Monday, 15 October 2007

Love and Marriage beyond the Boundaries of Class and Religion

A boy and a girl meet, fall in love and get married. Incidentally, she belongs to a wealthy Hindu family--he comes from a not-so-well off Muslim home. Stop me if you think this sounds like the plot of a Bollywood movie--it's a real-life incident that took place in Kolkata. So do the young couple live happily ever after? Evidently not, because sometime after the wedding, the young man committed suicide.

Newspaper reports allege that the bridegroom's father-in-law had ties with senior Kolkata city police officers--apparently, the gentleman was known to sponsor police programmes. Evidently, some police officers refused to intervene when they realised that they were to interfere in the lives of two adults. The girl's family claims a lack of knowledge about the marriage, despite the fact that the bride and groom had shown them the marriage certificate.

This gives the politicians another opportunity to intervene in a human tragedy and turn it into a circus. So you have Mamata Bannerjee demanding a CBI enquiry and you have Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the West Bengal CM, meeting the young man's mother and promising justice. Let us hope that in this case, justice does prevail. Adults have the right to select their marriage partners. Families might intervene to argue and examine the rights and wrongs of the case, but as the Urdu proverb goes, Miya biwi raazi to kya karega qazi?

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