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Love-Jihad In India

Few days ago, one incident took place in Uttar Pradesh where police received an information that Muslim man was marrying with a Hindu girl after converting from Hindu religion to Muslim religion. After this, without any authentic and reliable information or on the basis of rumours, Muslim wedding was stopped by the police and then Muslim man was allegedly beaten up.[i]

These type of incidents happens every year in the country.In the context of Love-Jihad allegations ,Inter -Faith issues have been subjected by various political parties and political leaders for their political advantage, couples issue have been strained or harassed continuously[ii] ,Muslim men have been abused and allegedly beaten up by the police[iii],various pamphlets have been distributed and advertised to avoid the relationship of Hindu girl with a Muslim men [iv] and also to disparage and exploit the particular religious community in secular Nation(India).

Therefore, This paper aims to explain about the particular set of socio-political and cultural threads.

Meaning and Concept of Love-Jihad

The meaning of Love-Jihad is not defined in Indian Law [v] but according to Hindu Fundamentalists organizations, Romeo Jihad or Love Jihad is a conspiracy theory created by Muslim fundamentalists and Muslim people for converting of non- Muslim women to Islamic religion through false and trickery expressions of love, so that there population can be increased in those areas where Muslim population is very sparse. It is also claimed that these youth Muslims are received funds from abroad and higher organizations to buy phone, vehicles, gifts and cloths etc. to charm Hindu women and lure them.

The allegations of Love Jihad got national attention in Indian in 2009 when claims were brought against the Muslim organizations for converting of Hindu women (Hadiya) into Muslim religion in Kerala. In Ashok K.M. Vs. Shafin Jahan (2017), High court of Kerala annulled the marriage of inter faith couple (Hadiya and Shafin Jahan) by stating that position of twenty four year young girl was weak and vulnerable and she could be victimized easily, so that conversion for the purpose of marriage was not a normal decision on the part of women. High court also held that ,due to ordinary intellectual capacity, young girl didn’t have a perfect plan for their life and had no idea about what she wanted in their life.[vi]

But Supreme court in the same case condemned the Kerala High court decision by stating that this was a curtailment of freedom of choice and liberty of individuals because according to article 21 of Indian Constitution ,every person has a right to marry as per their own choice .Subsequently Supreme court held that Hadiya and Shafin Jahan marriage was legally right against the Indian Patriarchal belief system.[vii]

Enforcement of Patriarchy

In Hindu society, Women are considered as an exclusive preserve of Men ,and to protect and safeguard of her interest is identified as his exclusive privilege .According to many Hindu organizations ,any steps is justified for the protection of Hindu women which shows patriarchal assertions and Hindu Male virility. [viii]

In India, Love-Jihad cases are charged against Muslim fundamentalists but these allegations also demean the value of Hindu women by portraying them as an incapable of taking fruitful decisions for their life (Interpretation according to Hadiya judgement).

Certain restrictions are imposed on Hindu women such as not to talk with any Muslim men ,not to roam around with Muslim men ,to avoid any friendship and relationship with Muslim men. Certain meetings are organized for the prevention of women in falling the trap of Love-Jihad.[ix]Therefore safeguarding and protection of the virtue of women and community honour shows male dominance in the society and also curtails the freedom and liberty of Hindu women .

According to Article 21 of Constitution of India [x] ,everyone (either Hindu or Muslim ) has the right and freedom to marry as per their own choice and also impose a duty on the state to protect the right of individual(Gang- Rape Ordered by Village Kangaroo Court in W. B., re).[xi] In famous Hadiya case, D.Y. Chandrachud gave an opinion that each individual have their own exclusive domain to marry according to their own choice and this should not be affected by any religious matter of faith .Neither state nor law has any power to limit the free ability of person because essence of personal liberty is guaranteed under Indian Constitution.so ,preventing a women from marrying as per their choice is breach of right to life and liberty .

Further Right to Privacy is an important component of Right to Life [xii] and it also includes right to left alone.[xiii] But several time, Right to privacy has been undermined and exposed in India by invading the personal space of inter-faith couples and in this matter political parties are equally liable in the context of communal polarisation .

Advantage Taken By Political Parties

In the pretext of Love-Jihad allegations, Inter-Faith couple issue are subjected by political parties for their political gains. Political construction of Love-Jihad allegations against Muslim fundamentalists and youth Muslims has created fear in the minds of Hindu families. Hindu Fundamentalists organizations claimed that Fake Secularism and western way of life are the main reason behind the deceiving of Hindu Women by Muslims.[xiv]

There is not any factual matrix and solid proof behind the Love -Jihad allegations but these type of statements only distract the public from an important issues like decreasing G.D.P. ,Unemployment etc. which could highlight the government insufficiency and only benefits those political parties which promise to eradicate this social evil.

