At least five non-BJP state governments on Friday condemned the announcements of proposed ‘love jihad’ legislations by BJP ruled states and said ‘love jihad is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the nation and disturb communal harmony.’
Opposition leaders’ reactions came amid four BJP-ruled states – Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka – announced their intention to bring in a law against ‘love-jihad.’
Rajasthan chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot on Friday gave a strong statement on ‘love jihad’ and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “manufacturing” the term to divide the nation along communal lines.
“Marriage is a matter of personal liberty and bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional,” he tweeted on Friday.
“Love Jihad is a word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love (sic),” Gehlot’s tweet reads.
According to Congress leader, BJP is “creating an environment in the nation where consenting adults would be at the mercy of state power.”
He further said: “It seems a ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict and disregard constitutional provisions like the state not discriminating against citizens on any ground.”
A Vijayaraghavan, convener of Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front and secretary of the CPIM’s Kerala unit, said the proposed legislation is an infringement on fundamental rights.
Left leader said: “There is no such issue as love jihad, which is a concept being highlighted by forces of extreme Hindutva… The legislation proposed by the states, going by media reports, would only help boost that Hindutva agenda. It is an anti-Muslim agenda,” he said.
Chhattisgarh’s Health Minister T S Singh Deo hit out at the BJP-ruled states and said: ““Love Jihad” an exhaustingly bigoted term coined by BJP carried forward through the media propagandists has now reached levels of severity. The hatred and intolerance has crept so deeply that they are now brazenly planning laws against consensual interfaith marriages.”
According to senior Congress leader Deo, “Marriage is and has always been a personal choice for consenting adults – socially and constitutionally. Try all they (BJP) can to attack the sovereignty of India, we shall stand strong to uphold the integrity of our Constitution and this great nation.”
According to West Bengal, Minister for Science and Technology and Bio-Technology and senior Trinamool Congress leader Bratya Basu, lve is personal and the two words do not go together.
Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said: “Are we living in the Stone Age? Let us behave like a civilised society… We should keep away from people’s personal lives. It is such an anachronistic step… Today it is anti love jihad and tomorrow there will be an anti love campaign.”
Jharkhand state Congress chief and Minister Rameshwar Oraon asked: “What is the BJP trying to do? Love does not happen according to one’s religion… This will not stand in law. The BJP is trying to communalise.”
He said BJP only do one kind of politics and that is based on religion.