Maharashtra panel to track interfaith marriages threatens to limit personal freedoms, can be weaponised against minorities

Source: The post is based on the article “Maharashtra panel to track interfaith marriages threatens to limit personal freedoms, can be weaponised against minorities” published in the Indian Express on 19th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS – 2 – Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Relevance: About anti-conversion legislation.

News: The Maharashtra government has decided to limit the mandate of the recently constituted Intercaste/Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee (state level) to gathering information on interfaith marriages.

About the Maharastra’s Intercaste/Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee

The renamed Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee was functioning under the state Women and Child Development Ministry. The committee will ostensibly track fraud committed in the name of “love jihad”. It will also provide support and rehabilitation when necessary.

Note: Already states such as Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have brought in anti-conversion legislation. 

Read more: What are the existing laws on religious conversions?
What are the concerns associated with the anti-conversion legislation?

a) It shows State’s disproportionately interest and demand for control over the lives of individual citizens, b) It is violative of one’s rights of freedom and equality, c) It denies a woman’s choice of partner as her own free will and acts as coercion, d)  It limits the openness and possibility by casting communal aspersions on personal choice and e) Overall, these laws are designed to deter men and women from leading fuller, freer lives.

Must read: What are the issues in anti-conversion law?

India should uphold the cauldron of multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-cultural aspirations of citizens. So, India should ensure openness and uphold personal choices.

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