By Vivek Tripathi
As promise of a crackdown on forcible conversions, the UP cabinet has recently passed the UP Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020. In this regard, UP Law Minister Brajesh Pathak has said that the new ordinance has been brought in to honour the sisters and daughters in the state.
Speaking to IANS about the ordinance, the Law Minister said that although there is no mention of ‘love jihad’ in this ordinance, it will take strict action against those who ruin the lives of sisters and mothers forcing them to convert in the garb of marriage. The new law has been welcomed by religious leaders too.
Pathak said that in recent years, the state has witnessed scores of incidents of forcible conversion and exploitation. In many instances, the woman has been made to change her name after marriage and then they were deserted. With the enactment of the new law there will no such situation.
He said that this is is a praiseworthy law. Barring exceptions, every section of society has praised it.
“It is the habit of some to oppose every matter. In recent years, this has emerged as a major social issue. Some people use deceitful means or sometimes they hide their religion and marry the girl from another religion. As a result, the girl and her family’s reputation are tarnished.”
Sometimes, such incidents bring social disharmony. The new law will put a brake on such acts. If people of two different religions want to get married through mutual consent, then the District Magistrate has to be informed two months prior to the wedlock.
In case of fraudulent or forcible conversion, the convict will face a sentence of between one and 10 years. This legislation is necessary to keep the law and order situation normal in UP and to ensure justice for women. In this way, everyone’s sisters and daughters will get a chance to lead a life of dignity.
On the question of the Brahmin society being upset with the government, the Law Minister said, the allegations made against the government related to caste are baseless. The results of the recently held Assembly by-elections has exposed the opposition’s allegations.
“Sabka Saath is not only a slogan to us but also a guiding mantra. The government is working accordingly. We consider the entire state as a family.”
On the workers’ displeasure, Pathak said, “Our party believes in taking everyone along. We are with the workers in every happiness and sorrow. No one is angry, everyone is happy.”
(Vivek Tripathi can be reached at [email protected])