Amidst the “love jihad” debacle that has gripped many states of the country, Assam Government announced that the state has started drafting new marriage legislation. Under this new legislation, the bride and groom are to reveal their details to each other. Both the parties must present the documented details to each other a month before the marriage.
According to reports, both the bride and groom must submit their religion and income in official documents a month before the wedding.
Assam Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the new law is going to empower Assam’s women. He asserted that the new law will “empower our sisters by bringing transparency.”
Mr. Sarma said that Assam’s government is not against ‘love jihad’.
Moreover, he said, “It would be inclusive of all religions and would empower our sisters by bringing transparency…One will have to disclose not only religion but earning source. Complete family details, education, etc”. He claimed that many times even in same religion marriage they have found that the girl later finds that the husband is in illegal business.
Mr. Sarma said that the new marriage law will require both the parties to submit the following documents:
- Family Details
- Source of Income
- Permanent Address along with religion
Both the parties must submit the details in a prescribed form, according to the minister.
The new law in Assam will have its own twist: Himanta Biswa Sarma
He also asserted that failure in providing the given documents would result in legal action. Furthermore, he added that the law in Assam will be on par with the law in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh but with a twist.
“We have started drafting legislation in this regard”, said the minister.
Many BJP states have started enforcing laws upon “love jihad”. This term is being used to frame allegedly forceful relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women. Right-wing groups who have mainly coined this term also claim that Muslim men are targeting Hindu women by feigning love. These women are then converted to Islam as part of an overall evil plan.
While the central government has not acknowledged the term officially, 4 BJP ruled states are considering new laws. They have designed these laws to stop “forcible conversions” in the name of love. The four states include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Karnataka.
Governor of UP, Anandiben Patel has also given assent to an ordinance against forcible or “dishonest” religious conversions. Patel put his assent on Saturday.
In a recent judgment, the Allahabad High Court said that a person’s right to live with people of their choice, irrespective of religion, is intrinsic to personal liberty and the right to life. The judgment noted that the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right. The judgment also overturned two previous rulings that said religious conversation for the sake of marriage was not “good in law”.