Love jihad: A conspiracy theory manifesting into laws in Uttar Pradesh
by Shrishti Mishra
Source: PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak (https://www.outlookindia.com/photos/topic/love-jihad/103657?photo-247959)
Anti-conversion laws in India have been in place since the 1960s in eight states with the state of Uttar Pradesh being the latest addition after the promulgation of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. It was passed on November 27, 2020 to curb what the Chief Minister of the State cites as “love jihad”, a purported conspiracy according to which men misrepresent their own religion in order to lure women from another religion into marrying them. The move has also triggered other Indian states led by the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (“BJP”) to contemplate enacting similar laws.
National Law University Odisha, Cuttack
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the surge in cases of gender-based violence globally is another shadow pandemic and public health emergency that requires intervention by governments across the world. Nationwide lockdowns imposed as a containment measure have forced people to stay indoors for their safety as well as that of others. Unfortunately, homes are not the safest places for victims of domestic violence. Every third woman in the world has been physically abused by her spouse/partner. As per the recent statistics, during the 68 day period of lockdown (25 March 2020 to 31 May 2020) in India, 1477 complaints were made to the National Commission for Women, which is the highest number of complaints recorded during the similar time period in the last ten years, keeping in mind the fact that around 77% of the cases in the country go unreported.
Source: iXimus - Pixabay
Ritwik Prakash Srivastava
National Law Institute University, Bhopal, India
In the wake of COVID-19, the Indian government launched and mandated the use of a contact-tracing application, Aarogya Setu (smart phone application). The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on 14 April 2020, urged the citizens to download the application to supplement the State’s struggle against the contagion. What started as a voluntary step, was first made mandatory for employees of the public and even the private sector, and then for entire districts. Failure to do so gives rise to a criminal penalty.