As the BJP-led government in Haryana prepares to table legislation to check “love jihad”, key ally and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala is not entirely on board and he has made it clear. In an interview to NDTV, he says he does not agree with the term “love jihad”, used by the rightwing to describe what they call a ruse by Muslim men to reel in Hindu women and force them to convert.
“I dont agree with this term called ‘love jihad’. We will get a law specifically for checking forceful religious conversion and we will support it. If anybody converts willingly or marries to a partner of another faith, then there is no bar,” Dushyant Chautala told NDTV.
The remarks come at a time Dushyant Chautala and his Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) have been at odds with the BJP over the farmer protests. Mr Chautala has backed the demand to review the central laws opposed by farmers, an important constituency for the Haryana-based party. He even threatened to resign if the farmers were not heard.
On a law to check “love jihad” – several BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have already enacted such legislation – the JJP is facing questions and apprehension in the Nuh district, where Muslims form a significant chunk.
Mr Chautala held a meeting with members of the community in Chandigarh on Wednesday. “We had organized a meeting of people from Mewat with our leader Dushyant Chautala. He addressed our concern regarding the new law to be introduced in assembly,” said Mohsin Chaudhary, head of JJP’s minority cell.
Four cases of interfaith relationships have been lodged in Haryana over the past three years, an RTI (Right to Information) reply has revealed. The police have moved to cancel the FIRs in two of the cases and a third ended in an acquittal. The fourth case is in court.
The RTI application was filed by PP Kapoor, a Panipat resident. The reply said a total of four cases of ‘love jihad’ were lodged in Ambala, Nuh and Panipat districts.