love jihad


After the Rajasthan Government suspended three Kota teachers over alleged involvement in religious conversion and ties to banned groups, students protested outside the SDM’s office, demanding their reinstatement.

Dozens of students from Higher Senior Secondary School in Khajuri village, Kota, Rajasthan, gathered outside the Sub-District Magistrate’s (SDM) Office on February 26, demanding the reversal of the suspension of three Muslim teachers from their school. The suspension was a result of a memorandum submitted to the education minister, Madan Dilawar by a local organization, Sarva Hindu Samaj, expressing concerns over purported religious conversion efforts and “love jihad” activities at a school within Sangod block since 2019. The memorandum additionally asserted connections between the teachers and banned groups, alleging their involvement in the reported abduction of a Hindu girl.

Dilawar, in a video statement mentioned, “We received reports that a Hindu girl’s name was changed to a Muslim name in a TC in a secondary school. There are allegations of a conspiracy involving religious conversion and ‘love jihad’ in the area. Additionally, it’s claimed that teachers compelled students to study namaaz. Upon receiving this information, we took immediate action and suspended two teachers, with an ongoing investigation into another. If found guilty after investigation, all three will face termination from their positions.”

On Thursday, the state government issued suspension orders for two teachers, Mirza Mujahid and Firoz Khan. Subsequently, on Saturday, another teacher named Shabana received a suspension order.

The action was taken against the teachers in accordance with the complaint which claimed that the former girl student, who was Hindu was mentioned as Muslim in one of the documents. The girl, after passing out from the school, had eloped with a Muslim man from the village, sparking controversy over the alleged misrepresentation of her religion by the school.

“Our teachers have not done anything”

In a recent video viral on the web, school children are seen in a conversation with the sub-divisional officer of Sangod, Rajasthan saying,

“Hamare sir pe galat aarop lagaye hai. Woh ladki khud bhaagi hai, woh khud banna chahathi hai Musalman. Ladki ne bayaan diya hai ki usne khud se likha tha Islam (on the transfer certificate),” (wrong allegations have been made against our teacher, the girl is responsible for her actions by her own choice, she wrote Islam on the transfer certificate by herself.)

She further adds on,


“Hindus and Muslim students sit, eat and play together in the school. All the accusations against our teacher are false. Our teachers have not done anything.”


The SDM then asked, “abhi aap ko kisne bheja hai yaha, (who has sent you here?) to which the students replied, “hum apni marzi se aaye hai yaha,” (we have come here by our own choice). 


In another video, students are seen saying “bacchon se galat bayaan dilwaya gaya hai” (some students were forced to make false allegations against the teachers). In yet another video, a 10th-grade student, stated that he wasn’t forced to offer namaaz but was pressured to make false allegations against the three Muslim teachers in front of the media. He added that they kept reminding him of being a Hindu and instructed him on what to say in the interview. He adds and says, “These are ours, and how can I lie against them? What I am today is because of them.”


12 out of 15 teachers deny accusations

As per the reports from Maktoob Media, the principal, along with the teachers, denied the allegations made by Sarv Hindu Samaj. The Kota District Education Department requested written responses from the teachers and the school principal regarding the allegations made by the outfit.

The school principal told, 

I joined the school in 2021, and since then, I have not noticed any unusual behaviour or misconduct of the teachers who are suspended. They are teachers, and they teach their subjects very well without any bias,” he said.

 The other teachers also mentioned that only educational activities are rendered in the school, and no religious activities take place.

The Quint has also accessed a copy of a letter by the non-Muslim teachers against the allegations. According to The Indian Express, the sarpanch, Sushila Kanwar, also supported and said that she had never heard of any such incident in the village.

The Vartha Bharati reports also suggest that the School Management and Development Committee (SMDC) president, Lokesh Gochar, dismissed the allegations of intentionally changing the religious column as rumours, mentioning them to be a human error in 2019 when a Hindu girl was mistakenly listed as Muslim in admission forms. “These are all rumours and baseless allegations against the three Muslim teachers. I am a frequent visitor to the school as my agriculture land adjoins it, and I never heard of or seen any such activities.” Gochar said.


“They have made false allegations against us”

As per the reports from The Quint, in one of her admission forms, Muskan, who attended the school from 2019 to 2022, found her religion listed as Islam. Upon independent verification, she confirmed it was an error. The copy of the verification by Muskan stating that it was a mistake in the form was accessed by the Quint. The teachers confirmed to the Quint that it was a single error on one form, which was rectified, while all other school documents maintain accurate information. 

Mirza Mujahid, one of the suspended teachers mentions,

“Even though the police verified and looked into all of the necessary information, still they have made such false allegations against us. The case is completely different and unrelated. I never thought they would do such a thing.”

Mujahid’s brother, Muttalib Mirza told, “They have exploited that one error and alleged that she was made to change her religion back in 2019 in the school.” 

Shabana, another suspended teacher, has mentioned in a letter, “Neither have I participated in any religious activity in school nor have I taught anything religious.”

Another suspended teacher, Firoz claims that he has never even met or known Muskan and mentions,

“We are innocent, we have even told them to properly look into it, investigate us if they find something is wrong. The issue has only been investigated keeping in mind one community.”

“It is certainly because of our identity”

Speaking to Maktoob Media, Firoz Khan added, 

“I don’t know why we got suspended, but it is certainly because of our identity as there are only 3 Muslim teachers, and the rest 12 are non-Muslims. All the teachers and students are in our support because they also know that we all only do one thing in the school, that is teaching,” 

He added, “We will follow what the department will ask and cooperate with the investigation, and if allegations get proven after it, we will accept it.”

