Who can deny the existence of the wave called love? The adults of the society, leading their dull, duty-bound, boring, prosaic life forget the gush that must have come to them way back in their youth. The energy called love, the jolt, the bolt, the tornado, the fever- being an admirer of the bard from Stratford-on-Avon, words flow in my mind.
‘The course of true love never did run smooth’, ‘Whoever loved that loved not at first sight’, or ‘Speak low if you speak of love’, - these eternal lines are like the code of conduct for a literature lover. But some oldies of the Indian society have taken upon themselves not only to deny the genuineness of this emotion but also to turn criminal against their own children. When the hero and the heroine meet in the movie, everyone claps; if they part, everyone cries, but real life lovers are sometimes not so fortunate.
Rizwan, a good hearted human being met death at the railway tracks. He had married Priyanka, daughter of a rich businessman. The court case, as usual, is going on. Fahmeeda Mansoori and her husband Lokendra Singh are leading the life of tortured fugitives, fearing for their life just because of their inter-religion marriage. The case of the couple from Haryana, the well-reported twin murder of Manoj and Bubli highlights the brutality and blindness of Khap panchayats.
The attitude of the members of the Khap panchyats was the most dangerous. The Indian caste system originally has gotras. Members of one gotra are considered brothers and sisters. And marriage among brothers and sisters is not allowed among Hindus. But now in this global world, when we do not know if members of the same gotra are sitting in Uganda, or Siberia, how can a self appointed, extra-constitutional body can order social boycott or murder? Who will tell the stinking oldies that humanity is a greater emotion than tradition? Politicians fear losing their vote banks. Some social organizations are fighting the khaps through the judicial system. Again and again, the khap members were calling love by its derogatory derivative ‘lust’. How can anyone give judgements on matters of love and lust?
It’s good if we educate our kids about love and lust; if we tell them to add commitment to the emotion they call ‘love’. It’s good if we teach them through our own example. But no one has the right to order killing in order to set the right example in the village so that no one else ever dares to go for ‘love‘ marriage. It’s again wrong that self-settled marriages are called ‘love’ marriages in our society, assuming there is no love in other marriages.
Prof. Chowdhury of Delhi University gave the balanced view that respecting tradition is the nature of Indian society but we must remember that ‘still water starts stinking’; it’s the nature of water to flow. We must form new and healthy traditions. The police often support the non progressive elements and blackmail the ‘love-lorn’ couple. It starts making money out of the vulnerable situation. Aamir rightly pointed out that ‘honour’ does not come in picture when girls are killed in the womb or when children are sexually abused. Honour only comes into picture when the daughter marries outside caste or religion or within gotra. The sex ratio is the worst in Haryana where these deadly khaps are operating. An advocate from Chandigarh reported that about twenty five cases come every day for judicial protection. It’s not just a story of one story of one state of India; the malady is wide-spread.
A friend of lovers also came on the show. He passionately spoke in favour of love, much to the amusement of everyone. ‘Love’ is an instant hit. Our whole film industry revolves around ‘love’. All our Kishor, Rafi, Lata, Asha hits are soaked in ‘love’. We must not deny ‘love’ in our society. The friend of lovers provides legal help to lovers and also runs protection houses. He rightly said that the police are not imported. The police reflect the Indian mind-set. He said that his experience with U.P. police has been the worst. A society that worships ‘Radha and Krishna’ must let lovers live, at least.
A very touching case of a Marwari family was also shown. The magnanimity of a traditional and rich Marwari, Dayal Jain reunited him and his estranged daughter. The parents not only accepted the inter-religion marriage of their daughter, but also arranged a surprise wedding ceremony for them. Happiness comes with sharing, accepting, forgetting and forgiving. Life moves forward. It does not move backward. The tie between the parent and the child can never be broken.
The show ended in its trademark style with a very melodious and emotive song. The show was excellent.