Haryana-Uttar Pradesh politicians unite against interfaith couples

Cornered on rising crimes against women, Haryana government  says law against ‘Love Jihad’ in the pipeline; follows similar declarations by Uttar Pradesh CM

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The dangerously communal and patriarchal bogey called ‘Love Jihad’, created by right wing Hindutva groups, and legitimised by politicians, mostly from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has found another supporter over the weekend. The Haryana government has now said that it may soon bring in a law to check ‘love jihad’.   According to the state’s chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, “Both the Centre and the state government are taking the love jihad issue very seriously… legal provisions are being contemplated so that the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished.” 

Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij stated that this ‘love jihad’ was a disease that needed a cure, “This love jihad…it is necessary to cure it, so we can save young girls,’ he was quoted by The Indian Express. Vij and Khattar’s anti ‘love jihad’ proclamations come on the heels of  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s ‘warning’ to Hindu-Muslim couples contemplating marriage. On Saturday the UP Chief Minister had announced at an election rally that his government was working to bring a strict law to curb incidents of “love jihad”.

Uttar Pradesh, has been in the limelight for a massive rise is crimes against women, inlcuding rape, murder, and molestation, espcialy against Dalit women and teenagers. As the pressure builds on the state government on why these cases are on a rise, the CM has begun to talk about ‘love jihad’. His latest declaration on the issue was at a rally in Jaunpur for upcoming bye-elections, Adityanath said, “I warn those who conceal identity and play with our sisters’ respect. If you don’t mend your ways your ‘Ram naam satya’,” the Hindu funeral chant warning interfaith couples of dire consequences.



The Haryana government has gone a step ahead and  announced that a law against “love jihad”, is seriously being considered. Both Uttar Pradesh and Haryana politicans, along with other right-wing affailiates talk ‘love Jihad’ when the man is a Muslim, and intends to marry a Hindu woman. If a Hindu man and a Muslim woman want to marry, not much is said by way of ‘love hihad’. Now with the Haryana government contemplating “legal provisions” against Muslim-Hindu couples, the communal hate it will generate will add to the already existing crisis in the two states. 

Haryana CM Khattar has used the recent recent murder of a young woman in Ballabhgarh as  justification for the need for such a law, “This (Ballabhgarh) incident needs to be strongly condemned. This incident is being seen linked with the love jihad issue… both the Centre and the state government are taking the love jihad issue very seriously and legal advice is being taken so that such incidents are not repeated. Legal provisions are being contemplated so that the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished,” Khattar told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Karnal, reported the IE

On October 26, when 21-year-old Nitika Tomar was shot dead by a former classmate outside her college, and the clips of the act caught on CCTV, went viral there was outrage on the lack of security in the state. However, as soon as accused were arrested and identified as Tausif, and Rehan, obviously Muslim, cries of ‘love jihad’ began, and demands for their execution in a ‘police encounter’ began. Hate mongers fed off the public anger and fanned ‘love jihad’ rumours which then gave the elected government the talking points for the need of  an anti ‘love jihad’ law. 

Nikita’s family has also called the stalking and murder a case of ‘love jihad’, in 2018 the family had  filed a complaint with Haryana Police, against the main accused accusing him of kidnapping. However that issue ‘was settled’ later said the Haryana Police Commissioner who was quoted by the media stating that “Nikita’s family had filed a kidnapping case against Tausif but they later said they did not want to take action.”  It is still not clear why the family did not pursue the case to safeguard their daughter, though minister Anil Vij had later said they were pressured into withdrawing the case.

Vij had also supported the ‘get ready for your funeral’ warning for Hindu-Muslim couples by the UP CM Adityanath and said, “Whatever Yogi Adityanath says, he always speaks the truth. The state government is considering bringing a legislation to deal with cases pertaining to love jihad. Attempts are being made by unscrupulous elements to force people to convert their religion through love jihad. In Faridabad’s Nikita murder case too, the victim’s family have alleged that Nikita was being forced to change her religion. So, we need to think about it,” reported multiple news reports, he added that the Haryana government will hold discussions with the allies and also examine legal issues involved. There are certain points on which discussions are required to be held. Further decision shall be taken accordingly.”

“A law against love jihad is being considered in Haryana,” he declared on November 1.



According to the Indian express a ‘Mahapanchayat’ was organised by organisations in Ballabhgarh on Sunday to demand justice for Nikita. A three-member special investigation team is already probing the case, but the minister has also put on social media that the main accused, Tausif had ‘confessed’ to his crime, using the Urdu word ‘qubool’ or acceptance, in a not so subtle ‘message’.



Vij added that one of the terms of reference of the SIT is to find out if attempts were being made in an organised manner to force people to change their religion, “The SIT shall also be investigating this. The state government is studying various aspects of this love jihad,” he added, reported IE. 



Meanwhile, Sudarshan News channel’s Suresh Chavanke decided to make the most of the two Chief Minister’s attention on ‘love jihad’ and tried to hold a ‘protest’ at the high security India Gate. No protests, large gatherings are permitted there, especially now when Covid-19 protocols regarding large gatherings are still in place in Delhi. Chanavke’s protest too was denied permission, and dispersed when he still went to the spot with some supporters. He has now alleged that a Muslim officer of Delhi Police ‘attacked’ the protesterors. The Delhi Police has denied all his allegations forcefully. 



However, Suresh Chavhanke has found a new lease of life in his ‘jihad’ discourse and continues to milk this issue now.





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