No ji­had in love, say in­ter­faith cou­ples on V-Day

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

TO­GETHER TIME: New Delhi: In­ter­faith cou­ples came to­gether at Gandhi Peace Foun­da­tion to cel­e­brate love on Valen­tine’s Day and pro­mote the mes­sage of peace and com­mu­nal har­mony.

The event, or­gan­ised by Dhanak, an NGO that pro­vides le­gal and fi­nan­cial help to in­ter­faith and in­ter-caste cou­ples in In­dia, was meant to raise aware­ness about the ris­ing in­stances of vi­o­lence in the name of ‘love ji­had’. The gath­er­ing of around 20 cou­ples also protested against the re­cent mur­der of Ankit Sax­ena, who was al­legedly killed in west Delhi by the fam­ily of his girl­friend, who be­longed to an­other com­mu­nity.

With red roses in their hands, the cou­ples took part in a silent march at Ba­hadur Shah Za­far Marg to con­vey their mes­sage.

One of the cou­ples — Ka­mal Sachdeva (31) and Uzma (29) —got mar­ried in March 2017. “I ini­tially faced some re­sis­tance from my fam­ily but my fa­ther was ex­tremely sup­port­ive. Although I still have some dif­fer­ences with my mother, I am sure she will come around,” said Uzma, adding that she is ac­cepted by her in-laws whole­heart­edly.

Things have been more dif­fi­cult for an­other cou­ple — Shah­baz and Priyanka (names changed) — who came to Delhi a week ago af­ter flee­ing their homes in Mad­hya Pradesh as their fam­i­lies threat­ened the two. Dhanak is pro­vid­ing shel­ter to the cou­ple, and they plan to get mar­ried soon.

Dhanak’s founder Asif Iqbal said the only way to change so­ci­ety was by chang­ing in­di­vid­u­als. His in­ter­faith mar­riage was solem­nised in 2000. Five years later, Asif and his wife Ranu founded Dhanak (rain­bow in Urdu). The have been since work­ing to cre­ate aware­ness among in­ter­faith cou­ples about the Spe­cial Mar­riage Act. which al­lows In­di­ans to get mar­ried ir­re­spec­tive of re­li­gion fol­lowed by ei­ther party.

Piyal Bhat­tachar­jee

Cou­ples took part in the march with red roses in their hands

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.