Lending his support to the 'love jihad' law, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that those governments who have passed the ordinances have considered misdoings like "mass, forceful conversion for marriage" as "Muslims can't marry someone from another faith".
"I want to know why should there be conversions at all. The practice of mass conversions should stop. As far as I know, in Muslim religion, one can't marry someone from another religion. I personally don't approve of conversion for marriage," the defence minister said, adding that the state governments have taken all this into consideration before making laws as "there is a huge difference between natural marriage and forceful conversion for marriage".
The controversial anti-conversion ordinance in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have drawn several reaction. The UP government has been given a letter -- signed by 104 former IAS officers, including former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, former Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and former Adviser to the Prime Minister TKA Nair -- that says the state has transformed into "the epicentre of politics of hate, division and bigotry" after the ordinance.
The letter cited multiple instances where men from the minority community were being targeted. It stated that a case from UP's Moradabad earlier this month came to light in which two men were allegedly accosted by the Bajrang Dal, dragged to the police and arrested on allegations that one of them had forced a Hindu girl to marry him.
Hearing a case of a interfaith couple, the Allahabad High Court had last week underlined that an adult woman has "right to live life on her terms". The court had earlier passed another order where it said, "interference in a personal relationship would constitute a serious encroachment into the right to freedom of choice of the two individuals".
Like UP, Madhya Pradesh too has given nod too its 'love jihad; ordinance, claiming to curb religious conversions using misrepresentation, allurement, force, threat, undue influence, coercion, marriage or any other "fraudulent means".