Love Jihad or Romeo Jihad is an Islam phobic conspiracy notion alleging that Muslim guys target ladies belonging to non-Muslim groups for conversion to Islam by using feigning love. The allegations of Love Jihad in India have raised concerns in various Hindu, Sikh, and Christian organizations, while Muslim organizations have denied the allegations. The concept has remained a source of political contention and social concern for many, although the idea of an organized Love Jihad was still widely regarded as a conspiracy notion.
Religious groups have utilized techniques like love bombing and Flirty fishing to interest potential recruits. Love Jihad is an alleged activity wherein Muslim youth utilize such emotional appeals, using charm to entice girls into conversion by feigning love – in some reports, as an organized, funded behaviour.
The first case under this law, which intends to crack down on ‘love jihad’ however doesn’t mention any sort of controversial term, and has been registered in Bareilly district on a person’s complaint that youth from his village lured his daughter and forced her to convert. ‘Love jihad’ is touted as a grand conspiracy beneath which Muslim guys are out to convert the Hindu girls to Islam on the pretext of marriage. However, lack of relevant evidence in most instances has in large part rendered it a figment of paranoid creativeness. Hence, the notion of love jihad came into existence.
The Supreme Court of India has upheld the right of citizens to select their spouse and convert to another religion, a landmark ruling in a case regarding what right-wing Hindu nationalists talk over as “love jihad” and Hindu nationalists refer to as “love jihad.”
The judgment was visible as a blow to the governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. The court decision correctly ended a 2-year quest by a father to nullify his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man within the southern state of Kerala, saying that she had been pressured to transform to Islam.
Hence, the daughter says she acted of her own free will.
Right-wing Hindu nationalists have labeled the case an instance of what they call “love jihad,” after a belief that India’s minority Muslims will take over the country by persuading Hindu women to marry them and convert to Islam.
Uttar Pradesh Ordinance against Unlawful Conversion
The Uttar Pradesh government approved a draft ordinance to deal with unlawful conversions, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years. An official spokesperson stated the state cabinet gave its motion to the ordinance at its meeting headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
BJP-run states such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have revealed plans to enact laws to counter alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam in the quest of marriage, which Hindu activists refer to as ‘love jihad’.
Any offense that occurred in this ordinance is a non-bailable and cognizable offense and triable by the session court. The onus of the burden of proof lies on whether the religious conversion was not effected through coercion, misrepresentation, undue influence, allurement, etc, and on the person who caused the conversion of the other person. Hence, marriage held for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa is to be declared void.
Punishment Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020
The punishment under the new law is a jail term from one to five years and a fine of Rs 15,000.
But, if the woman involved is a minor or belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, the jail term would range from three to ten years. And hence, the fine would increase to Rs 25,000
The procedure of Conversion under the Ordinance
This ordinance not only affect the inter-faith marriages, whosoever wish to convert their religion from one to another the provision is prescribed and followed as per the ordinance under the following sections:
Section 8, one who desires to convert his or her religion should give a declaration in the form prescribed in Schedule I at least sixty days in advance to the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate specially authorized by District Magistrate, that he wishes to convert his/her religion on his/her own and with his or her free consent without any force, coercion, undue influence or allurement.
Section 9, mandates that a converted person should send a declaration in the form prescribed in Schedule III within 60 days of the date of conversion to the District Magistrate of the district within which the person ordinarily resides.
Marriage is primarily a social and legal group instead of a religious one. It is purely a political term, not a constitutional tern given to love jihad. To unleash the regulation on an inter-religion couple that duly completes the formalities for the registration of marriage seeks of prejudice. Such draconian provisions or laws are sooner or later an assault on our Constitution, which similarly entitles all citizens to question their faith. And love is meant to be celebrated, not sacrificed at the altar of faith or in name of love jihad.
According to Bar and Bench, “It states that the burden of proof as to whether a religious conversion was effected through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, lies on the person who has caused the conversion and, where such conversion has been facilitated by any person, on such other person.”