Yogi's bid to curb 'love jihad' gets a legal nod: UP becomes first state to enact such a law!

BJP ruling Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India to enact a law to curb the forcible or dishonest religious conversions in the state. The development has come after Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has given her consent to the law on Saturday, giving a legal nod for Yogi's bid to enact 'love jihad' as a rule of law against the religious conversions. 

According to reports, the state cabinet headed by Yogi Adityanath had earlier this week approved the draft ordinance to contain the forcible or dishonest religious conversions including the conversions done for the sake of marriage. Following the approval of the draft ordinance, it was sent to the Governor to get the consent from the head of the state to enact the draft as a law. 

The Governor has on Saturday promulgated the ordinance into law - The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. As per the law, the violators who get detained under the grounds of dishonest religious conversions would be imposed with a prison sentence for up to ten years if proven guilty.  

According to reports, the new law comes into effect on Saturday. Under the anti-love jihad law, the violators will be imprisoned for three to ten years with a penalty of Rs 25,000 for conversions of minors and women who belong to the SC/ST community and if the violators convicted for mass conversions, they would be imprisoned for three to ten years with a penalty of Rs 50,000. 

Under the law, a marriage will be declared null and void if the woman was converted for the purpose of marriage. The law proposes that those who wish to change their religion after marriage must apply to the district magistrate. On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh had informed about the state cabinet's decision to introduce an ordinance against unlawful religious conversions. 

However, on the other hand, critics claim that the anti-love jihad law is proposed by the right-wing groups who accuse Muslim men of forcibly converting Hindu women by marriage. According to reports, besides Uttar Pradesh, four other BJP ruling states have also been mulling to introduce laws in their respective states to curb religious conversions and inter-religion marriage. 

The states like Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, and Karnataka have been mulling to create such laws in line with Uttar Pradesh. While Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to enact an anti-love jihad law, BJP ruling Madhya Pradesh has become the first state in India to form an exclusive cabinet with ministers to protect and promote cows. Earlier this week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had shocked the world after announcing that he is strongly considering to levy the tax on people specifically for protecting cows.