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Title: Love jihad in India and its socio-legal conspectus: conversion dilemma and contentious laws

Authors: Garima Tiwari; Ankit Dhotrekar

Addresses: School of Law, Bennett University, Greater Noida, India ' School of Law, Bennett University, Greater Noida, India

Abstract: While the Constitution of India guarantees several rights relating to religious freedom, there is no mention of the right to convert to another religion. In India, marriages are mostly governed by religious personal laws. Historically, inter-faith marriages have been looked upon with suspicion and laws against conversion have existed, both pre and post enactment of the Indian Constitution. Recently, the term 'love jihad' has emerged with a negative connotation and is described as a campaign propagated by Muslim men for converting Hindu girls' religion on the pretext of marriage. Consequently, several states in India have enacted strict laws to punish forcible or fraudulent religious conversion through and for marriages. The article critically analyses these enactments and argues that these laws hamper the attainment of several rights. The conspectus of these debatable laws, social conditions and court decisions highlight the need for systemic and systematic research and reform.

Keywords: inter-faith marriages; personal laws; religious freedom; love jihad; Constitution of India; anti-conversion laws; religious conversion; India; Islam; Hinduism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2023.127310

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2023 Vol.9 No.1, pp.1 - 16

Received: 16 May 2021
Accepted: 06 Dec 2021

Published online: 30 Nov 2022 *

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