MEANING AND CONCEPT:
The meaning of and the concept of Love Jihad is not mentioned in the Hindu Law though it has been seen by many Hindu Fundamentalists as a theory which is created by the Muslims to convert the non-Islamic girls to convert to Islamic religion by false and trickery expressions of love, to increase their population where it is sparse. Love Jihad in India got national attention in 2009 when claims were brought against the Muslim organisations for converting the Hindu women to the Islamic religion in Kerala.
In the case of Ashok K.M. vs Shafin Jahan(2017), the High Court of Kerala annulled the marriage of an interfaith couple that position of a 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. The high court also held that, due to ordinary intellectual capacity, the young girl didn’t have a perfect plan for their lives and had no idea about what she wanted in their life.
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 the Indian Constitution, every person has a right to marry as per their own choice. Subsequently, the Supreme court held that Hadiya and Shafin Jahan’s marriage was legally right against the Indian Patriarchal belief system.
There was a recent incident that had taken place in Uttar Pradesh where the police received information that a Muslim man married a Hindu woman after she converted herself to Islam. After this, without any authentic and reliable information, the Muslim man was badly beaten up and the marriage was stopped. Such kind of incidents keep taking place in the country and the political parties take advantage of these situations and use them in favour of their parties.
ENFORCEMENT OF PATRIARCHY:
The Hindu men consider their wives to be their exclusive preserve and to protect and safeguard their interest is considered as their exclusive privilege. In India, the Love Jihad cases are mostly against the Muslim organisations and it also shows the incapability of the Hindu women to take fruitful decisions in her life. According to Article 21 of the Constitution, every individual has the right to marry as per their choice and to impose a duty on the state to protect the right of the individual. In the famous case of Hadiya, Justice Chandrachud said that every individual has the exclusive right to marry as per their choice without being affected by any religious matter of faith. Neither the state nor the law has the power to limit the free ability of any individual as the essence of personal liberty has been guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. Therefore preventing any women from marriage as per her choice is a breach of personal liberty.
ADVANTAGE TAKEN BY THE POLITICAL PARTIES:
In the context of Love Jihad cases, interfaith couple issues are subjected by political parties for their political gains. The political construction of Love Jihad has created a fear in the minds of the Hindus. The Hindu Fundamentalists claim that fake secularism and the modern way of life are the main reasons for the Muslims deceiving Hindu women. There is no factual and solid proof behind the love jihad allegations and these allegations mainly distract the public from the main issues such as decreasing GDP, unemployment, etc which could highlight the government insufficiency.
Therefore these political allegations create a division amongst the two communities and a rift between the Hindus and the Muslims in a secular nation like India.
Laws against love jihad:
As of 25th November 2020, the BJP ruled states, namely Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala ,and Madhya Pradesh are mulling laws to prevent any forced conversion of religion through marriages known as love jihad laws. The proposed law in Uttar Pradesh states that a marriage will be declared null and void if the sole contention of the marriage was to change the religion of the woman. Also in Madhya Pradesh, there is imprisonment up to 10 years if anyone breaks the law.
Therefore interfaith marriage should not be a topic subjected by the political parties and rather should be celebrated. It is very important to end all the prejudices against any particular community and treat everyone as a human being first and not as any terrorist or criminal. As Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said, “We can uplift the country to new heights by unity and coordination but lack of unity and cooperation in-country will lead to calamity.”
Therefore as an Indian citizen, it is the duty of every individual to uphold the core values of the Constitution and maintain peace and harmony amongst all religions.