By Anukriti Roy
Will society decide even our personal preferences? Already, the ruffians are out to catch those who eat beef or wear skull caps or do not chant Jai Shri Ram. Now, others are questioning how a Muslim girl could marry a Hindu and then blasphemously sport sindur in the parting of her hair and wear a mangal sutra around her neck.
Nusrat Jahan, the Bengali actor who is also a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, representing the Trinamool Congress, recently married Nikhil Jain. Jain is the scion of the family that owns the upmarket saree brand, Rangoli, in Kolkata. After her marriage, Nusrat attended parliament as a Hindu bride. This has attracted the attention of some Muslim clerics who have denounced her and said that they do not recognize the marriage.
But it is not only their preserve to pronounce a couple as man and wife. India has a Special Marriage Act that allows consenting adults of different faiths to marry. This act was put in place anticipating such situations where self-styled guardians of society would prevent a couple of different religions and castes from marrying.
As for her dress, Nusrat has the right to wear whatever she likes and is comfortable with. She has said that she is a devout Muslim and by wearing sindur and the mangalsutra, she has done nothing wrong as she is married to a Hindu. It is possible for two people of different religions to marry and continue following their individual faiths. It is also possible for a household to celebrate all religions. In any case, it is a matter to be sorted out by the couple and outsiders, including pundits, maulavis and of course politicians, have no business poking their nose in their affairs.