Where are the parents?

As per the reports from The Indian Express, A source from the school, who requested anonymity, said: “The parents of the girl who eloped with the Muslim man complained to the religious group. The girl is already an adult and has refused to come back to her parents. The religion mentioned in the school register was a case of human error but the form was signed by the girl’s father. They should have been cautious too. And the girl’s religion was Hindu in all other school documents.”

The Quint reports that as per the locals, Muskan and Ali married a month ago. It was Muskan’s parents, joined by members of Bajrang Dal and VHP who levelled accusations against Mirza, Firoz and Shabana.

“Will accept punishment, if found guilty”

Maktoob Media also mentions that, another suspended teacher, Mirza Mujahid, recently discharged from the hospital due to health issues, also denied the allegations and mentions,

“These are just allegations, and we don’t know the intentions behind it. We have faith in the education department’s decision. If they have made any decision, we will abide by it.” Questioning the procedure followed by the Education Department to suspend them, he said,

“The only complaint I have with the Department is that they should have done the investigation before taking action. How can they suspend us merely based on some outsider’s allegations.”

Mujahid said “If we are found guilty, we are ready to accept any punishment.”

We are certain that the inquiry will be fair and just.” he added.

Read Also: Till the Allahabad HC Do Us Apart: Love, Law and Love-Jihad

Featured Image Source: Scroll

Dhairya Chhabra

[email protected]


While we celebrate love today, let us take a moment to recognise how it is vilified every day in this country. The violins, the doves, and the flowing chiffon that we devour on screen are subject to a milieu of conditions when it comes to the grassroots. Faith being the primary.

Between 10 and 16 January, 2024, the Allahabad High Court quashed petitions by eight Hindu-Muslim couples who were seeking protection for their lives. This was due to the fact that their marriages were not in compliance with the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, known popularly as ‘the Anti-Conversion Law’.

NDTV reported in the year 2020 that in a matter of two months, half of the cases that the police were investigating had collapsed, revealing simply consensual relationships. The Uttar Pradesh Police has registered 433 cases so far since the inception of the law in 2020. As one of the most discussed legislations falling in the category of ‘anti-conversion laws’, it lends credence to the bogey of ‘Love-Jihad’. The arbitrary clumsiness of the legislation includes a “prohibition of conversion by marriage,” disregarding the reality that no religion upholds ‘automatic conversion’ of a person by way of inter-faith marriage.

There may exist, however, a natural correlation between conversions and interfaith marriages. The complexities that lie behind this correlation carry us to the dreaded elephant in the room: the Special Marriage Act 1954. This “umbrella statute” for securing inter-faith marriages in the country has left couples weathering the brunt of hatred in the spaces of its grey areas. Asking couples to give a notice 30 days prior to the solemnization, which is to be displayed publicly, violates their Right to Privacy and actively exposes them to the violence of society and vigilantism. There are many such “procedural compliances.” For instance, the requirement for couples to submit an undertaking that there are no FIRs lodged against them simply displays the uncongenial nature of the legislation. Another section, implying severance from the family upon marriage under this Act, further exposes the admonishing attitude towards interfaith relationships. These factors, combined with the disinheritance of future generations, probably propel couples to seek conversion as an effort to solemnise the relationship. These fallacies have been noted in the 2018 Law Commission report as well.

Only 2.2% of unions in India were interfaith, as per the “India Human Development Survey 2005 (IHDS)”. These ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’ reports can be chalked down to the ‘survival’ of such relationships. Only the unions that sustain and weather the odds that the social apparatus rains down upon them will be up for survey. Despite the minuscule statistical presence of these relationships, the ruling governmental apparatus seems to have showered the phenomenon with ample attention, drafting in states with BJP-led governments several such ‘Anti-Love Jihad laws’ despite the presence of laws already prohibiting forceful conversion.

By inserting vague, loosely articulated phrases, the criminality of which cannot be traced, such as “convincing,” into conversion, it succeeds in passing ideological paranoia into the societal fabric and erodes the freedom to love and live implicitly omnipresent in Article 21, Right to Life.

The law further extends the term of imprisonment if the victim in question is a woman. The justification for this added “safeguard” is something that the state has not been able to provide. It just goes on to show the perspective through which women’s autonomy over their own private affairs is viewed and appears as a penalty for reproductive pollution. Further, the reverse burden of proof is put on the shoulders of the accused rather than the accuser.

The light in which cases of violence against women are discussed also points to the degree to which this conspiracy has penetrated the Indian psyche. The Shraddha Walker case, for instance, triggered the Maharashtra government to set up a panel to look into interfaith relationships concerning state residents, thus increasing the already strenuous surveillance and scrutiny that couples undergo.

Daniel Oesch points to the existence of economic anxiety in tandem with cultural anxiety of a ‘newer culture’ replacing an older one as the reason behind why the working-class electorate finds cultural questions of identity to be more important and rewards the political framework that upholds the status quo, vilifying the “other”. If a democracy, however, concedes to penalising the held decisions of consenting adults instead of the urgency on the contrary to protect and safeguard their constitutional rights, it reflects a democracy that not only shows wear but blindspots in its empathy for those who merely have chosen to follow their hearts.

Read also: What It Takes to Love in India

Featured Image Credits: A Suitable Boy on Netflix

Deevya Deo
[email protected]