‘After Love Jihad, BJP Will Rake Up Uniform Civil Code’
Fawaz Aftab, 21, a Law student from Delhi, says BJP leaders should focus on the worsening situation amid Covid-19, instead of targeting Muslims. Aftab prays for India to remain a pluralistic society
If you think ‘Love Jihad’ is the end of it – by which I mean the state meddling into citizens’ private affairs – it will not be. It is just the beginning. This year people have already seen so much hardships due to the pandemic yet our authorities are more focussed on issues related to a particular community, Muslims.
First, there was no proper dialogue before imposition of CAA- NRC, then northeast Delhi faced communal violence, later the communalisation of Covid-19 where the whole Tableegi Jamat issue was tarred, then the Ram Janma Bhoomi shilanyas (which could have been handled a little more gracefully), and now the Love Jihad law. A person who follows news in depth knows what will be their next stop: Uniform Civil Code.
Many people feel that now inter-faith relationships and marriages will raise untoward suspicion because of the new law. However, as a law student I feel that people shouldn’t give in to fear easily. The Special Marriage Act (1954) is still valid and people can still go for inter-faith marriages. The law has been brought in to curb forced conversions, be they done by a person of any religion. However, when the UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath or other BJP leaders and even the media talk about it, they use the term ‘Love Jihad’ as if it is meant to put a complete stop to inter-faith relationships.
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It is perhaps easier to distract people from mainstream issues by bringing issues of lesser importance to the surface. I wish the government initiated dialogues on topics it thinks deserve importance before bringing a law for it. And I also wish that the people didn’t react emotionally to any news that the media presents, and did some groundwork on their own.
One of the main problems I have with this law is the point that anyone wanting to convert into another religion would have to give it in writing to the District Magistrate at least two months in advance. I feel it is a direct violation of fundamental rights under Article 21. Love, marriage and practicing of one’s faith are personal matters and the government shouldn’t get involved in it I feel, at least in the beginning. If the marriages run into problems, then the government can take cognizance of the matter.
The term ‘ Love Jihad’ first started coming to light around 2009-10, but the UPA government took it for what it was, an exception. I feel the current government takes offence even where none is intended. Prior to 2014, Hindus and Muslims and people of all other faiths mostly identified as Indians first, but now I can see traces of hatred and an unwillingness to know about and understand different faiths.
ALSO READ: ‘When Will The Hounding Of Muslims Stop?’
I hope we still continue to hold on tightly to the idea of a pluralistic India and no matter how much the media or our politicians try to divide us, we don’t give in to hatred; we don’t do any such thing that allows hatred to become mainstream. In the long run we can only control how we behave and I on my part will keep contributing my love and understanding to my fellow countrymen and women.