What UP govt’s new anti-conversion law says, and origin of ‘love jihad’

The Uttar Pradesh government passed an ordinance Tuesday to deal with unlawful religious conversions. Most media reports have referred to it as an ordinance against ‘love jihad’ but the UP government claims that it tackles forceful conversion and not just the alleged phenomenon of ‘love jihad’.

Gupta read out a note by the UP government, which said, “We have brought out an effective law to check conversion with some stringent punitive provisions against individuals and organisations if found to have indulged in conversion, through manifestation of using force deceit by way of luring into marriage or any other improper manner.”

“Marriage is one of the things mentioned here, it doesn’t look like it is specifically directed at inter-faith marriages,” Gupta said.

According to the law, if a person intends to convert to another religion, he or she must serve a 60-day notice to the district magistrate. The magistrate will then carry out enquiries to see if the conversion is consensual or if blackmail or deceit is involved.

This also does not apply to the Special Marriage Act. People of different faith who wish to marry each other can still follow due procedure under the Special Marriage Act.

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