By imposing notices below SMA, govt telling interfaith {couples} to transform or wait endlessly, says petitioner Nida Rehman – India News , Firstpost

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Notices of marriages below SMA supposed to safeguard the pursuits of the 2 events to the wedding, however for some years, they’ve been used to forestall, typically forcibly, inter-faith and inter-caste marriages

Muslim girls have for lengthy challenged the Muslim Personal Law in courtroom.

But now, a younger Muslim girl has challenged a Central legislation that applies to all communities. Last month, the Centre was pressured to answer to her petition within the Delhi High Court.

Nida Rehman and Anr vs State of NCT of Delhi and Ors asks the courtroom to strike down sections 6 and seven of the Special Marriage Act (SMA), which make it necessary for the wedding officer to show at a conspicuous place in his workplace the month’s discover essential for marriages below the Act, in order that anybody can object to the wedding.

These provisions have been supposed to safeguard the pursuits of the 2 events to the wedding, however for some years now, they’ve been used to forestall, typically forcibly, inter-faith and inter-caste marriages within the nation.

Arguing that spiritual marriages don’t have any such provisions, the petition urges that these sections be declared unconstitutional since they violate Article 14 ‘equal safety of legal guidelines’, and Article 21, ‘proper to life and private liberty’.

From Shehnaz Sheikh in 1984 to Shayara Bano in 2016, all the ladies who challenged Muslim Personal Law confronted disapproval from their communities, however Hindutvavadis hailed them as heroines. It is unlikely, nonetheless, that 26-year-old Nida Rehman’s petition will please both group.

Not that she cares.

Nida Rehman breaks the stereotype of a Muslim girl. She grew up in a Muslim space in Delhi, the place mixed-faith {couples} are exhausting to search out. Yet, she not solely fell in love along with her Hindu faculty classmate but in addition married him, regardless of the objections of each their mother and father.

An MSc in Zoology, Nida was the one Muslim in her class. It was her Hindu classmates who carried out the haldi and mehendi ceremonies for her marriage final October, two of them coming from out of city for the low-key affair.

The February riots that befell in Delhi in 2020 neither affected Nida’s resolve to marry a Hindu, nor, her friendship with these classmates.

“I always saw him as an individual, his religion didn’t matter,” she says about her husband Mohan Lal.

When the Delhi riots broke out, Nida was in her class. Her household instructed her to remain again with a relative in a safer space. “My classmate and I were texting each other through the riots,” remembers Nida.

“She lives in a Hindu mohalla across the road from my home. She would send a message that people were screaming ‘the Muslims are coming’. I would reply that my family was being told ‘the Hindus are coming’,” says Nida.

Nida believes the rioters have been outsiders and have been instigated by politicians.

Because her father was a well known trainer within the locality, the native policemen stored informing him in regards to the actions of Hindu mobs.

“They (the police) also expressed their helplessness at not being able to take action against the mobs,” says Nida.

“This so-called Hindu-Muslim hatred is all just on TV,” she provides, declaring that the few Hindu households that dwell in her space have been protected by the Muslims.

Though Nida’s neighbourhood was focused by Hindu rioters, her mother and father didn’t use the riot as a stick towards her marriage to a Hindu man.

In reality, a few of the stereotypes have been first damaged by Nida’s mother and father, each of whom are lecturers, and who gave Nida the liberty uncommon for daughters introduced up in group strongholds.

Her father has been supportive of her aspirations to review. And, when she instructed him about her want to marry Mohan, he quietly reminded her about her plans to take a seat for the IAS examination. Her mom dominated it out altogether. Yet, neither of them forbid her from assembly him. They solely suggested her to “regard him only as a friend”. They additionally didn’t rush to discover a Muslim boy for her.

Finally, what pressured Nida’s hand was the COVID-19 -induced lockdown when provides of marriage began pouring in for the younger girl confined at dwelling, and Nida felt she needed to go away dwelling earlier than any of them have been finalised.

Contrary to the stereotype of the emotional younger girl who impetuously runs away, Nida first appeared for assist on the web.

“I was sure that in modern India, there would be some organisation which could help couples like us,” she says.

She discovered Dhanak of Humanity, a Delhi-based group that has, since its founding in 2012, helped 1,300 inter-faith and inter-caste {couples} marry below the Special Marriage Act.

Why didn’t she take the straightforward manner out and go for an immediate spiritual marriage?

“In 10 years, religion never came between us. Honestly, it barely matters to me whether he does puja or namaz. And forcible conversion? Never,” she says.

The “force” comes from the federal government, says Nida.

“It’s like the government is telling us: you want to marry outside your faith? Then change your religion, or prepare to wait endlessly till all the hurdles under the SMA are cleared.”

While discussing the anomalies of the SMA, Asif Iqbal, co-founder of Dhanak instructed her that it might be challenged.

“I decided I would do so,” remembers Nida, and filed her petition in September 2020. Even although the show of the wedding discover created no downside for her, she determined to not withdraw the petition.

Though the mother and father of each the groom and the bride didn’t attend the marriage, they’ve accepted the wedding and each other.

In reality, they’d come to know one another earlier, after they had accompanied their kids to Chennai to look for an examination. They have been unaware of the shock their kids had deliberate for them.

Though the couple is agency on not changing, their erstwhile neighbours assume in any other case. In her Muslim locality, it’s assumed Mohan has transformed, whereas, in Nida’s in-laws’ dwelling, she is a typical Hindu bahu. And for this reason this courageous girl has refused to be photographed for this interview.

However, it is just her father who visits the house she and Mohan have constructed for themselves in a rented room.

“He can’t stay away from me,” she laughs.

“On the rest of the family, religion has too strong a hold,” she provides.

It is to flee this stranglehold that the couple have determined that their baby will likely be given a reputation not identifiable with both faith and will likely be taught what is correct and mistaken, moderately than the tenets of both faith.

Nida is aware of this might upset each units of oldsters, however the IAS aspirant says: “I’m attached to them, but I’m not an emotional fool.”

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