A Toast To Interfaith Couples


It is only after they fall in love that they are forced to confront the weight of their respective religions. Many of these romances don’t make it to the registrar’s office, lingering in memory only as shadows of lost love. All the more reason to cheer those who make it, especially in these divided times.

Food often works as a key binding ingredient among the families of interfaith couples. “Her dad has adapted my mother’s shami kebab recipe to everything from chicken to fish; and my mom swears by the bhoot jolokia achaar made in her maternal home. Mostly it’s them who deserve the maddest amount of respect and applause. We chose each other, but our parents chose a better unconditional way, despite the polarised climate in the country,” wrote Mustafa.

It’s not easy to sustain an interfaith relationship in an age where laws criminalise your union and your Special Marriage Act application can be circulated on social media. “My mother sent me a WhatsApp forward which had PDF documents of around 120 SMA applications (yes, ours too) with a para on how ‘love jihad’ was back in Kerala, and naive sisters were being trapped by Muslim men,” Athira wrote. “It urged a call to action to visit the homes of the girls and inform their parents that their daughters would be taken to Syria for the flesh trade and that they needed to stop the marriage immediately.” Though the couple were already married, the wedding reception Chavhanke tweeted about was promptly called off.

And still, most interfaith couples brave all this and more, trying to live out their love stories privately and peacefully rather than wearing their different faiths as a “badge of honour” as one ILP participant put it, knowing the constitution backs their right to a partner of their choice. So what if no one else is listening to the Delhi High Court when it : ‘Questions of faith have no bearing on individual’s freedom to choose a life partner.’ They live this reality.

Children of these couples learn early that all religions are same and are often citizens of the world. Parag said his sons don’t identify as Muslim or Hindu. “Ask them what they follow, the answer will be ‘my two feet’,” he wrote. “The few things that can be classified as religion in our home are music, food, art, and FC Barcelona.” Rama put it differently: “Here’s to our child’s religion—Calvinism (with a liberal dose of Hobbes) as he calls it!”

Sofiya gets the final word on this subject: “I am still a Muslim, he is still a Hindu, and it works, no matter what anybody says.”

Priya Ramani is a Bengaluru-based journalist and is on the editorial board of

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of BQ Prime or its editorial team.


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