By Arré Bench Oct. 17, 2020
One fallout of the Tanishq row is that many interfaith couples have shared their own, positive, real-world experiences that laugh in the face of “love jihad”. One story is inspiring for how it transcended not just religion, but cultural barriers too. An Indo-Pakistani lesbian wedding: In 2019, Colombian-Indian Christian Bianca Maieli married Pakistani Muslim Saima Ahmad in a ceremony in California.
For almost an entire week, most of the discourse on Indian social media has revolved around interfaith marriages. The reason for this is an advertisement by the jewellery company, Tanishq, which depicted a Hindu bride being welcomed into a Muslim family. Though the ad was wholesome in its message, religious fundamentalists and right-wing voices were outraged, as it fed their imagined fear of “love jihad”. Groups of men even began turning up at Tanishq stores across the country to protest, and continue to do so even after the company withdrew the ad. In response, many interfaith couples came forward to share their own, positive, real-world experiences of the institution.
My daughter married an Indian Muslim in USA, neither converted. Both mothers flew there when our first grand child arrived.Together we cooked, cleaned,entertained family/friends. At night groaning Ya Allah and He Ram, giggled and slept on hard mattresses. So there, ye bigots! https://t.co/62c4VL1ebd
— Mrinal Pande (@MrinalPande1) October 14, 2020
Mine too is an interfaith marriage & it's d best thing that happened to me. I married d most wonderful woman raised by loving & kind parents who didn't take a second to extend the same love to me. Haters gonna hate. I can only feel sorry for ya'll. Learn to love, live https://t.co/xKWsVsrpVf
— Nawed Akhter (@nawedbelagam) October 15, 2020
In the process, many heartwarming stories came to light. Couples from different faiths who had come together despite their differences. One story was especially inspiring for how it transcended not just religion, but borders and cultural barriers as well. An Indo-Pakistani lesbian wedding is something that would have been impossible for previous generations, but we live in a world where that is possible. In 2019, Colombian-Indian Christian Bianca Maieli married Pakistani Muslim Saima Ahmad in a ceremony in California, USA.
This Indian Pakistani lesbian couple being able to be together and just celebrate their love, it's what fairytales are made of. Love knows no boundaries.
Bianca Maieli and Saima Ahmad got married in California and they look absolutely regal 😍 pic.twitter.com/W9c9QpDwOW
— 🖤 Maria's Captain 🏳️🌈🇺🇳🇧🇷🇪🇺 (@stevensbucks) November 6, 2019
Photos of the wedding ceremony went viral. In a single frame, the lesbian couple smashed multiple taboos. Maieli wore the attire of a traditional Indian bride, replete with jewellery, and Ahmad came sharply dressed in a black sherwani and golden glasses. Their story, which was shared widely across the internet at the time of their wedding in December last year, was revisited in the wake of the Tanishq ad controversy.
— Danish Aslam (@dan1shaslam) October 15, 2020
“Love conquers all” might seem like a romantic, idealistic phrase, but there are many real-world examples like Maieli’s and Ahmad’s that prove it to be true. Though there are forces that seek to prevent it, there are many stories like theirs that show an interfaith marriage can be a beautiful thing.