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Representational image of marriage | Photo: Pixabay
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In a recent judgment, the Allahabad High Court observed that religious conversion for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable. The court cited its own 2014 judgment, which had reiterated the Supreme Court’s observation in the Lily Thomas vs Union of India case that conversion of a person to Islam can only be considered bona fide if he or she is a major, of sound mind, and is ready to embrace Islam by his or her free consent and the faith which he or she holds in Allah or Prophet Muhammad.

After this judgment, sensing vindication of their campaign against the so-called ‘love jihad‘, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other BJP leaders are now talking about an anti-conversion law for their states.

However, is there something wrong with Hindus and Muslims marrying each other?

I don’t think any person with a liberal view and an open mind would actually oppose inter-faith marriage. It is, after all, a personal choice. In fact, inter-faith marriages play an important role in socio-cultural assimilation of a community, and facilitate better integration in society.

In times like these, with ever-increasing polarisation and faultlines in societies, we need more and more of inter-faith marriages, which are also recognised as human rights under Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Personal laws obstruct personal choice

There have been instances where some men have concealed their religious identity before marrying women of other religions. However, these instances are sporadic and cannot be termed as a ‘conspiracy’ or ‘love jihad‘.

Should governments have a say in who we marry? At first glance, a sensible answer would be ‘no’.

Now, let me tweak this question a little bit. Should centuries-old, gender-biased, religious personal laws, based on morals of different times and spaces, influence or dictate our personal choices? Or should our choices be protected and guided by a modern, gender-neutral law? I know the answer and I know you know it too.

Let me give you an example — in 2019, the Supreme Court had observed that a marriage of a Hindu women with a Muslim man is not “regular or void” and the wife can’t inherit husband’s property. For certain, the government should have no role in personal choices of an individual; it should facilitate the fulfilment of their choices.

A good example of that would be the Special Marriages Act, which liberates individuals from traditional requirements of a religion. Similarly, personal laws should also be rectified and amended to ensure gender neutrality and fulfilment of human rights, as was done in case of Hindu Marriage Act, 1956. Unfortunately, it could not be replicated in case of other religions, particularly Islam, due to lack of political will.

What do statistics say about inter-faith marriages in India? First, state governments in India do not keep a separate record of inter-faith marriages. In 2005, the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS), organised by the University of Maryland in the US and the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), noted that 2.21 per cent of all women between age of 15-49 had married outside their religion.

This is not a significant number and shows how personal laws influence, or rather obstruct, personal choices. It also shows how the Special Marriages Act is not as facilitating as it should be. It should be made simpler and provisions like issuing public notice one month before registration, which also includes the address of couple, should either be amended or done away with.

Instead of waiting for the court’s intervention, in my opinion, the government should move forward with either a piecemeal approach by reforming personal laws, like it did in the case of triple talaq, or it should build consensus and go for a uniform civil code — of course, with provisions for preservation of culture of tribal citizens.

Rajneesh Pandey is a student of Delhi University.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. For a supposed University student, Mr Pandey expounds a big socio-political ideology that probably sounds nice in a poem but has very little to do with reality or practicality. Indeed, his stupid rhetoric sounds like another kind of social-control, this time one that supports his cockeyed worldview.

    Of course, it takes a bargain basement on-line rag like The Print to publish such material, even if it is only to get more attention.

  2. The Print knows the politics very well. This is one the most shrewd online media channel. They know criticize the best and get more visits and views and become famous. The people like this page can do business of their family and social life for becoming famous.
    I used to read few articles on this page but majority of them are too much biased against Hindus. They select the author mainly who are against Hinduism. I hardly find a single article which advocates about the safety and security of Hindus Girls. This law is not at all again muslims. This law is to save our/ my young daughters who are either lured or forced to convert to be muslims after marriages and finally they are either murdered or forced to live with other wives. How brutally your deny that there is no such case. How can you forget Nikita and a girl from Phagwara who was buried in UP by an entire muslim family. But you wont write about them coz you have to be famous you have to earn money.

