In the last few months, state governments across the country have brought laws against Love Jihad. However, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has not brought any such law in Bihar despite the rising number of cases in the state.
In Muslim dominated Eastern Bihar, the girls of Dalit families are being abducted by Muslim goons for marriage. The boys from the Muslim families are bringing the girls of Dalit families, forcefully converting them into Islam in order to marry them. The state president of BJP, Sanjay Jaiswal, has raised questions over the law and order situation in the state.
Also, Minister of Mines & Geology Janak Ram has written a letter to the District Magistrate of Jamui and Gopalganj, over the conversion of an underage MahaDalit girl, who was forcefully married to a Muslim man in Deep Nagar Masjid.
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. 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 practice because religious conversion is the motive behind most of the cases of love jihad.
A few months ago, the ‘Metro Man of India’ – E Sreedharan stated that the menace of love jihad is real and that he personally cannot ignore the same. Speaking to NDTV, Sreedharan said, “Love jihad, yes, I see what’s happened in Kerala. How Hindus are being tricked in a marriage and how they suffer…not only Hindus, Muslims, the Christian girls are being tricked in a marriage. Now that sort of a thing I certainly will oppose.”
Not just Hindus, but the Christian community has also been the target of love jihad. Kerala Congress (Mani) chief Jose K Mani has said that love jihad is a major issue and needs to be studied and addressed. “There are some cases which have come up that need to be addressed, we should definitely address it. If something like this is taking place, we should address it,” Mani said.
In the last few months, the Christian community in Kerala has consistently raised the issue of love jihad. Previously, Kerala Catholics Bishop Council Deputy General Secretary Varghese Vallikkat stood up against the phenomenon and said that “love jihad” should be addressed at a broader level and “secular political parties should at least accept” that it existed in Kerala.
“A small group of people in the state is continuously getting radicalised and it has its links to international and global Islam. It varies in names, but people and the leadership of these groups are almost the same,” said Vallikkat. He also added that secular parties in Kerala were not interested in discussing ‘love jihad’.
In the last few years, the Christian community has been the target of the radicalised Muslim youth who are marrying Christian women and converting them. This has alarmed the Christian community in the state and forced the Catholic church as well as the Syrian-Malabar church to raise the issue. So far, the secular parties, which included the ones supported by the Christian community like Kerala Congress (M), were not even ready to acknowledge that an issue like love jihad exists.
Girls from other religions are becoming targets of love jihad, and every state should bring a law against such crime. However, the ‘secular’ government of Nitish Kumar is yet to take the issue seriously.