Love and Sex

India Love Project: In the Time of “Love Jihad” Fear Mongering, a Celebration of Interfaith Love

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

An Instagram page that celebrates how India has been home to some of the most harmonious unions of people from different religions is a reminder that the country wasn’t always so scandalised by the idea of interfaith marriage. India Love Project is a page that seeks to highlight “Love and marriage outside the shackles of faith, caste, ethnicity, and gender”.

India is home to many of the world’s largest religions. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis, Jews, and other faiths all reside together within its borders, and our “rich and varied heritage” is something that is enshrined in the National Pledge and taught to children in schools. However, intolerance toward interfaith marriage has been on the rise in recent times, and has come to a head this year. First there was the backlash toward a Tanishq advertisement featuring a Hindu woman marrying into a Muslim family, and now, within the last seven days, leaders in several states have been harping on about the dangers of “love jihad”, and promising to implement laws to stop it.

Against this backdrop, an Instagram page that celebrates how India has been home to some of the most harmonious unions of people from different religions is a reminder that the country wasn’t always so scandalised by the idea of interfaith marriage. India Love Project is a page that seeks to highlight “Love and marriage outside the shackles of faith, caste, ethnicity, and gender” as per its bio. Founded by editor Samar Halarnkar, journalist Priya Ramani, and writer Niloufer Venkatraman, its posts showcase the couples who married for love – despite the societal barriers of religion and tradition.

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