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Finding Jihad In Love

When I was in Class 9, I remember, I didn't study social science at all which leads me to study it right now so that I can have a fair understanding of the very nitty-gritty of political science before I start to study it in my graduations which I am supposed to. When I read the chapter named Nazism and the Rise of Hitler, It made me relate it with present circumstances of our country particularly with Love Jihad fanatics.

Because, The chapter talks about The Nuremberg Laws that were enacted in Nazi Germany on 15 September 1935 and forbade marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans. And a similar kind of law has been passed by the government of Uttar Pradesh to deal with unlawful religious conversion intended to restrain interfaith marriages also known as Love Jihad Law. it is important to know that the law hasn't been passed by obtaining the blessings of the legislature rather by Ordinance.

Otherwise, in democratic way it couldn't have been possible to pass as happened with The Indian conversion ( Regulation and Registration bill) which sought to enforce licensing of missionaries and the registration of conversion with government officials. followed by the Introduction of the Backward communities (religious protection bill in 1960), which aimed at checking conversion of Hindus to Non-Indian religions , and the another freedom of religion bill in 1979 which sought official curbs on Anti-religious conversions. And none of these bills passed by the parliament.

Here we can say that it is not passed, but Bypassed to avoid discussion and opprobrium on a contentious draft and a complete misuse of Ordinance-making power.

What is an Ordinance?
Article 102 of the Draft constitution of India, 1948 conferred the ordinance-making powers to the president to issue an ordinance when neither house of parliament is in session, and the president is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such Ordinances as

the circumstances appear to him to require. Several members of the constituent assembly including Hriday nath kunzru and professor K.T. shah demonstrated a grave concern on the same and argued that the ordinance can be ill-used to curtail the personal liberty of the citizens, because a quasi-power was given to the governor general of India under Article 42 and 43 of the Government of India Act, 1935 and they had witnessed the abuse of such power.

But, the chairman of the Drafting Committee DR. BR Ambedkar assured that the mechanism of issuing an ordinance is of limited scope and can be exercised only in the case of a sudden, alacritous, and imperative situation.

However, the constituent assembly passed the draft article later became Article 123/213 of the constitution of India,1950 which empowers the President/Governor to promulgate ordinances. Unfortunately, the pronunciamento of the members of constituent assembly seems right, and the ordinance-making power has been pronounced very frequently to trammel the personal liberty of the citizens which is against the ethos of the democracy and strikes at the heart of aforementioned.

What is UP prohibition of unlawful conversion of religion ordinance and what goes against it?
The UP prohibition of unlawful conversion of religion ordinance aims to prohibit unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misinterpretation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage.

Frankly Speaking, There is nothing to support this law , every provision of this law goes against itself and is strange, grotesque and contradictory.

Let me take up a few
First, The anti conversion law is passed citing Love Jihad which is not even mentioned there in the law, probably because if they had mentioned, they would have to define it, and something that not even exist, how is it possible to define it

Second, the terms used here like allurement , coercion, By any fraudulent etc. appears to have much more wider and broader meaning than that of Article 21, while the principle of legality, in criminal law embodies that the statue should not be ambiguous and must be given a narrow interpretation, It requires a strictly construed definition of the crime and directs that An unclear law should not form the basis to prosecute anyone

Third, this law intents to prohibit inter-religious marriages which is a clear violation of Article 21, several judgment has been passed by the courts of law on the legality of inter-religious marriages.

Recently, in the case of of Salamat Ansari vs State of UP[1] The Allahabad HC had held that The right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice is part of a citizen's fundamental right to life and liberty under Article 21. the same was reiterated in Shafin jahan vs Ashok KM[2] also known as Hadiya judgment stating that the Constitution protects the freedom of an individual to follow the faith she or he wants to. Therefore, the right to choose the person one wants to marry is integral to Article 21. the SC further stated that the Matters of dress and of food, of ideas and ideologies, of love and partnership are within the central aspects of identity.

Neither the State nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters. while in Shakti vahini vs UOI & ors[3] 2018 The Honourable SC held that when two adults consensually choose each other as life partners , it is the manifestation of their choice that should be protected and must not be curbed out by Any assembly to scuttle or prevent two consenting adults from marrying, and if done so, it is absolutely illegal .

