About the prohibited love in India (Part 1)

If they do not marry according to the arrangement of their parents or date with different religions, the boys and girls will be beaten, humiliated, even killed.

Marrying someone of different religion or class has long been a taboo issue in conservative-minded Indian families. Even in recent times, the debates around this topic have become even more fierce.

In October, famous Indian jewelry brand Tanishq was forced to remove an advertising clip after being criticized on the Internet. The clip revolves around a party to celebrate the newborn grandchild, organized by a Muslim woman for her Hindu daughter-in-law.

Tanishq, a jewelry company that belongs to Tatas – one of India’s largest groups, said the message in the latest ad wants to aim for “unity in diversity”.

However, they did not expect that the clip was “counterproductive” when revealing existing problems in society.

Hindu extremist groups claim that the brand’s advertisement favors “love jihad” – a term referring to the Muslim men’s act of seducing and marrying a Hindu woman in order to convert his wife’s beliefs.

Accordingly, this group created a strong wave of boycott on social networks.

In the latest statement, Tanishq said it canceled the ad campaign because of concerns about the safety of its employees.

Two weeks after the unfortunate controversy, journalist couple Samar Halarnkar and Priya Ramani and their friend, writer Niloufer Venkatraman, kicked off the India Love Project on Instagram.

In India, more than 90% of marriages are arranged by families to ensure that the future daughter-in-law is of the same caste, status or religion.

According to a survey by the Indian Human Development Organization, only about 5% of couples are not of the same class and 2.2% are not of the same religion. In addition, these people are at high risk of humiliation, beatings, and even murder.

“In February, the Indian government announced to the National Assembly that there is no law forbidding interreligious love, but this stereotype persists and is deeply rooted in society. Up to now, at least four states led by the People’s Party of India have announced plans to enact laws to curb this social evils,” shared journalist Halarnkar.