Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, has proposed legislation threatening that those engaging in “love jihad” must be prepared to die. The suggestion is that “innocent”, “gullible” Hindu women are tricked into marriage with Muslim men and forced to convert to Islam. Adityanath’s statement suggests that the state believes that it has the right to step in to protect the woman and honour the Indian tradition of marrying within one’s own network.

Adityanath has even held out the threat that menwho engage in this practice would find that their “Ram Naam Satya (a phrase chanted at Hindu funerals) journey would follow. Other states – Karnataka, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh – are considering similar laws.

This call is communally-tinged and promotes so-called honour killings. “Honour killings” occur when a woman is murdered for marrying someone rom a family, caste, or religion that is unacceptable to her family or village leadership. Such murders are intended to avenge the purported dishonour caused to the family and to restore its “izzat”.

Both practices deny women their constitutionally guaranteed right to social justice, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, and equality of status. India is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Office of the High Commissioner, United Nations Human Rights...

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