Happened to read this article a couple of mornings ago. I'm still feeling rather disturbed.
It is the story of a 19-year-old girl who decided to marry her 21-year-old companion from another community. Her father who apparently didn't agree to this relationship filed a criminal case against the boy, alleging that the boy had not only kidnapped the girl but had also lied about his age. At the end of the hearing, the courts told the girl that she could go ahead and chose her life partner.
Let me make it clear right at the beginning that I am not saying 19 and 21 is the best age to get married. Let's talk about marriageable age some other time.
My point is this. In the times that we live in, forward thinking and liberal views are just a dream. A dream that comes true perhaps only for a minuscule percentage of Indians. A majority of us (not just women) still go by what others tell them to do, especially in matters like when to marry, whom to marry, how many children to have and when, what occupations to choose...
Isn't it sad? Two people fall in love and want to get married. The couple should not be waiting for a court order but just a kind word from elders in the family. They should seek blessings but not police protection (just look at the line-up of cops in the disturbing photograph!). Ideally, a responsible father would tell her daughter that he trusts her and will support her decisions. He might want to suggest that she should wait till she graduates. And the daughter should be able to trust the father enough to wait. Isn't that a lot easier than going to the courts?
I hear that today, it has become a 'trend' to go to the courts alleging kidnap when the case is actually marriage with consent. Who is to make up for all the loss of time, money and effort wasted in settling such issues? And given a chance, we all only love to throw darts at the judicial system in this country.
The couple might go ahead and 'live happily ever after'. But what about the scars?
Will the family ever patch up?
Will the family desist from further tying to separate the lovers? Don't tell me we haven't heard such stories before (the girl having to lose both her father and husband as well in the battle).
I want to know. Isn't peace the main goal of every human being? Why is it so difficult to live and let live? What is that ONE THING we need to change in our lives? Where do we start?