  3. There is nothing wrong in interfaith marriage, the problem starts when jihadists and libbis encourage hindus and christian girls to marry muslims. The same libbis keep quiet and look the other side when jihadists brainwash muslim girls to follow islam strictly, observe hijab, and pressurize them not to marry non muslim.(hindus and christians) . This one way traffic flow hypocrisy causes the problem.
    Quran forbids muslim girls from marrying non muslims, and gives unequal rights to muslim woman and non muslim people. But these hypocrite libbis who cry for manusmriti(which no modern hindu even knows of), don’t either dare or purposefully choose to ignore to condemn Quran’s bigotry.
    Moreover these are the same libbis who call ghunghat regressive but hijab as something ’empowering’. Some days back they were the same libbis who opposed banning of triple talak.
    The problem is not Hindus, as most of them were quite progressive just a few years back before social media made them realise of this exisiting double standards of libbis and jihadists. Now that they have realised , this fight is not going to stop till libbis change their double standards.
    The ideal India should be such that both Hindus and Muslims live in peace and harmony. This will only come when libbis allow progessive minded muslims like Najmul Hoda to take centre stage and kick out jihadi mindset muslims from front seat. No religion is good or bad(including Islam). The problem is every major religion like Hinduism and Christianity have undergone phases of change when liberal minded people reformed it. But Islam is yet to undergo such a change and the biggest roadblock is not Jihadi mindset muslims but these half educated, woke, wannabe liberals, dim -witted libbis.

  4. Why is so hard for people to accept that other people have the right to choose… Whether a marriage partner or anything else… So long as they take responsibility for the consequences for their own actions. No one has the right to tell others what is good for them… That guidance comes from within. Ironically this is a concept taught by some of this great country’s own ancient texts (our most precious cultural heritage). No body had the right to tell me what is right and wrong for me. My conscience – and my conscience alone! – does that for me.

  5. I have already taught my children the actual history of India …who are native to this motherland , who are those attacked and killed us ,our society ,our ancestors . Because the history taught in school is not complete… Am sure the teachings given at young age here to stay and it will ever get influenced by articles like above .mind it don’t shit around .

  6. If Muslims man marry to Hindu women then ok ,but when Muslim women marry to Hindu is problematic. can auther should write articles on that.

  7. Hindu girls, know your rights! What they never tell you is in case you get married to a muslim, you will never get a share of your husbands property. Also your muslim husband lwill have the legal right to marry 4 women according to their personal law board. They will distance you from your family and make you vulnerable to accept Islam. There will be no such thing as freedom eventually.

    It’s a huge conspiracy to decrease Hindu population. Beware!

  8. Let’s say more Muslim girls should marry hindu boys. Don’t do filthy Propaganda here, when a Muslim girl marries a hindu boy you ask the hindu boys to convert and when a hindu girl marries a Muslim that hindu girl is tortured and forced to convert. What’s the difference then? The main intention of the print is to promote love Jihad in the country. Govt should ban this news agency.

  9. The simple reason why a lot more Muslim men marry non Muslim women and the vice versa scenario isn’t no where proportional in ratio is because muslim men are found in colleges, universities and offices a lot more than Muslim women.

    This is the same reason why Gujaratis have a problem with Muslim men during the dandiya festival too. While the invited Sikhs, Christians, Parsees and other non Hindus show up with their women to play along in the festival, the Muslim men come without partners and this means they will bring imbalance to the man-woman ratio during the dance; meaning that Gujarati Hindu men will get “dance-cucked” watching their women prance around with Muslim men along the sidelines as they cannot participate due to lack of enough dance partners. This problem doesn’t arise with Christians because a Christian man will show up with his woman.

    The same problem exists in every university, college and office. Muslim men happily flirt with non Muslim women but you deny us the same opportunity thanks to hijab. This is the extension of the problem on French beaches too. On one hand your woman wants to protect her modesty and no white man will approach her, but the Muslim man will happily flirt with the bikini clad white female, because hey it’s a free world!

    • You have given a very correct analysis. See for Bollywood too, where muslim girls interacted and marry hindu boys and vice versa and balance was somewhat maintained uptill now when libbis(wannabe liberals) and jihadis started promoting hijab and burkha.
      The problem is not interfaith marriage, its the deliberate one way flow because jihadists keep their women inside home while expecting hindus and christians to give their woman freedom to mingle with them.

