BJP state governments will be violating Constitution by enacting laws against ‘Love Jihad’

It is part of their design to make monolithic society and impose their views on the personal human relationships as well

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Meida)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: Social Meida)

Dr Arun Mitra/IPA

The statement by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that the Uttar Pradesh government will make tough laws against ‘Love Jihad’ is not surprising. Haryana and Madhya Pradesh governments too have now joined the chorus. Haryana’s Minister Anil Vij has gone even further. He said that he would make laws against the newly-invented term ‘Love Jihad’ and will look into all such cases since the formation of Haryana. Their motives are clear; they have never tried to hide them either. It is part of their design to make monolithic society and impose their views on the personal human relationships as well.

To like someone, choose him/her as partner and get married is one’s personal matter. Our Constitution permits anyone who has attained the legal marriageable age to marry the person of choice. In case of marriage through religious rituals, both have to be from the same religion. For example, in the case of wedding by Hindu traditions both have to be Hindus. If one of the partners is not a Hindu he/she has to convert to Hindu religion. To marry through Nikah, both have to be Muslims. Same holds true in the case of marriage by Christian or Buddhist traditions.

But with the changing times, many youngsters are deciding to choose the partner of their choice irrespective of religion or caste. Realizing this, our country had enacted a law, the Special Marriage Act in 1954. This permits marriage of girl or boy from different religions after attaining the legal age without any one of them converting to the other religion. Their marriage will be registered under the Special Marriage Act. Both of them can practice respective religion if they want to. This act allows marriage with a foreigner as well with the condition that one of them has to be Indian citizen. This is a very progressive step in the matters of personal relations. It is true that there are many shortcomings in this Act, as first a notice has to be given and then witnesses have to be called. These sometimes lead to difficulties; but broadly speaking it is a step forward.

Commenting on the marriage, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said that “a husband and wife are involved in a contract under which the husband said that you should take care of my house and I will take care of all your needs. I will keep you safe. So, the husband follows the contract terms. Till the time, the wife follows the contract, the husband stays with her; if the wife violates the contract, he can disown her”. He further said “marriage is successful only when wife looks after the household things and husband looks after the earning and outside work. This system is also good for society and ensure proper order in society”.

In the present times many women are not limiting themselves to domestic work. They not only perform equal work outside home but in many fields have gone far ahead of men to the extent that they are in permanent commission in the Army and Air Force. Indian origin women Sunita William and Kalpana Chawla even ventured into space.

If the girl is a Hindu and the boy is a Muslim, then it is problem for those talking of ‘Love Jihad’. On the contrary, if the girl is a Muslim and the boy is a Hindu, then ‘Love Jihad’ is not an issue because in their thinking lineage runs with men. It is also important to note that the children of many RSS-BJP leaders have inter-religious marriages. But they do not matter. This whole issue is to be applied only to the general public.

The U.P. CM has even said that those engaged in ‘Love Jihad’ will be subjected to ‘Ram Naam Satya’, meaning that they will be killed. This is an open threat to kill which the custodians of law must not ignore. It is not too far when the term ‘Love Jihad’ will be used for inter-caste marriages as well. There are already several social impediments in inter-caste marriages and there have been many instances in the past where murders have been committed in the name of honour. These have been committed by none other than family members including by the parents. But with a legal backing personal liberties will be left with little remedial measures.

Interfaith marriages are banned in many other countries too. In Hitler's time, marriage between Christians and Jews was banned in Germany. The protagonists of ‘Love Jihad’ are motivated by such thinking. Golwalkar, a leading RSS ideologue, wrote in praise of Hitler in “We Or Our Nationhood Defined”: “…To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by”.

No wonder atrocities against minorities have increased. Dr. Kafeel Khan was put behind the bars for no reason. He was exonerated by the Allahabad High Court, but who will own the responsibility of his plight and the crisis his family had to go through? In many places, mobs have lynched people without any reason, whether in the name of beef or something else.

The whole issue of ‘Love Jihad’ smacks of bias against women. Their right to choose partner is being deprived. It is also against the accepted values of Hindu traditions of ‘Swayamvar’ as depicted in the epic Ramayana. This is not only flouting the present constitutional values but also negating the medical science which confirms the equality of gender.

Today's generation will have to see the things in proper perspective and fight against this kind of parochial thinking.

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