Days after Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh said they would explore legal arrangements to check the alleged practice of “love jihad”, a BJP leader from Karnataka has raised the controversial issue.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi, who was the tourism minister in the state’s BJP-led government until recently, has tweeted indicating the state may soon enact a law prohibiting religious conversion solely for the purpose of marriage.
“On lines of Allahabad High Court’s order, Karnataka will enact a law banning religious conversions for the sake of marriage… Anyone involved in the act of conversion shall face severe and swift punishment (sic),” read his tweet, which also referred to Muslim men as “jihadis”, a term used for Muslim fanatics.
On lines of Allahabad High Court’s order, Karnataka will enact a law banning religious conversions for the sake of marriage.
We will not remain silent when Jihadis strip the dignity of Our Sisters.
Any one involved in the act of conversion shall face severe & swift punishment.
— C T Ravi ???????? ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) November 3, 2020
“Love jihad” is the term used by right-wing groups to target relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women, which, they say, is an elaborate ruse to forcibly convert the women.
However, the Karnataka government does not seem to be in a hurry to formulate such a law.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan said, “As a government we will look into it (issue of conversion for marriages) and see what needs to be done. We need to consult all our colleagues and the entire government needs to come to a decision.”
He said the matter had not come before the cabinet so far. “If this (issue of religious conversion for marriage) arises in future, we will look into it and do what needs to be done,” Dr Narayan said.
The comment comes days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath quoted an Allahabad High Court order on religious conversion for marriages and invoked a Hindu funeral chant to warn people against it.
Soon, BJP-ruled states of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh said they would explore the possibility of introducing laws to check such conversions.