Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday slammed the BJP for considering the introduction of laws on ‘Love Jihad’ in various states, saying that the move “seems a ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict and disregard constitutional provisions”.
The term “Love Jihad” is used by right-wing groups to describe interfaith marriages between Muslim men and Hindu girls. They allege that this is a conspiracy to trap Hindu girls, who are then forced to convert to Islam.
“‘Love Jihad’ is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love,” Gehlot said in a series of tweets.
“They are creating an environment in the nation where consenting adults would be at the mercy of state power. Marriage is a personal decision & they are putting curbs on it, which is like snatching away personal liberty,” he added.
“It seems a ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict & disregard constitutional provisions like the state not discriminating against citizens on any ground,” he said further.
This comes as several BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, are planning to bring in legislation against “Love Jihad”.
Earlier this week, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh said the state would soon have a law in this regard.
Chouhan’s Home Minister Narottam Mishra has said non-bailable charges would be applicable in such cases.
“We are making preparations to introduce Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 in the Assembly. It will provide for 5 years of rigorous imprisonment. We are also proposing that such crimes be declared a cognizable and non-bailable offence,” Mishra said.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is also bringing in a stringent law against “Love Jihad”. The Home Department has sent a proposal to the Law Department in this regard. The Law Department will work out the legal modalities, after which the government is likely to issue an ordinance in this regard.