Yogi Adityanath led UP govt. has recently passed an ordinance that made forceful-religious conversions (Love Jihad) null and void. Forceful inter-faith conversions- so-called ‘Love Jihad’ has always been a major agenda of current dissension in Uttar Pradesh. The incumbent chief minister Yogi Adityanath has always been vocal about the issue since he was an MP of Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency.

A glance at the new law:

The ‘Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill’ 2020 or 'Vidhi Virudh Dharmantaran Bill 2020' strictly checks forced inter-faith conversions. Anyone found in the act of forceful conversion including via. marriage will face five years of imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 15000. If the conversion is at the mass level the jail term to increase to ten years. Further, the law states that if anyone found guilty of forceful conversion of minors or Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe women the jail term could be anywhere between two to seven years with a fine of Rs. 25000. It is to be noted that the punishments are non-bailable in nature.

Why UP Govt. passed such an ordinance?

In the past, many instances of forced conversion have been reported from different corners of the state, especially eastern and central UP. The issue of ‘Love Jihad’ triggered the Uttar Pradesh govt. when a group of parents in Kanpur and Laxmipur complained that their daughters were being lured and trapped by Muslim men. Although few of those girls refused this allegation and expressed that it was a consensual decision

Does that mean inter-faith marriage won’t be possible in UP?

No, it is not. Remember the law only prohibits forceful religious conversion, not consensual ones. But interfaith marriage wouldn’t that easy as earlier. According to law, if you want to have an inter-faith marriage you are bound to inform the district administration at least one month before the marriage. Failure of which could lead to three to six years of jail term.

What Critics Say?


Critics including few legal experts say the piece of legislation is a mere violation of fundamental rights under Art.21 and Art 25 of the constitution. They say the Right to marry of one’s choice and freedom to practice and propagate any religion is an individual’s basic rights and the state has no authority to interfere in this regard.

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