Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
For some days now… no not days, I think months, I have been wanting to write this letter. But, before I pen down my thoughts, let me tell you that that I am quite a rational person. To me all people are equal, no matter to what religion, caste, creed, faith, state, country they belong to. I believe no religion teaches hatred or one-upmanship.
I have utmost respect for the individual personal space, and I do not worry about what a person does in his/her private life. It doesn’t affect me, AT ALL.
Problem is when those personal practices come out in the open and I unwittingly get subjected to moral lessons, either through words or through actions. That is when it really bothers me.
Of late I have seen this trend of couples involved in inter-religion marriages flaunting themselves, not just flaunting but in a way deriding others who have not been so ‘advanced’ as them.
We pray together, he with folded hands, me with open ones, or vice versa.
We eat together, he his mutton-rice, me my dal-roti, or vice versa.
He loves his saffron kurta, I love my green sharara
….and so on, and on and on…..
Why do you have this compulsive urge to show-off to the world what you do in your private lives. I am sure people who are close to you, your relatives, friends and even your official colleagues know all about it. Why are you compelled to announce your personal things to the outer world, to people who are not a part of your life’s journey?
I am sure you guys married out of love. I am sure that the fact that you two belong to different religions was NOT the prime reason of your marriage. I am also sure that you guys entered into matrimony fully aware of your decision. Right!
And, since you both belong to different religions, it goes without saying you both pray differently, eat differently and may be also dress differently. These differences will remain throughout your lives, until or unless one of you changes your religion. So, please accept it. Be normal. Don’t get over-excited and subject us ‘lesser mortals’ to your constant, indirect sermons.
Or is it that you trying to show that you are living a glamorous life? Or, you are trying to tell others, those who have married in the same religion, that they have missed getting the tag of being ‘modern’. Either ways, it’s not a good idea. For, believe me, NOBODY cares! Absolutely no one outside of your family is bothered about who you go out with or who you marry, how you pray or what you eat.
Personally, I feel when a person falls in love (most inter-religion marriages happen because of love, right!), he/she doesn’t look for the cast, religion or the nationality of his/her love interest. Love just happens. And, it grows when both the people involved have similar value system and great amount of compatibility amongst them. And then, it is quiet normal to adapt and adopt the rituals and customs of the other.
The colour of skin, where one prays or what one wears is just the outer packaging. It is what goes on inside the heart and mind that matters. A successful marriage, be it inter-religion or not , depends upon things like loyalty, mutual understanding and love.
So, settle down guys. It’s okay if you have married a person belonging to a religion different from yours. It is normal if you say your prayers differently. It’s okay if you have different eating habits. And it is perfectly natural if you guys want to change for each other. But it certainly DOES NOT give you a halo around your head.
It is not normal when you advertise about it, when you bombard the social media pages with your endless selfies (too close, out-of-focus pictures look ugly, they are a pain) and when you subject others to your never-ending sermons on ‘how to be modern and secular’. Oh, stop it people.
Marrying a person of different religious beliefs neither makes you a hero nor a villain. You don’t need anyone to validate your choices (or do you?), least of all total strangers on the social media.
Or is it that you are in constant need of seeking validation from others, BECAUSE you are not sure of yourself, the decisions you have taken and the path your life is moving on?
INTROSPECT. OPEN LETTER.