This Valentine’s Day, a group of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University plans to take up the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha on its offer of getting any couple in love married.
“Will you marry a boy to a boy he likes, or a girl to a girl? Or will you send them to jail or Ramdev? Will you allow a Dalit boy to express his love for a Brahmin girl or will you perform ‘shuddhikaran (purification)’ before marrying them off? Will you go against the diktats of khap panchayats and let lovers from the same gotra (clan) marry? And what if a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl fall in love? Or a Christian man and a Hindu girl,” the students asked Thursday.
The group — made up of couples of different profiles — will gather outside the organisation’s Mandir Marg office on February 14. “We will be reaching your Delhi office Saturday morning. With us will be a boy who is gay and holds his boyfriend’s hand with love. There will be a Dalit boy with his upper-caste lover. And of course, Hindu-Muslim lovers,” the students said in a letter to the organisation.
The Mahasabha, which is against ‘western practices’ on Valentine’s Day, had declared last week it would get all couples who professed their love in public on that day married off.
Gay marriage is not legal in India. Such couples are often persecuted and can even be prosecuted under the controversial section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
Unfazed by the JNU challenge, the saffron outfit’s national president, Chandra Prakash Kaushik, said they would indeed “get everyone married” — irrespective of religion, caste or gender considerations.
“This is a way to test your love. Love is not about display. We are not against love but this cheap display. Why do people love only for a day, why not all 365 days,” he asked.
He also pushed the group’s Hindutva agenda by saying inter-faith couples would be given the chance to “return to the religion of their ancestors who were all Hindus”.
“At one time, there were no Muslims in India. We will give Muslims a chance to correct this mistake and marry them off by completing Hindu rituals,” he said.
“If they refuse to do so, it will be love jihad and it will be proved that they trapped the other partner under a conspiracy.”