Your political ideology hardly matters when you marry your beloved. Or so we thought, since we believed marriages are made in heaven. But if Trinamool Congress has its way, marrying someone with a different political view would be no less than a sin.
Recently, Trinamool leader and West Bengal's Food and Supply minister, Jyotipriya Mallick instructed his party members not to marry their opponent, communists. He also asked for a social boycott, something which communists started when they were in power.
Going by the ministers' outlook, it seems if someone is married, to one with opposing political views, all hell may break loose. Who could be a better person to tell us about it than Mallick's wife herself? When contacted, she said, "We don't fight." Well, we can safely infer then that the two belong to the same political planet. Imagine, a food and supplies minister being denied food in his own 'constituency'! But whatever happens between couples remains between couples. "We don't talk about fights ," says the minister's wife. It's interesting to see how couples with allegiances to moon and sun gel together. It must be hard not to retaliate to a partner's conflicting viewpoints. While it's a matter of speculation, here are a few who opened their heart to tell us how they fight, reconcile and decide - of course, in a democratic manner.
Dr Prabhjot Kaur & DrR AP Sing
Ideology: She is a supporter of SAD, he is a supporter of the INC
The couple, married for 19 years have learnt to live with their political differences. While Prabhjot supports Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) her husband Dr Singh is a staunch Indian National Congress (INC) supporter. Kaur, recalls,"My father was a close associate of late SAD leader Basant Singh Khalsa, hence I too grew up as a loyalist of the Akali Dal. But it was the Operation Bluestar in Golden temple, that I saw from my rooftop that changed my political inclination."
On the other hand, her husband Dr AP Singh comes from the family of Congress supporters. "It has always been Congress party for me as the party's ideologies are focussed on development," he says. We are a perfect example of progressive citizens of a democratic nation. The couple resolves their differences practically. Prabhjot says, "During recent Punjab state assembly elections, we agreed to change our loyalties in favour of the candidate who will make the roads in our area."
- Anshu Seth
Jammu & Kashmir
Shahid-Ul-Islam & nuzhat SHAH
Ideology: He is a separatist leader, she is a homemaker who does not believe in separatism
For over 20 years, all he has been known for is separatism---- first as a militant leader and later as a close aide of moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Fire brand speeches, anti administration statesments is what Shahid-Ul-Islam (45), Spokesperson of moderate fraction of Hurriyat, is known for.
Shahid's wife Nuzhat (32), is a modern Kashmiri girl, but covers her head in a Hijab. For Nuzhat, separatism and politics is an alienworld. She is happy being a housemaker and a banker. "He is a leader, he thinks about the nation, for me my home is my world," she says. "I can't take him away from what he is doing but I am not part of it. He talks about independence but for me economic independence is more important. We have so much poverty, we need to get the development indicators right and then talk about other things," she adds. For Shahid separatism is his life. "I joined the first pro-independence protests in 1984 when I was in college," says Shahid. Although Nuzhat a banking associate married Shahid when he was a separatist she did might not always agree with his views. "The families were known to each other, so our marriage was a bit of love and arranged. He recalls, "Our wedding was post poned for a year as I was arrested just before the scheduled date." As Shahid is hardly home, for his family the news of his house arrest is good news."When my younger daughter sees more security than my regular PSOs she comes screaming. Mama Papa house arrest hain kitna maza aayega''.
- Toufiq Rashid
Sreekumaran Nair B & Anuja Nair
Ideology: She's a CPM activist, he is affiliated to the Congress
Sreekumaran Nair B (45) and wife Anuja (38) religiously exercise their franchise in every poll. On way to the polling station the husband makes pleas to his wife to ensure her vote in his kitty. "But when I see my favourite hammer and sickle I forget my hubby's hand," says Anuja a staunch CPM activist who is a typist with the state public service commission, an active worker of PSC Employees' Union, affiliated to the CITU. However her husband, an overseer with the state electricity board, is an office-bearer of KSEB Workers' Confederation, controlled by the Congress. Arrayed in warring parties both say they respect each other's political position. "We avoid politics at home. But still arguments do take place but they seldom trigger any tension," says Anuja.When they were about to marry 15 years ago, activists from both sides predicted tensions. But both kept their political identities intact. During the last local body elections they actively campaigned for their respective candidates hailing from rival camps. "Often we keep party strategies close to our hearts. We never interfere with each other's activities during these days," says Sreekumaran.They have a son and a daughter. I never force any of my ideology on children," says Anuja. Sreekumaran finds no harm in people cementing conjugal ties across party lines. "People from different religions marry and keep their identities intact," he says. Opposing such alliance is nothing but chauvinism, they firmly believe.
- Ramesh Babu
Rahul & Sarojini Narvekar
Ideology: He's a spokesperson for Shiv Sena, she belongs to a family of Congressmen
At the Cuffe Parade residence of Rahul and Sarojini Narvekar there are no symbols of allegiance to anypolitical party it is just flowers and wedding photographs on display.
Narvekar, 34, a lawyer by training, is Shiv Sena spokesperson and Sarojini, 28, a management professional is daughter of Nationalist Congress Party minister Ramraje Nimbalkar. "I am able to keep my personal and political life separate," says Narvekar.Sarojini says, "I have seen my mother support my father throughout his political career. I want the same for my husband." Although she is not an active politician, she has been involved in issues in Phaltan, her father's constituency. "In politics criticism can get personal and that may be hard to digest,"Rahul says adding, appearing on television shows opposite his father-in-law has been awkward at times. "I do not like it when the remarks get personal. I am protective about my father as well as Rahul," says Sarojini.
- Prachi Pinglay