Most Indians are against interfaith unions even though they see India as a religiously tolerant country, a Pew research had found in 2021. The survey said that 67 percent of Hindus and 80 percent of Muslims feel it’s important to stop women from their communities from such marriages.
Such couples are subjected to scrutiny from families, societies, as well as the government, with several states passing “love jihad” laws. Further, the special marriage act – under which couples can get married without having to convert their religion – also has a loophole that has been weaponised by extremist groups.
However, earlier this week, interfaith and intercaste couples came together to celebrate and assert their right to love and choose a partner, at an event organised by Dhanak. It is a non-profit support group that gives financial and legal aid to such couples.
We spoke to some of them to try to understand their struggles and how the new laws impact them. They told us about FIRs by families and attacks by Hindutva activists.