Rajasthan chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party on the issue of love jihad and said the word was coined by the saffron party to divide the nation and disturb communal harmony. He added jihad has no place in love and that marriage is a matter of personal liberty.
Gehlot’s remarks came hours after Uttar Pradesh government’s announcement of bringing a law against love jihad. The Home department said it has sent a proposal to the Department of Law and has sought its opinion on the issue. Earlier, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana government had announced that they would be bringing a law against love jihad. Gehlot said that bringing a law against love jihad would be totally unconstitutional and that it will not stand in any court of law. Slamming the Centre, Gehlot said it was creating an environment where two consenting adults are at the mercy of state power. He said marriage is a matter of personal liberty and by putting curbs on it, the BJP was trying to snatch it away from people.
Gehlot’s comments did not go down well with the BJP with union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat hitting back at Rajasthan CM. He said thousand of young women were trapped because of this practice. He said if it was about personal liberty then women should not be asked to convert but keep their religion. Shekhawat also slammed Congress and said manufacturing terms, riots and hatred is a prerogative of Gehlot’s party. He said BJP believes in sabka saath, sabka vikaas and would ensure that women do not have to face injustice of any kind.
Love jihad is a term used by many right-wing outfits to target relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women. They say it is a ruse to convert women.