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Author: Sanni Kumar, IV year of BSL LL.B from Manikchand Pahade Law College Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Co-author: Anjali Kumari Singh, II year of BA.LLB from Shankar Rao Chavan law college, Pune

"ROMANTIC LOVE IS A PRECONDITION FOR MARRIAGE" with arranged marriages of Indians for whom "marriage comes first, love comes next".

Inter-religious love and marriage is a difficult area. They challenge various norms and customs and incite the passion of religious fundamentalists. The "danger" of such intimacy has often resulted in "manufactured" campaigns expressing the concerns and apprehensions of conservative forces. In India, the Hindu right has been particularly adept at moving around feelings of love, be it Valentine's Day, homosexual love or inter-ethnic and inter-religious romance, making them among the biggest threats to a united identity is considered one of and limitations. The latest in such constructions by the Hindu Right is the alleged "Love Jihad" or "Romeo Jihad" organization, launched by Muslim fundamentalists and young Muslim men to convert Hindu and Christian women to Islam.

Concept of Love Jihad

In the conception of 'love jihad', good-looking Muslim boys are trained to implicate Hindu girls in fake love affairs in Madras. They are equipped with the necessary equipment for romantic entry, attractive clothes, trendy gadgets and motorcycles all to lure unsuspecting Hindu girls into marriage. The girls were then converted to Islam, married and produced a large number of Muslim children. There are also other more fictionalized versions, that the Love Jihadi later uses, or traffics The Hindu Girl as a sex slave. The assumption is not merely that Muslim boys are trained to seduce Hindu girls, but also because young Hindu women are not lacking any agency or deliberation, and without the cautious intervention of their male co-religionists are unable to protect themselves.

In Kerala, Karnataka and Delhi, organizations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shri Ram Sene, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Hindu Jan Jagriti Samiti held meetings, distributed leaflets and even filed cases in courts. Part of an Islamist conspiracy, planning a religious and insidious religious conversion by winning over young women.

I had assumed that the love jihad hatred story was a new innovation coined by communal organizations. But according to historians Mridula Mukherjee, its roots go far back as parting, as an effect of sexual harassment of a meat-eating Muslim male, as opposed to a vegetarian Hindu. Rumours were deliberately engineered by communal Right-wing Hindutva organizations about Muslim men abducting Hindu women resulting in what history Tanika Sarkar describing a type of gender jealousy and anxiety about the excitement that can only be overcome by violence.

This is a disturbing phenomenon in recent years, which has developed into a 'love jihad', a myth so admirable and imaginary that it would have laughed, had it not been so fatal. Love jihad has resulted in prolonged, low-intensity communal mobilization and violence against Muslims in the coastal areas of Karnataka over the years; Contributed to communal tension between Muslims, Hindus and Christians in Kerala; And the main basis on which hatred was created for a high-intensity attack against local Muslims in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, as a result of which, ultimately, the polarization of the state of Hindu voters across Uttar Pradesh against its Muslim neighbours and the BJP's to come to power in the state.

A new law on marriage

Recently the Uttar Pradesh government has issued an ordinance to deal with the threat of love-jihad. Preparations are on to make laws against it in two-three more states. Look at the irony that some people are calling it propaganda of Hindutva. They do not see that Christian institutions such as the Catholic Bishops' Council, the Syro-Malabar Church have also been worrying over the years.

The issue of love-jihad was also first raised ten years ago by veteran leftist leader VS Achuthanandan. Then on 25 June 2012, Congress Chief Minister of Kerala Oman Chandy told the assembly that 2,667 girls were converted to Islam in the last six years. The Kerala High Court also said in a hearing on Love Jihad in 2009 that the game of proselytizing has been going on for years in Kerala, trapped in the trap of false love.

