'Love Jihad' created to divide nation: Ashok Gehlot attacks BJP

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'Love Jihad' created to divide nation: Ashok Gehlot attacks BJP
'Love Jihad' created to divide nation: Ashok Gehlot attacks BJP

Jaipur : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over 'Love Jihad', accusing the party of "manufacturing the word with a motive of dividing the nation".

The remark from Rajasthan CM comes at a time when more and more BJP-ruled states have announced plans for laws against what many call a right-wing conspiracy theory about relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women - one that the centre has said "is not defined in law".

He also slammed BJP of violating the constitution and citizens' personal liberty of deciding whom to marry. In tweets posted on Friday morning, he also blamed BJP of creating an environment where consenting adults (are at) the mercy of state power".

"'Love jihad' is a word manufactured by the BJP to divide the nation and disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty... bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional and will not stand in any court of law. 'Jihad' has no place in love," he said.

"They are creating an environment in the nation where consenting adults would be at the mercy of state power. Marriage is a personal decision and they are putting curbs on it, which is like snatching away personal liberty," the Chief Minister added.

Mr Gehlot then described calls against "love jihad" as a "ploy to disrupt communal harmony, fuel social conflict and disregard constitutional provisions...".

BJP came up with an instant reply and explained how thousands of women are being trapped because of 'Love Jihad'.

"Dear Ashokji, Love Jihad is a trap that has thousands of young women believing the marriage is a personal affair, where later it turns out it isn't. Also, if it is a matter of personal liberty, then why are the women not free to keep their maiden name or religion?

"Love jihad" is a pejorative used by right-wing groups to target relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women, which, they say, is a ruse to forcibly convert the women.

Relationships between Hindu men and Muslim women are usually ignored.