UP cabinet clear ordinance against ‘love jihad’

UP has become the third BJP ruled state to take steps towards formulating a law against the radical term ‘love jihad’

Yogi AdityanathImage: PTI

After Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, Uttar Pradesh has become the third BJP ruled state to take concrete steps towards bringing about a law against what they call ‘love jihad’. On November 24, the UP government cabinet gave its nod for the ordinance that penalises forceful religious conversions.

The ordinance provides for a jail term of 1-5 years with Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion. For conversions of minors and women of SC/SC community, there will be jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 25,000 penalty, reported several news agencies.

“In cases of forced mass conversions, the ordinance provides for jail term of three-10 years with Rs 50,000 penalty. If a person wants to perform marriage after converting into any other religion, they will need to take permission from DM two months before marriage,” state Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, as reported by Indian Express.

The state’s law commission had submitted a report to the UP government along with a draft of Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019’, which had proposed that conversion done for the sole purpose of marriage be declared null and void.

This move was expected as Yogi Adityanath, the CM of UP had recently said at a public meeting in Jaunpur that people waging ‘love jihad’ should mend their ways or be ready for their final journey. “Ram naam satya hai ki yatra nikalne wali hai”, he had warned.

Ironically, Allahabad High Court while giving its decision in Salamat Ansari and Ors vs State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors observed “Right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty. Interference in a personal relationship, would constitute a serious encroachment into the right to freedom of choice of the two individuals.” In this case, the girl, a Hindu had embraced Islam and married a Muslim man.

Interestingly, even the SIT probe put in motion by Kanpur Police into 14 cases of  relationships between Hindu women and Muslim men concluded that it found no evidence that the Muslim youth who were investigated received any  funding from abroad thus dismissing the ‘conspiracy’ angle.

On one hand, the judiciary is upholding the individuals’ right to life in choosing a desired partner in an inter-faith marriage, and on the other hand the state assembly is about to pass a law infringing the same liberty of two consenting adults. It is a clear juxtaposition with two pillars of democracy holding contrasting views on the same issue.

Meanwhile, many opposition ruled states have criticised the law against ‘love Jihad’. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashik Gehlot commented, “Love Jihad is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in love.”

Also, Maharashtra’s coalition ruling party Shiv Sena, in its mouth piece ‘Saamna’ pointed out that BJP’s Minister of State for Home Affairs earlier this year said in Parliament that the concept of ‘Love Jihad’ has no place in law and till now no case has been reported by central agencies in this connection.


Right to choose a partner is intrinsic to Right to life & personal liberty: Allahabad HC

UP SIT probe says there is no ‘love jihad’, rules out conspiracy, outside funding

Haryana to form committee for law on love-jihad



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