The police record itself indicated four thousand such conversions involving the love-trap in the last four years. The High Court had then taken cognizance that the Campus Front, the student wing of the Islamic organization PFI, was organized. He used to keep Muslim youths active on campus by giving them fancy clothes, bikes and mobile phones. He also used to give cash rewards to those boys for non-Muslim girls, then fake marriage, coercion and intimidation. Some time ago the Uttarakhand High Court and Rajasthan High Court also said that forced conversions should be stopped in the case of marriage. He said that it would be mandatory for inter-religious marriages to be given notice a month in advance.

The Supreme Court had also ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate forced conversions in the Hadiya case of Karnataka.

What is the love jihad ordinance?

Eight states have enacted anti-conversion laws in India since the 1960s, the latest addition being the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Religion Ordinance, 2020, following the promulgation of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition. It was passed on 27 November 2020. The state chief minister cited "love jihad" as an alleged conspiracy according to which men misrepresent their own religion to lure women into marrying another religion.

The move has prompted other Indian states led by the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party ("BJP") to implement similar laws. The ordinance seeks or prohibits any person attempting to convert to another person's religion on the basis of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, allurement, coercion, fraud, or marriage for the sole purpose of conversion. Among other anti-conversion laws currently in force in various states, marriage does not have an applicable basis for declaring religious conversion illegal. However, under this law, marriage can be declared void if either man or woman converts before or after marriage. Anyone wishing to convert before or after an inter-faith marriage must go through an elaborate legal process, which begins for at least sixty days in advance, by giving the court a declaration that they will give their religion Wants to change The court will then order an investigation into the "actual intentions, purpose and cause" of the proposed conversion.

It is illegal if the conversion is for "allurement" or "indictment". The term "allurement" is defined very broadly. The ordinance is sacred and unholy.

This law is in opposition to India's international obligations under the ICCPR as well as its own constitution. Article 23 of the ICCPR recognizes the right of every person who has attained the marriageable age to marry and finds a family of his choice. The Human Rights Committee stated in its interpretation that this right is supplemented by Article 17 of the ICCPR which prohibits unlawful or arbitrary state interference with an individual's family. The standard under Article 17 requires that the intervention must follow a valid purpose and are proportionate.

The book 'Why We Left Islam' describes the organized campaign of love-jihad.However, it is not only about India. Like armed jihad, love-jihad is an international problem. The Sikh community in England has been facing this threat for two-three decades. Muslim youth call themselves Sikhs and convert Sikh girls to conversion. According to a British newspaper, police track extremist Islamic organizations in many universities who were engaged in 'aggressive conversion'. The boys of those organizations used to manipulate Sikh and Hindu girls from deceit, fraud, intimidation and beating. Due to this many girls had to leave their studies there. The organized campaign of love-jihad is also described in the book Why We Left Islam. Such are the memoirs of the love-jihadis who tricked Christian girls into Muslims. They used to fight all the battles to trap those girls on their web. The amount of reward would have been higher with a girl from an influential family. In Egypt, a procession is carried out with musical instruments to convert Christian girls.

The women here are perhaps "experimenting" the instruments of conversion and elopement as a mode of coping with, means of transformation and challenge, to change a challenging social order, challenging and, within limits. They are claiming a limited area of ​​independent action. Such alliances and conversions suggest that identity is sometimes meant to disrupt the logic of communal boundaries. The actions of these women provide moments of vulnerability in the dominant discourse and disturb the tireless communal polarization.

They highlight the messy complexities of reality and human levels of life, suggesting a different order of rationality against attempts to classify, and project a homogenous community identity.

Many say conversions happen when couples choose a spiritual marriage to "escape" India's Special Marriage Act, which allows interfaith marriages only after a month's notice to the authorities containing the couple's personal details. So couples fear that their families will intervene to forestall the marriage.

Introducing laws to limit choices consenting interfaith adults make about their partners now introduces a culture of fear which both parents and authorities can use to warn teenagers.

On the opposite hand, more and more men and ladies also are braving caste and non-secular divides to fall crazy and break free from their families. Many are finding shelter in state-run safe-houses at a time when the state itself is trying to crack down on such unions. "Love is complex and tough in India,"


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