Understanding ‘Love jihad’ laws

Understanding ‘Love jihad’ laws

The Term ‘Love Jihad’ doesn’t find its name and meaning anywhere in the Indian Constitution or in any law of the Constitution itself. Yet the Hindu Nationalists define it as efforts by Muslim men to convert women of other religions to Islam by “Force”. The roots of this vague theory lies in the Judgement of Supreme court in The Famous Lily Thomas vs. union of India case (2000). The newly proposed laws against Love Jihad are considered as the successors of Nuremberg and Anti-Miscegenation laws. In 1935, the Nuremberg laws banned marriages between Jews and those of “German blood” in Nazi Germany. In U.S, many states used to prohibit marriages between whites and African- Americans under the Anti-Miscegenation laws.

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In India, 5 BJP ruled states have already proposed to introduce the stringent laws against love jihad but the tragedy is that the Govt. Itself has no concrete definitions and evidences on love jihad. In fact on 5th Feb, this year, the central Govt itself declared that “The term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under extant laws, no such case of love jihad has been reported by any of the central agencies”. Additionally, few days ago, The National Commission for Women (NCW) also revealed that it doesn’t maintain figures pertaining to love Jihad. Also In a significant judgement, The Allahabad High court recently held that “a person’s right to live with people of their choice, irrespective of religion is intrinsic to their right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution”.

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Despite central Government’s own denial and the rulings of different courts, various state Govt and religious fundamentalists are on the helm of affairs to get these laws passed in anyway. Some Hindu nationalists want to carry the social exclusion of Muslims from India, these fanatics are spreading false information about love jihad to misguide gullible Hindus in order to get their filthy aims fulfilled. They want to infuse the concept of ‘Hindu-Rastra’ into the minds of common people to make them believe that Muslims and Islam are threat to India particularly to Hindu religion, they want to make them believe that Muslims are going to conquer India and in order to stop Muslims from doing so, there is an urgent need to dismantle Muslims and in this way, love jihad is being presented as one of the reason as to why Muslims aren’t really good for the nation. Hence, polarization is being done so that communities spew venom against each other that will ultimately make the ulterior motives of these fringe elements a success.

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Under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, an individual has the freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion of his choice, the state shall not impede him from doing so, however if the said laws are passed, it would mean the fundamental rights of citizens can be infringed by the Govt anytime and whenever they want. The introduction of anti-love jihad laws will also make the judgements of different courts unimportant and inconsequential. It will be assumed that the courts can no longer be given an upper hand when it comes to the Govt’s decision making power. We are hurtling towards a morbid claustrophobic Society, the ruins of which are too grave to be Redeemed. Let’s hope that we soon realise what actually this country needs in these times of heightened religious polarisation is more of love and not hatred-and definitely not bogus campaigns like Love jihad.

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