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How ‘love jihad’ affects women’s choice

Recently several states including Uttar Pradesh introduced anti-conversion laws making religious conversion for the sake of marriage illegal. These laws were based on the conspiracy theory of ‘love jihad’ which posits that Muslim men marry Hindu women only to convert them to Islam. We bring a three-part series on how these laws have affected the lives of young people.

The narrative of ‘love jihad’ that emerges from the Hindutva ideology imagines a woman to be innocent, ignorant people who cannot take their own decisions. In this formulation, the ideal woman is the one who follows the social norms and listens to her family.

In this episode, we speak to three women who choose their own partners and tell us why they refused to obey social norms. Their choice is not just related to love, but also to their identity as independent women.

Also listen How ‘love jihad’ laws clash with The Special Marriage Act

Important links:

Articulating Hindu Masculinity and Femininity-Shuddhi and Sangathan Movements in United Provinces in the 1920s” by historian Charu Gupta in the Economic and Political Weekly.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954
UP Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020

How ‘love jihad’ affects women’s choice

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