The Rise in Attacks on Interfaith Couples is Worrying

Special Cell Chennai women

Two separate incidences have brought to light how interfaith couples are being targeted, and that it is a matter of grave concern. A few days ago, a Facebook page put up a list with details of some hundred men, who they claimed were in interfaith relationships. The page asked people to ‘track and hunt the boys on the list’, providing links to these men’s Facebook profiles.

In another incident, a girl’s entire family partook in the murder of a 23-year-old man, who was from another religion, for being involved in a romantic relationship with the girl.

Both these incidences are chilling examples of how deep the hatred and misunderstanding in various religious sections of India runs.

Interfaith relationships represent love and harmony

Many religions and sects co-exist in this country, both giving and receiving from its diverse culture. Hence, an interfaith couple embodies the harmonious existence of numerous variations of faith in one nation.

Children born from such relationships have an understanding of multiple cultures, and their sympathies tend to lie more towards humanity than religious causes. Looking at the dark road ahead for our multi-cultured nation, such individuals seem to be the need of the hour.

Yet in our country, it is a rarity to find an interfaith couple who has both social and familial acceptance.

The increasing attacks indicate our growing disharmony

The targeting of interfaith couples projects the growing acrimony amongst people themselves.

With religious intolerance at an all-time high, it is not a surprise that extremists are painting interfaith relationships as hot targets.

But then interfaith couples never had it easy. Even during times when this mutual hatred was dormant, people agreed to share food, land, water etc with each other. But love has always off-limits.

One argument here is that such romances defy social and religious norms. The very act of defying communal or patriarchal dictates has always led to bloodshed. Another is the insecurity which leads people to believe that if they let off one couple, it will only come across as an acceptance of such relationships, hence putting forward a ‘bad’ example for youth.

Despite all our broad-minded attitude, deep down many people still frown at the mention of interfaith relationships. Simply because they take this love as a war on their faith.

For them losing a girl or a boy to an interfaith relationship does not open a door for coexistence. It is the loss of one being from the faith’s population, along with the progenies that person would have produced. Sadly, what stands as love for some couples becomes the matter of ego and existence for others.

Unless we are willing to change this outlook, interfaith couples will never be able to live a life free of fear and violence.

Also Read : Interfaith Marriages Not Love Jihad: Kerala HC

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own