Two days after being criticised for promoting interfaith and intercaste marriages in the state, the Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday ordered an inquiry over the controversial press release by district social welfare officer of Tehri Garhwal which promoted the government scheme.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat (in file pic) has ordered a probe in connection to a press release by district social welfare officer of Tehri Garhwal promoting a scheme for inter-caste & interfaith marriages. pic.twitter.com/WCyBFvIl4g— ANI (@ANI) November 23, 2020
Darshan Singh Rawat, CM’s media coordinator said, “An inquiry has been ordered into the matter as the issue is being taken seriously.”
“He (CM) has asked the CS to probe the conditions under which the district social welfare officer issued the press release on a government scheme when the government is strictly against any interfaith marriage with religious conversion,” Darshan added.
Darshan furthered that although the scheme was in place since the formation of Uttarakhand in 2000, CM Rawat has said that the government will work on discontinuing the scheme “as it cannot tolerate disturbance in peace and harmony in the state with marriages done after a religious conversion.”
Rs 50,000 ‘reward’ for interfaith and intercaste marriages
In an order passed by Tehri Garhwal district’s social welfare officer dated November 18, it was specified that the government had decided to incentivise and promote interfaith and intercaste marriages in the state in an effort to bring ‘unity’ in the society and country at large. Under the scheme, the social welfare department was to provide Rs 50,000 to a person marrying outside his/her caste or religion.
The order had stated that one of the persons being married should belong to the Scheduled Caste community to avail the state benefits and the concerned couple can avail the benefit by marrying in any of the certified temples, mosques or registering their marriage with the concerned department.
Uttarakhand govt faces criticism
However, after a controversy over the purported decision erupted and people accused the Uttarakhand Government of promoting religious conversions and ‘Grooming Jihad’ (Love Jihad) in the state, the latter withdrew the order and said that necessary corrective actions had already been initiated.
The particular order to promote interfaith marriages by the social welfare department of Tehri Garhwal district came at a time when there has been an increasing trend of ‘Grooming Jihad’ cases in the country. The dangerous trend of trapping of Hindu women under a false identity of Hindu men and then forcing them to convert to Islam has been widely reported. The various state governments have now finally decided to act against forced conversions, and deceitful marriages by bringing strict laws against cases of ‘Love Jihad’ in their respective states.