Madhya Pradesh seems to be leading the fight against social and demographic evil – love jihad by constantly adding new provisions under the draft law which is to be tabled in the state’s assembly before the onset of the New Year. Already, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has enacted an ordinance criminalising forced religious conversions and love jihad.
The same is to be presented before the floor of the house with enhanced and more stringent provisions by the end of this month, virtually making life hell for those indulging in such anti-Hindu criminalities.
According to various reports, some new provisions added in the law will bring institutions like madrasas, churches, and schools under the ambit of the anti-love jihad law. If any of the said institutions are found indulging in or aiding love jihad or forced religious conversions, the state government will be empowered to withdraw all aid provided to them. The proposed law will also allow the government to withdraw any land allotted to such institutions.
Already, the to-be tabled Madhya Pradesh Religious Freedom Act bill provides a punishment of up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine up to 1 lakh in case of conversions through marriage or by any other fraudulent means. If religious institutions or minority-run schools are caught indulging in such crimes, they very well stare at the prospect of seeing all that they have got taken away by the state.
It is usually seen that such institutions, to solemnise marriages in which love jihad or forced religious conversion or both are involved, take the cover of “free will” of those getting married. With the proposed amendments to the draft law, the Madhya Pradesh government is ensuring that no loopholes are left unchecked which anti-social elements can use to continue their bizarre practices.
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 practise 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 conversions, not love, thus making the term ‘love jihad’ a misnomer in itself. The Madhya Pradesh government is thus setting an example on how to deal with such an anti-social practise in the most stringent manner possible.