The "Law" and not "Aspirational Law" on conversion of one's faith
Name - Sukanya Nema
Designation- Legal scholar, B.A.L.L.B.(Hons.) at Dharmashastra National Law University
INTRODUCTION: The "law" not "aspirational law"
The love jihad as a term was not heard. The terms like the Romeo jihad were present. Then it changed to love jihad. According to some media reports in the year 2009, the word was first used. Former Justice K.T. Shankaran acknowledged the fact that in Kerala and Mangalore some clues were there of the proselytization, then he recommended the Kerala government to stop such activities. Court also said that in the call of love, betrayal and forced conversion shouldn’t be allowed. All this led to the coining of the term love jihad.
An issue hence originated in the past, is in vogue now after a 21-year-old student was shot dead outside her college in Haryana’s Ballabgarh town. The girl’s family alleged that the accused had been pressuring her to convert and marry him. And on this account, the proactive government of various states enacted a law to prohibit such events. But is it the right approach to act on the issue? What is constitutional aspiration and is it backing the laws? Are some questions which are likely to be answered through the blog.
Aspiration in the general sense is what a mind vision for the future. Hence the mind of the constitution-makers, so reflected in the constitution of India is called the constitutional aspiration. This constitutional aspiration provides the constitution with a mind to think, a heart to feel and a soul to live, hence making it “the living document”. It is visionary in nature and constantly strives for an equitable society. The constitutional aspiration is at times the pole star for the visionary judgements of the Hon’blSupreme Court of India.
Smearing this idea of constitutional aspiration, in the era comes "Anti conversion laws''. These laws, so said trying to eradicate the one-way forced conversion, were given the force of law by the way of an ordinance in some states. In the garb of an unreported act until early 2020.
When these laws are contrasted with the idea of constitutional aspiration, they fail to satisfy the aspirational mandate of the Constitution of India. On one hand, where Constitutional aspiration tries to set a clear sky for the future fireworks the laws backstab the decisions of the Honorable Supreme Court's decision which aims to foster inter-faith marriages. But is the restriction of one gender on the accounts of the marriage? Is the amenable nature of the women so reflected in the law? Is“law-chains on the marriage” required? Is it what our constitution wants?
I fear the answer is not affirmative. The aspiration of the constitution tries to persuade us, to promote interfaith marriage and make laws for the same but the law tends to be a compromise on these grounds as it restricts the marriage on the count of “Vidhi”. Solemn bonds of marriage don’t investigate caste, class, creed, and now even gender. Hence when society is trying to evolve, the laws may have a deterrent effect on the animus of the society. All this on a longer turn may rewind the wheel of society and work to undo the attempts of the constitutional aspiration.
Also, when we closely analyze the issue of love jihad the law manufacture is not the solution rather, as the sociological school of law hints at, the improvement of the moral fabric of the society as the solution. The fabric here means the societal idea to perceive the events happening in the society. The idea of the quality of the fabric could be determined by the response of the society to an event. Take for instance if any case of love jihad observed the public's instant response is, “Surely it was the boy who cheated the girl!”. But take a pause and think, is this the only permutation of the event possible, can’t it be the other way round. Thus, if society could fathom every possible outcome without bias, the task of the constitutional aspiration is done. Though a tough task but not impossible as the Great thinkers say.
“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present efforts, so we have to know how to act. ‘’- Swami Vivekanand.
So since today no laws define the term, I take it today as the marriage by the way of misrepresentation of the religion by the man and hence marrying the girl or Proselytization of the girl to any religion and then marriage.
Like the Joseph shine Vs Union of India on 27 September 2018 and many others