Fourth, Section 9 of the anti conversion law states that The converted person will have to submit a declaration form to the district magistrate in the area where he resides within 60 days, which will have details of address, parents' address, date of birth, father's/mother's name, original religion, religion converted to, date and place of conversion and nature of the conversion, and The DM will exhibit a copy of the same on the notice board which violates Right to Privacy which is a fundamental right under Article 21 as pronounced by a nine-judge bench in Justice K. S. Puttaswamy Vs Union of India[4]

Fifth, the law declares the conversion a non bailable offence and violation of what can invite a jail term extendable to 10 years which make it stand with the crimes like rapes and murders.

I don't know from when the right to profession, practice and propagation of the religion of choice which is a fundamental right under Article 25 has become so heinous crime that it is being counted with rapes and murders. And how can one be stopped from wishful conversion.

The Supreme Court in the case of RatilalPanachand Gandhi v. State of Bombay[5] held that every person has a fundamental right under our Constitution not merely to entertain such religious belief but to exhibit his belief and ideas in such overt acts as are enjoined or sanctioned by his religion and further to propagate his religious views for the edification of others.

As far as the forceful conversion is concerned , we already have a legal remedy for that under section 366 of Indian Penal Code 1860, which states that whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Hence, there is no need to bring new laws.
Investigation Findings
In 2009, the Karnataka Government ordered the CID to probe if there are cases related to Love Jihad, the The karnataka CID reported that it has not found any evidence of any organized attempt by any group or individual to lure women to convert to Islam in the name of Love.[6]

Same goes with Kerala Police in 2012, the Kerala police found no evidence of love jihad and no organisation named Romeo Jihad that was executing this.[7]

Very recently, while replying to a question by Benny Behanan,a Congress leader from Kerala, whether any of the central agencies have reported any case of love jihad, the junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said that:
The term Love Jihad is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of Love Jihad has been reported by any of the central agencies ,[8] the union minister also highlighted the investigation investigated by National Investigation Agency in 2017, which failed to find any case of Love Jihad and concluded that There is love, But No Jihad.[9]

Strangely, When UP government was making this anti conversion law , a special investigation team formed by the UP police was examining the same claimed that there is no rise of Love Jihad. And a top police official in UP acknowledged that the 'Love Jihad' phenomenon in the state has been hugely exaggerated.[10]

The Islamic Perspective
There is no concept of Love Jihad in Islam,

Almighty Allah says in Quran:
There is no compulsion in religion. The right path has been distinguished from the wrong path. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things. Al-Qur'an 2:256.

There is one whole chapter on this, named Surah Kafiroon. Allah Almighty says Say, Oh, you who disbelieve(109;1),

I do not worship that which you worship, (109;2)

Nor do you worship That Which I worship.(109;3)

Nor will I worship that which you have been worshipping,(109;4)

Neither will you worship That Which I worship.(109;5)

To you your religion and to me mine. (109;6)

These verses are decisive in establishing that each person has the right to make his or her own choice about accepting islam, and no one can be forced or compelled for that. Hence , there is NO Love Jihad

To marry with a person we love is already next to impossible in India, first of all the people around us which includes family and society does not accept two love doers, and if they do, they need same religion , same caste, same sub - caste, same preferably higher social status with a complexion of fair skin, good height, slim fit, in short perfect, which no one is. And suppose, just suppose even they accept, the state will not let the couple to tie the knot which is just inhumane, arbitrary and tyranny.

Montesquieu has said:
There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice . the UP government is doing the same just for political gains in the name of Anti Conversion Law, A law which cannot survive the judicial scrutiny, prone to be misused and a gillotine on democracy.

End- Notes:
  1. Salamat Ansari v. state of UP., 2020, SCC OnLine All 1382,
  2. Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M., 2018 SCC OnLine SC 343
  3. Shakti Vahini v. UOI, AIR 2018 SC 1601
  4. K.S Puttaswamy v. union of india (2017) 10 scc 1
  5. RatilalPanachand Gandhi v. State of Bombay ,1954 AIR 388
Written By: Adeeb Athar - Student at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

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