Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Sunday Tribune - Knot at a cost

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    • Many youngsters are going in for inter-faith and inter-caste marriages to script the
      story of a new Kashmir, but this is proving costly with various communities resorting
      to violence to thwart such alliances, writes Jupinderjit Singh
    Photo: Kuldip Dhiman
    • There are many others like them. "On an average, we get one such case daily in Jammu city itself. Often, it is easier to trace and catch a militant than a runaway couple," admits a senior police official requesting anonymity. "We go by the law. The girlparents file a case of kidnapping and add the charge of rape later. It boils down to the girl’s stand. If she deposes before a court that she had gone of her own will, which happens rarely, the law protects the couple," says the senior police officer.

      He narrates documented tales of runaway couples being recovered from places as far off as Goa and Siliguri. "Couples elope the world all over. But in this state, it acquires far more serious proportions," he says, pointing towards the communal divide. "No community here wants its members to join another community after marriage. The community members fear that one by one, their numbers will dwindle and the demographic change can affect the separatist demand. Interestingly, parents don’t mind if their son brings a girl from another community and converts her".

    Members of the Mahila Sangharsh Samiti demand justice in the Rajnish death case
    • FAIR PLAY: Members of the Mahila Sangharsh Samiti demand justice in the Rajnish death case
      Photos: Anand Sharma
    • Conversion after marriage becomes the main issue. The DGP remembers how a Sikh girl despite marrying a Muslim in England spent a torturous life for years. She wanted to follow her religion but there was opposition. She pulled along for a few years. But when it came to the children’s religion, she left the family.

      Dr Niharica recalls her experiences in meeting two such couples, "Some Hindu girls had got converted. One of them agreed to talk to me on the condition that I wouldn’t disclose that she was originally a Hindu. She had adjusted so well in her new life". Another case was even more telling. "This woman, originally a Hindu, just refused to acknowledge that. She showed me the door, saying she was born a Muslim".

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