Therefore, political construction of these allegations lead to a division of two communities (Hindu and Muslim) and causes intolerance in a secular Nation .According to the core values of Indian Constitution ,state should not interfere in the affairs of particular religion or in other words political parties should not support and dependent on the particular religion [xv] but in India political parties tries to influence the voters by creating hatred towards religious community (means any particular community) and take political advantage from these allegations.

Conclusion:
After Love-Jihad allegations in India, fear has been created in the minds of Hindu parents regarding the marriage of their daughters but such type of fear has created by ‘Hindu Fundamentalists organizations’ without any factual matrix and reliable information.

After knowing the meaning and concept of Love-Jihad, one question arise in the mind that are only Hindu women marrying outside their religious caste? Muslim women also choose a partner for whom they want to marry (whether person belongs to Hindu or Muslim community) but it is often overlooked in India .In India, ‘if Hindu women are converted to Islamic religion then it is called Love-Jihad but at the same time, if Muslim person convert to Hindu religion then it is labelled as Ghar wapsi by political parties and Hindu Fundamentalists organizations’.[xvi] Why such type of differentiation of thought has been created in India? Although it is very important to safeguard and protect the women against any crimes but treating or labelling as an one particular community for their act is infructuous exercise.

Therefore, Inter-Faith marriage issue should not be subjected by any political parties rather it should be celebrated. It is very important to end any prejudice against one particular community and should be treated them as a ‘human being rather than any terrorist or criminal’ because Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said that:
We can uplift the country to new heights by unity and coordination but lack of unity and cooperation in country will lead to calamity. [xvii]

As an Indian citizen, it is our responsibility to uphold the core values of Indian Constitution and maintain harmony and peace among different religions in India.

End-Notes:

  1. Editorial, Love jihad’: UP Police stop Muslim couple’s wedding based on rumours, groom allegedly beaten up The Scroll, Dec.11,2020, available at: https://scroll.in/latest/980932/love-jihad-up-police-stop-muslim-couples-wedding-based-on-rumours-groom-allegedly-beaten-up
  2. Editorial, Crying ‘Love Jihad’, BJP Leader Attacks Couple, Arrested The Tribune, May. 27, 2020, available at: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/crying-love-jihad-bjp-leader-attacks-couple-arrested-90437
  3. Editorial, Shocking footage of UP Police assaulting Hindu woman for being friends with Muslim man DNA India, Sept. 26, 2018, available at: https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-watch-shocking-footage-of-up-police-assaulting-hindu-woman-for-being-friends-with-muslim-man-2668060
  4. Editorial, Bengal: VHP issues advisory on how to avoid well-groomed Love Jehadis DNA India, Sept.15, 2018 available at: https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bengal-vhp-issues-advisory-on-how-to-avoid-well-groomed-love-jehadis-2663355
  5. Editorial, Bengal: VHP issues advisory on how to avoid well-groomed Love Jehadis DNA India, Sept.15, 2018 available at: https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bengal-vhp-issues-advisory-on-how-to-avoid-well-groomed-love-jehadis-2663355
  6. Asokan K.M. v. Shafin Jahan, (2017) 2 KLJ 974 (India)
  7. Asokan K.M. v. Shafin Jahan ,(2018 )SC 1933 (India)
  8. Charu Gupta, Hindu Women, Muslim Men: Love Jihad and Conversions 44 Economic and Political Weekly 14 (2009), available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25663907?seq=3#metadata_info_tab_contents
  9. Ibid
  10. India Const. art. 21
  11. (2014) 2SCC 751
  12. Ram Jethmalani v. Union of India, (2011) 8 SCC 1 (India).
  13. R. Rajagopal v. State of T.N., AIR 1995 SC 264 (India).
  14. Neelam Pandey, For VHP, Bollywood Khans’ Hindu wives, New Year & birthday parties help spread Love Jihad The Print, Sept. 26, 2020, available at: https://theprint.in/india/for-vhp-bollywood-khans-hindu-wives-new-year-birthday-parties-help-spread-love-jihad/510691/
  15. S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918 (India).
  16. Ziya Salam, Love Jihad demonises Muslim men as the evil other FRONTLINE, Dec.18, 2020 available at: https://frontline.thehindu.com/cover-story/love-jihad-muslim-men-demonised-stereotyped-as-evil-other-and-stoked-hindu-anxiety/article33199780.ece
  17. M. Venkaiah Naidu, The unifier of modern India The Hindu, Oct. 30,2018 available at: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-unifier-of-modern-india/article25373105.ece

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Ritik Jain
    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: JA100548343289-6-0121

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