A Nashik family was forced to cancel the rituals to solemnise the wedding of their 28-year-old Hindu daughter to a Muslim man, which was set to be held on July 18. The rituals were scheduled to be conducted as per Hindu customs, but ahead of the ceremonies, the interfaith couple’s wedding invitation card was leaked to WhatsApp groups and circulated causing for the bride’s father to receive calls and messages even from strangers demanding that the wedding be cancelled. The protesters termed the marriage a case of ‘love jihad’.
The marriage had already been legally registered at a Nashik court in the presence of both families in May, The Indian Express reported. The rituals were to be held in June before the bride departed for her in-laws’ home. The family remains resolute to stand by their daughter’s choice and have stated that the couple would not be forced to separate, irrespective of circumstances. They further said that there had been no attempt at forced conversion involved in the marriage. In fact, the two families had known each other for the past few years and hence agreed to the union.
Prasad Adgaonkar, the bride’s father, who is a prominent local jeweller in Nashik, claimed that his daughter had some physical disabilities and that the family had faced some trouble in finding a suitable match for her. The bridegroom, Asif Khan, was a former classmate to her and the two had announced their desire to tie the knot. The July 18 rituals were to be held at a hotel in Nashik in the presence of close relatives. However, after a copy of the invitation card was leaked onto public WhatsApp groups and started drawing outrage, Adgaonkar was asked to meet community members, who then advised him to call off the function.
“A lot of pressure started coming from people of the community and others, and so it was decided to cancel the marriage function,” another family member said told The Indian Express. The family submitted in writing to a local community organisation that the function stood cancelled. Sunil Mahalkar, president of Lad Suvarnakar Sanstha, Nashik, to whom the letter was addressed, corroborated this and claimed that he had been informed that the “marriage has been cancelled”.
The woman’s family, however, has chosen not to escalate the matter to the police. The incident smacks of what happened on social media last year, when a Tanishq ad featuring an interfaith couple drew brutal outrage. Tanishq’s Brand Manager was hunted down on Linkedin, dragged on Twitter, and bombarded with death threats.