On Wednesday, Karnataka Minority Welfare and Textiles Minister Shrimant Balasaheb Patil said that the ‘Love Jihad Act’ will soon be enacted in the state.
The act has been designed to prevent forceful conversion of religion through marriage. The term ‘Love Jihad’ was designed by right wing activists on the basis of the claim that Muslim men are marrying Hindu women and forcing them to convert to Islam.
There has been a strong support of enacting this act in the state. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister has been a vocal advocate of this case citing that Love Jihad is an international conspiracy and young women should not be exploited to change their religion.
Two months back, Chief Minister BS Yediurappa announced that the state will introduce stringent measures to remove the evil of forceful conversion through love and marriage.
G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Home Affairs said in a parliamentary session in February 2020 that there has been no report of ‘love jihad’ by central agencies. He further added that “Article 25 of the Constitution provides the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view, including the Kerala High Court”.
Similar laws have been enacted in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh recently and those found accused of marrying for the sole reason of converting will be punished with a jail term of upto 3 years and penalty of up to Rs. 1 lakh.