  10. Ek fatwa bhi issue karwa dijiye regarding muslim girls marrying in other religion from the authorised person from the religion of peace.
    But Guardians of secularism will defend religion of peace by saying that because they are minority in this solar system thats why they have been send to this earth with a blessing where they can marry girl from other religion or convert any girl to there religion but Muslim girl is the property of religion of peace and she is born to populate the religion of peace.

  11. Ek fatwa bhi issue karwa dijiye regarding muslim girls marrying in other religion from the authorised person from the religion of peace.
    But Guardians of secularism will defend them by saying that because they are minority in this solar system thats why they have been send to this earth with a blessing where they can marry girl from other religion or convert any girl to there religion but Muslim girl is the property of religion of peace and she is born to populate the religion of peace.

  12. Yes more inter faith needed…hindus must marry only Muslim girl…. Muslims must allow their daughters to freely choose man from another community…..
    …I am sure that maulanans will agree to send his daughters to temple….😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣

  13. Hindu listen to me , these all channels like :- The Wire, The Quint , The Print , NdTV these are big channel which spread their propoganda because of illegal funding from muslims countries and political parties which only need muslim vote. So never trust on these.
    If Islam gave you right to marry your sister than also you need different religion girl . Their main motive is to only increase muslim population in India. And notice this thing. Now they are minority (with respect to political parties) then also doing many activities of killing hindu girl like :- Nikita T. Case and many Love Jihaad case in kanpur.
    When they will be majority in population then they will grab hindu ladies from their houses like the Asshole Akbar the great has done. So please donot listen to these assholes.

    • You are such an ignorant person that u relate everything to religion. Uneducated person religion is one n that’s humanity. All humans are one. People like u first divide on the basis of religion, then caste, then color n then race… By the way our security agencies are very strong to find what wrong these news channels are doing so u stop becoming a police officer. Go n serve ur parents, respect all the sisters n daughters, serve old people, give taxes properly to Govt n stop spreading hate agenda. Jai Hind

  14. Muslims are no longer a minority in this country… They are a sizable population good enough to form their own country. Nehru era has fuelled a great growth for muslim community in india with their own law board and hippocracy. Muslim lure hindu women into marriage because of the idea of mass conversion.. it is said for every conversion a muslim man would find great respect within his community and a conversion of a muslim guy to hindu will lead to boycott of him and his family… Sometimes even leading to his death.. largely to set an example to others.. More over Muslims have identity crisis in india with larger hindu population they are just another islamic group.. the best way to get rid of this is mass conversion. Kerala is a prime example of islamic conversion… My muslim colleague flirt with hindu girls.. but they cant stand a hindu guy striking conversation with muslim girl. The above article stands a great chance in india because hindus respect each other… Same article in muslim majority nation may end up with dire consequences.

  15. Interfaith marriage concept is purely a trap to destroy Hinduism. Do Muslim community or Christian community or Sikh community promote interfaith marriage. No, Never, they don’t allow their girls to marry a man from out side their religion. Dear hindus, please don’t become a fool .

  16. It’s a good idea unless the medieval bigotry interferes. As long as Muslims don’t force upon conversion on both when either the boy or the girl is a Muslim.

    Going by your records, you are indeed promoting Love Jihad brazenly. Don’t play with Fire Mr. Sekhar Gupta

  17. Unfortunately,Islam does not allow interfaith marriage for Muslim women.Even a Muslim man can marry a non Muslim only if the woman converts.Special marriages act and uniform civil code is the way forward.

  18. Love is beyond religion or any other law. Why should we poke our nose into the personal lives of people . We all love romeo juliet, heer ranjah and the famous laila majno so why we hate people who love. Let us remove the mistrust from the society and allow love to flourish.

  19. Only non Muslims are literally equal and together brother.
    Non Muslims BHAI bhai Bhai Bhai
    we don’t need brotherhood with Muslims because these basters Muslims have been deceiver, killer for humanity and non Muslims religions since origin of Islam. As you can take example of Persia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, France, Germaney… etc whatever Muslims are present.
    Muslim divided BHARAT in to two parts with name of religions.
    Muslim no more friends with non Muslims.

