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Much hype about no existent issue!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on January 15, 2021 with No Comments

Whether India? A country known for its democratic secularist setup is ready to enact laws that would only detach the very scared threads of secularism that has bonded the various religions together.

The state governments of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP.), Haryana and Karnataka have let open their intentions to bring in laws to curb of ‘love jihad’. These states are ruled by Bharitya Janta Party (BJP). In a bizarre statement, the chief minister of U.P. has even warned men “who hide their identities and play with the honour of daughters and sisters to get ready for their own funerals”. A hard hitting statement that is nothing less than a threat! At the same time, the MP government has proposed five years of rigorous imprisonment for violators, and makes the charge a non-bailalble offense. The term “love-jihad” doesn’t exist in any dictionary was unheard of till 2009. Yet, came in frequent use when right wing Hindu groups came out openly opposing what they termed as forced inter religion marriage. It is recurrently used by Hindutva organizations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions mainly to convert them to Islam. ‘Love jihad’ caught public attention in 2009, when certain states recorded a phenomenal growth in population. Muslims in India being allowed four marriages, and not concerned about family planning were some of the reasons. Stories in media detailing how an organization called called Muslim Youth Forum had put up a poster regarding ‘love jihad’, which called upon Muslim men to trap Hindu girls in love with the aim of converting them for marriage. Later, its existence in some other states too was claimed.  The claim that five Islamic websites mentioned by them had references to love jihad was found to be false. After a sustained investigation, the Kerala police concluded that it was a campaign with no substance. However, since then any inter religion marriage that involves a Hindu girl has got all the attention and heated debates have taken place. However, the states governments would work tirelessly to bring in laws. However, it remains nothing more than  conspiratorial figment of the imagination that imagines a vast, India-wide plot by Muslim men to dupe unsuspecting Hindu women into marriage with the aim of converting them to Islam. Despite this, the concerned governments are working hard to have -provisions for five years rigorous imprisonment for violators; the charge will be cognizable and non-bailable; the District Collector would have to be notified a month before an inter-faith marriage is formalised.

Will these bills and the provisions there in pass the test of the time and the constitution? The right to marry a person of one’s choice flows from the freedom of individuality, naturally available to any individual BJP and its governments states have forgotten that “The right to marry a person of one’s choice is a guarantee under Article 21. At the same time, freedom of conscience, the practice and propagation of a religion of one’s choice, including not following any religion, are guaranteed under Article 25. One set of rights cannot invalidate the other,” If a person exercises the freedom under Article 25 to marry somebody of his or her choice, and in that process, one partner chooses to change their religion immediately prior to marriage, that should not be the matter of concern for social watchdogs. But the right wing organizations believe and make the other feel that every inter religion marriage involving a Muslim men is a base for forced conversion.

It suits these originations to make the Hindus believe that the Muslims are capable of ‘taking away’ their women as  marrying Hindu girls, they want to increase the Muslim population or propagate ‘Muslim genes’ at the cost of the Hindu population, which will have as many fewer girls to reproduce. Also, these organizations propagate that if it continues unchecked, eventually Muslims will overtake the Hindu population.

Considering laws to regulate matrimonial relationships between two consenting adults that too if the male happens from a particular religion, would only offend the very notion of individuality and basic freedoms.


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