Love jihad laws are a backlash to India’s own progress
It’s not a sign of increasing bigotry but the outcome of positive social and economic changes
The ‘love jihad’ ordinance looks like the latest weapon of the Uttar Pradesh government in its battle to further Hindu nationalism. A few other states led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are considering the UP model. Naturally, this morally and constitutionally abhorrent law has been criticized by many Indians. While I agree with the criticism, the diagnosis offered of anti-interfaith-marriage and anti-conversion sentiments has left me unconvinced. Most believe that the underlying cause is religious bigotry and hatred. But this bigotry was always prevalent in Indian society. In my view, the current angst is driven by social and economic change, and long-present bigotry manifests itself through such laws.