  20. The term So called itself shows your narratives. Remember! bigotry goes in both ways….. #FK pseudo secularism

  21. Please read Quran. Quran forbids marrying non-believers. It asks to convert them before or soon after marriage. So unless you can change that, please don’t publish such wishful thinking.

  22. a wonderful article ! in this era where we are considered much upgraded.digitally and technically…. somehow people are turned down to think more conservative. Religion should be a personal choice and not something to be forced upon

  23. Illirate people, astray going blindfolded, look how was the marriage of Shri Ram had taken place, and remember “Varmala” concept is nothing but a free choice system.

  24. Pandey ji this is 100% love jihad. Stop your biased and fake journalism in name of secularism. You had funded from arebic countries to brainwash hindu people in india.. Ok we all know your truth….. Stop acting like dumb and accept truth of love jihad this is just bsginning of this jihad and evary country on earth hating this islam jihad ideology.. So fit that point in your mind. You are leftist and left idrology leads to communist like hitler

  25. Uniform Civil Code is bigger and is more controversial than any of this, practically I don’t think government can ever implement it though it supports basic structure of the constitution but also violets freedom of religion.

  26. People get bashed for ‘love jihad’. Of course there are exception when it comes to the rich, famous and powerful. Dharmendra’s and Hema Malini’s love was pure as is Sh. Harish Salve’s.
    There is no necessity for duplicity of standards.
    Inter faith marriage is a personal choice which can not be forbidden by societal taboos or social moores.

  27. Hi Rajneesh, this is a very well written article. And also it is pure wishfulness. Let’s be honest here, we live in a society which thrives on polarisation. You are talking about inter religion marriages when inter caste/inter sect marriages within a religion are difficult, not because the government is making it difficult, but because of as you said, personal laws.
    The sad fact is that most of the times, the adherent of these personal laws are the loved ones of a couple in an inter-faith relationship, and not the couple themselves. The choice here is not about following personal laws, but whether one would ostracize their whole family or go through a break up.
    To avoid this, what we require is more inter religion harmony, which when vote banks are based on divisive policies, is hard to expect from the government.

  28. Where were you when hindu men get killed by muslims for loving a Muslim girl. Stop this pseudo-secularism. Atleast read Kuran everything will become clear.

  29. Just because cases of Muslims men marrying Hindu women with hidden identity is rare, it cannot be termed as love jehad? If I apply your logic then human having s*x with another animal species are also rare in India therefore it should also not be termed as bestiality?

  30. Inter-faith marriages will only result in further communal disharmony. Also, regarding the topic of Muslim men marrying Hindu women, I vehemently oppose it not because of “Love Jihad”, but for the simple reason that according to Islamic laws, a non-Muslim bride doesn’t inherit the property of her Muhmeen husband upon his death. This doesn’t sound like a proper concrete marriage to any sane individual, especially someone who’s relative/sister is the so called bride getting married to a Muslim. And since I’m not a hypocrite, I oppose Hindu men marrying Muslim women too, because Muslim women need not be in an environment where idol worship is being practiced. I think, we can all agree by now that none of these three communities can tolerate each other. It’s better not to make things worse than what it is right now.

  31. Do you think Muslim community let Muslim women to marry Hindu men? Why do Muslims make their women wear burqa, it is cause of non Muslims should not see their women n hence non Muslims men will not fall in love with Muslims women. Second, say that it did happen marriage with Muslim women, you know what would happen to men who marry? They come against men and do something to him. It’s not so called love jihad. It is real.

    I would definitely OK with interfaith marriage, but the way the Muslims are hunting down hindu women to increase their population and decrease hindu population. Their is motive behind it and government are against it

  32. I thank the left for its hypocrisy. You guys are helping us proselytize more and more centrists and leftists into our fold. You never acknowledge the radical nature and reaction of the Muslim community whenever a Hindu boy marries/dates a Muslim girl. You never acknowledge the fact that only Hindus need to convert. Keep pandering to the Islamic radicalism. You’re just helping us. 😂😘 Thanks

  33. Instances where men conceal their religious identity to marry women of other religions is pure cheating and conspiracy. Such incidences cannot be ignored; The intentions of these men cannot be trusted either.
    And there is a requirement of stringent laws to prevent such crimes and safeguard the victims of such crimes.

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