Abraham had eight sons, not one,
says the Bible. Each of the eight boys
contributes something to the table. All of Abraham's sons were adored by him. He
was a decent parent who made sure that all of his boys were read, of high
character, and shared Abraham's beliefs. Abraham performed admirably. Where did
we make a blunder?
-- Song of Songs, Michael Ben Zehabe The Daughters' Book
As Interfaith and Inter-caste weddings appear to be on the rise in India, a new
hypothesis develops, called 'Love-Jihad.' What precisely is this? It is defined
as 'the concept that Muslim men manipulate Hindu women and force them to convert
to Islam,' according to the ruling administration. This irrational ideology has
wreaked havoc on the modern world, where there is now no distinction between
Love and Arrange marriage.
There are 1.3 billion Hindus and 193 million Muslims in India. This depicts
India as a Hindu-majority country with Muslims as a minority group who
experience a significant amount of hatred. The ruling BJP party has passed a
number of anti-Muslim measures, escalating the problem once further. Every
citizen is given a fundamental right o marry the person of their choice then,
why are women denied the right to marry the person of their choice in India? Why
they are not given freedom? This is not an Interfaith marriage, it's being their
right or choice to marry any person regardless of the cultural faiths.
Up's Controversial Law On 'Love Jihad'
The new rule, which has been approved by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, divides
punishment and fines into three categories. Conversions carried out in violation
of the law using "misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion,
allurement, or by any fraudulent methods" will result in a prison sentence of
one to five years and minimum punishment of Rs 15,000 for anyone found guilty.
If a youngster or a woman from a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe is
converted, those found guilty face a sentence of three to ten years in prison
and a minimum fine of Rs 25,000.
If, on another hand, mass conversion is discovered, individuals found guilty
face a prison sentence of three to ten years and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000.
The proposed law, dubbed "Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Virudh Dharma Samparivartan
Pratishedh Adyadesh 2020" (prohibition of unlawful religious conversion),
proposes, among other things, that a marriage will be ruled "shunya" (null and
void) if the "sole goal" is to "alter a girl's religion."
Supreme Court's Stake In The Issue
The Supreme Court of India declined on January 6 to halt contentious rules
recently implemented in many states to combat "Love jihad" - a false conspiracy
theory accusing Muslim males of enticing Hindu women into marriage with the
intent of forcibly converting them to Islam.
The states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh have such
legislation in existence. Other states, including Haryana and Karnataka, have
expressed interest in enacting similar legislation.
The Allahabad High Court made that point on December 15, when it halted the
arrest of a Muslim man from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, under the state's new
anti-conversion statute. The man, Nadeeb, a 32-year-old laborer, was accused of
trapping a married Hindu woman in a net of love in order to convert her.
The court stated that Nadeeb and his claimed victim are "adults" who "have a
fundamental right to privacy" and "understand the consequences of their alleged
connection." All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the
right freely to profess, practise, and propagate religion, subject to public
order, morality and health and to other provisions as Part III of the
Constitution (that covers fundamental rights).
Recent Cases Of Love-Jihad
The first was a television commercial for a high-end jewellery chain that
debuted in October on Indian television. The advertising was for Tanishq, an
affiliate of the Tata Group, one of India's largest corporations, and was titled
"Ekatvam," which means "unity" in Hindi.
A Hindu woman and a Muslim guy were shown getting ready for their wedding in
the advertising. Some Hindu activists immediately took to social media to
express their displeasure with the advertisements. Fearing violence, the firm
pulled the advertisement completely.
In November, Netflix showed BBC's adaptation of Vikram Seth's novel "A
Suitable Boy," which was written by the famed Indian author. According to the
activists, the film "encouraged love jihad" and "hurt religious sensitivities."
As a result, they asked that it be withdrawn immediately. A Madhya Pradesh
minister has filed a formal police complaint against the film.
Farhan Akhtar's new film, "Toofaan," has sparked a lot of buzzes. Another
dispute has erupted about the film, which stars Mrunal Thakur as the female
lead. #Boycott Toofaan has been trending on Twitter just before the film's
premiere, as a portion of the internet has sought a ban on the film for
encouraging love jihad.
The Pitfalls Of Modernity
In India, current religious conversions are not universally acknowledged.
Muslims have been depicted as key predators in recent laws, and the BJP by every
hook and crook tried to alienate Muslims and Hindus by introducing Citizen
Amendment Bill and repealing triple talaq.
Why aren't couples allowed to choose their partners regardless of religion?
India requires a response to this question, being a democratic country.
Topic Of Concern
The ordinance is primarily a piece of rhetoric. The ruling party and officials
use this method to pander to vote banks and create societal divides. As a
result, we should proceed with care and apprehension.
The ordinance, as well as the accompanying rhetoric, is illustrative of how the
social fabric is being aggressively and radically transformed by the mere power
of the law.
This form of nationalism that is currently being practiced in India is no longer
just about harassing people for showing affection in public. It is far more
serious, and it is progressively infiltrating every part of our life. People are
being compelled to join a single philosophy.
In India, urban couples are increasingly breaking away from the practice of
arranged weddings and selecting their own lifemates, often despite religious
differences. There has never been a government that has attempted to restrict
such choices. Right-wing Hindu groups are harassing such couples under the Modi
The continuation of this ordinance will not only jeopardise the country's
fundamental rights to life and freedom of religion, but it will also harm the
country's secular culture. The rule appears to be aimed at raising populist
sentiments through conversion politics; a more basic solution to preventing
religious conversions through marriage would have been to re-examine the special