Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said that if required his government will pass a law to curb interfaith marriages, reported the Hindustan Times.
“There will be no ‘jihad’ in the name of love. If anyone indulges in such a practice, he will be taught a lesson and for this a law will be enacted,” Chouhan said speaking to reporters. “Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory used by Hindutva groups who accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage. Right-wing leaders allege it to be a part of a larger Muslim conspiracy of eventually turning Hindus into a minority in India.
Chouhan is the third chief minister of a Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state to consider such a law. Last week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath threatened death for marrying a woman on the basis of a “concealed identity”. His Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday also said he was considering introducing “legal provisions” to curb “love jihad” cases in his state.
Adityanath had spoken about the law citing Allahabad High Court’s observation on religious conversion for the purpose of marriage. Khattar, on the other hand, was reacting to the death of a 21-year-old student in Faridabad, who was shot outside her college in Ballabgarh on Monday by a man against whom her family had filed a complaint in 2018.
The three chief ministers have spoken about implementing laws against “love jihad” despite the fact that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had on February 4 told the Lok Sabha that there was no such thing defined under the current laws in the country.