In recent days there had been a lot of discussion around the concept of 'love jihad', fuelled by new laws that seek to crack down on forced conversions. Here, Uttar Pradesh has led the way, bringing forth an ordinance, receiving clearance from the governor and even registering cases - all in the span of a week. Incidentally the Centre had said earlier this year that the term is not defined under the extant laws and that no case of 'love Jihad' has been reported by any of the central agencies.
Several other states are expected to follow suit. While Madhya Pradesh has drafted a bill to address the issue of 'love jihad', the Haryana government has formed a drafting committee for the same. While politicians in Assam have spoken out on several occasions about the problem of 'love jihad', the state is reportedly not focused on creating a law against 'love jihad' per se.
In a move that is likely to concern many, Assam is reportedly planning a new law that requires couples to declare their religion, income and other personal data in official documents a month before their intended wedding date. According to an NDTV report that quotes BJP MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma, this move "would be inclusive of all religions and would empower our sisters by bringing transparency".
Failure to register details such as source of income, profession, permanent address and religion in a government-prescribed form would reportedly invite legal action. It is however unclear what purpose this data would serve or whether further action would be taken based on this information.
In related news, Assam is slated to hold Legislative Assembly elections in April 2021. Speaking at a poll rally recently Sarma had indicated that if re-elected, the BJP would bring in a law against 'love jihad'.