True love knows no boundaries – caste, religion or any other. N Ashitha Babu and Shakeel Ahmed are, perhaps, the latest examples of it.
While Ashitha is a Hindu girl, Shakeel is Muslim. Both are 29 and are MBA graduates. They have been in love for the last 12 years and even their families have been friends for long.
With the blessings of their respective families, the two decided to get married.
But right-wing Hindu groups objected saying it was ‘love-jihad’.
B Suresh, Secretary, South Kerala VHP told NDTV that they have no problem if this was a case of love marriage but alleges that the boy was “pressurising” the bride to convert.
The opposition to the marriage was mostly in Mandya, the girl’s hometown. Right-wing groups allegedly tried to talk the girl out of marrying Shakeel. They failed. Ashitha’s mother said that some activists raised slogans outside their house.
Ashitha’s father Narendra Babu is a doctor by profession while Shakeel’s father runs a jiggery business.
The couple married secretly anyhow with the consent of their respective families. Ashitha converted to Shakeel’s faith and adopted the new name of Shaista.
The couple threw their wedding reception in Mysuru, but had to get police protection to ensure that it passes off smoothly.
The reception venue was turned into a fortress and the police was seen even on the stage beside the bride and the groom. Even their respective families moved around with police escort.
While the situation in Mandya was different, the couple found support from some prominent members of the society in Mysuru.
According to a report, there was writer K S Bhagwan, former minister M S Athmananda, women’s rights activist K S Vimala and former MLA G B Shivakumar among those present at the reception.
Finally, ‘love’ won another round against hate.