It’s a sweet love story, but UP govt’ sees jihad phantom

After the love marriage ceremony was stopped in UP, the brave groom steps to say ‘no talk of conversion… love enough’

uttar pradesh

It’s a sweet love story of a young couple, however, government authorities in Uttar Pradesh just see the ‘love jihad’ phantom as the main character in this wedding. The marriage date, ceremonies and venue had all been planned before the ‘anti-love-jihad’ law came into force, on November 28, said the two families. They add that they would have “sought permission if they knew it was required,” reported the Indian Express. The groom is 24, the bride is 22, and the two families are neighbours. 

The marriage of the Muslim man and the Hindu woman was stopped in Lucknow’s Duda Colony by the police who were authoried to do so by the states new anti-conversion law, the couple has maintained that neither of them planned to convert. They said they had known each other for five years, and their families had blessed the union. The families had made the wedding plans before the law came into force, and the groom, who works as a pharmacist, told The Indian Express, that there is “no question of conversion… no discussion about conversation… because I feel that if two of us love each other, we can accept each other for who we are. If she is a Hindu, I can accept her religion and identity, and she agreed to do the same.” 

The police had stopped the ceremony, being held as per Hindu rituals, on Wednesday night, on a complaint by the Hindu outfit Rashtriya Yuva Vahini, reported the IE adding that no case has been filed yet. The groom shared that the families were planning to hold both Muslim and Hindu rituals, and neither of them was converting. According to news report the police said “all they wanted was for the two to follow the norms of the new law” and that “there was no offence”.

However, as the bride’s mother told the IE, “It is no one’s business whom my daughter gets married to. We have lived in a mixed colony all our lives and have been friends with Muslims. Then, why can’t my daughter get married to a Muslim? He does not want her to convert either… I don’t know who complained to the police or if they acted on their own.” The question here is that there seems to have been state interference even though there was no discussione even of conversion in this UP marriage. Even if there was one party wanting to change his or her religion as an adult indian citizen who has the freedom to profess any faith, at any point in their lives, as enshrined under the Constitution, what role does the new Uttar Pradesh law play here? 

A must read is the SangrangIndia analysis that deep dives into the core question: Is the new anti-Love Jihad Law constitutional? Although the purpose of such law was to counter alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam in the guise of marriage, the ordinance does not mention any specific faith. So, does this law extend to non-Hindu-Muslim relationships? There is very little clarity on this. The underlying tone of the ordinance delegitimises every conversion unless it gets the State’s blessing. Section 3 of the ordinance deems all conversions by marriage unlawful. Violation of this provision attracts a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of minimum rupees fifteen thousand.

Section 4 enables any person related to the converted person by blood or marriage to lodge an FIR against the conversion. Section 6 empowers Courts to declare any marriage done for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice versa void.

This young couple is the first case of two secular families united in love standing up for their right to marry. The groom told IE that he would not even call this a love marriage, “Both families had agreed and it was more an arranged marriage. I asked for her hand from her mother a year ago. I was sure that I would not marry her if her family didn’t agree.” His father was a rickshaw puller but is too old now; his mother died a few years back. He added that he was ready to apply to the district administration and wait as long as it takes. “There is no hurry, I will get married according to the rules and regulations,” said the groom.


Under the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, anyone wanting to convert to another religion has to seek permission from the District Magistrate at least two months in advance. The groom added that they were open to marrying under the Special Marriage Act, which allows for a ceremony without any change of religion. 

The police had disrupted the wedding day, even as the bride had returned from the beauty parlour, was dressed and ready for the ceremonies and her new life as a woman married to the man she loves. “Then, all this happened. It was hard, but she is fine now,” her mother told IE, adding that they were not worried about the financial losses and “eventually what matters is my daughter’s happiness… What if we had not allowed them to get married and they had eloped?” 

According to the new report Lucknow DCP (South) Ravi Kumar said the families had been provided a copy of the new law and “They have given in writing that they will seek permission from the DM. No offence has been committed and we have not lodged a case,” said Kumar. The IE quoted Rashtriya Yuva Vahini national president K D Sharma who put the onus on the outfit’s ‘minority cell state chief’, Yasir Khan, as the one who lodged the complaint. Sharma who lives less than a kilometre from where the couple stay, says he himself “called up the SHO as well and told him to take necessary action… We are not against the marriage, but we want the new law to be followed.” Sharma claimed he got a call from the national president of the Hindu Mahasabha too regarding the wedding.

Advocate Mukteshwar Mishra was quoted by IE saying if the couple did not intend to convert, the new law could not apply to them. “In case they intend to marry, they have to get their marriage solemnised under the Special Marriage Act. This will ensure that the provisions of the new Ordinance, which deals with illegal conversions, will not apply in their marriage. But both of them have to continue practising their respective religions,” Mishra said.  


UP Governor gives assent to anti-Love Jihad ordinance

UP: ‘Love Jihad’ law catches pace, 2 cases registered in Bareilly

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




Related Articles