Ever since Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath has said that the UP administration will bring law against Love Jihad, first Haryana and now Karnataka has followed the lead.
Karnataka’s Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa, was latest to announce that his administration would “take stern measures towards ending” love jihad.
Love jihad, as a topic, has become politician’s favourite after a Muslim man recently shot dead a Hindu woman after she, reportedly, denied marrying him. The girl’s family had alleged that the man wanted her to convert and marry her and was also harassing her.
“We have seen many reports in newspapers and in the electronic media about conversions due to love jihad. I discussed this with officials before coming here. I don’t know about other states – but in Karnataka we are going to end this. The luring of young girls with the use of money or love is something we are taking seriously. We will take stern measures towards ending this,” Mr Yediyurappa said.
Earlier, as per an NDTV report, the Home Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai, has called love jihad a “social evil.”
For the unaware, love Jihad is when a Muslim man marries a Hindu woman under the pretext of love and lure/force her to covert into a different religion.
“This love jihad has been there for some time and it is a social evil. A law is necessary – that has been the loud thinking of various sections of society in all states,” Mr Bommai said.
“We are looking at what steps we are going to take and we are consulting our law experts also. Based on those decisions, we would also like to have some protection …this inducement of youngsters into love jihad and then conversion,” he added.
Another recent development on the same issue was when the Allahabad High Court recently ruled that religious conversion for the purpose of marriage is illegal.
The court ruled the same while dismissing the petition of an interfaith couple in Uttar Pradesh asking that the police and the woman’s father be directed not to harass them.
A law against love jihad isn’t the last resort but if tabled, passed and implemented, then it has to be constitutionally valid and ensure it doesn’t tweak an individual’s right to choose their life partner, especially in cases where a couple actually loves each other.
Also, the government would have a hard time implementing such a law on a person who has crossed the legal age to marry for he/she, constitutionally, can marry anyone they choose without needing the consent of any government.