A senior BJP functionary from Karnataka has stated that the state government will enact a law to curb religious conversions for marriages, along the lines of a legal route proposed by the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.
Karnataka Tourism Minister C T Ravi, considered to be part of a hardline group in the BJP, was recently elevated to the post of the party’s national general secretary. He tweeted on Tuesday, “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.”
His post came days after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, citing the Allahabad HC order barring religious conversions for marriages, said his government will work to curb ‘love jihad’ and would make a law for the same. Subsequently, the Haryana and MP chief ministers also announced similar approaches to check “love jihad”.
However, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan have suggested caution and a study of the law that is proposed before any such step is taken in Karnataka.
Bommai stated that the creation of a law and its implementability would need to be studied by the Karnataka government. “We have to study the law that the states of UP and Haryana are proposing and whether it will stand legal scrutiny,” Bommai said.
Meanwhile, Ashwat-hnarayan has stated that any law that is drafted will have to be under the constitutional framework as they are likely to be challenged and that issues like love jihad must be addressed through society rather than legislation.
This is not the first time that the issue of “love jihad” — a pet subject of right-wing groups — has been raised in Karnataka.
In the 2008 to 2013 period, when the BJP was in power in the state, a police investigation — after a furore over alleged widespread “love jihad” in the state — had debunked claims that inter-religious marriages were actually a ruse to convert Hindus to other religions.
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