Amid the ongoing discourse on the issue of ‘Love Jihad‘, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the state government is considering to bring laws that will make it mandatory for both the bride and the groom to disclose information including the source of income and religion.
“One shouldn’t get married if there’s no transparency between husband-wife. Disclosure’s important-my religion, what I do for a living, what’s my income. I am not saying that you should disclose not only your religion, you should also disclose your income and job,” Assam Minister Sarma told reporters.
Talking on the issue of ‘Love Jihad’, the Minister said, “Our idea is not the so-called ‘Love Jihad’. My idea is that you shouldn’t hide your identity, job or income. Assam is going to do something which won’t be against any religion. It’ll have transparency in marriage. We have started drafting legislation.”
Further speaking on the importance of disclosure of details before marriage, Sarma said, “It will be mandatory for all marriages. There will be a disclosure pro forma given to a wife who’ll give it to her husband. It won’t be only about religion but everything that a wife needs to know. It won’t be in line with Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It’ll be empowering women.”
This comes as Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel last month promulgated the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, proposing a maximum punishment of 10 years and fine for “love jihad” related offences.
The new ordinance mandates a jail term of one to five years, with Rs 15,000 penalty for religious conversion for marriage or through force.
Besides Uttar Pradesh, the Madhya Pradesh government has proposed a maximum punishment of 10 years for so-called ‘Love Jihad’-related offences, in its new ordinance. With this, the state government has doubled the jail term in its proposed Freedom of Religion Bill 2020. It had earlier proposed a five-year jail term.
The Union Home Ministry on February 4 this year clarified that the term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under the existing laws and no such case has been reported so far. No such case was reported by any of the central agencies yet.