. was widely publicised some years ago, like wise in some European countries, but hushed up for political correctness. The warning against Love Jihad has also been issued by Christian churches particularly in Kerala. The bottom line is that most Hindus are not against interfaith marriages but against the one-sided nature of such relationships and the presumption by non-Hindus that Hindu girls are fair game for the Love Jihad tango.