27 Apr, 2016
Her mother warned her “there would be no happy ending” as she was a Hindu, and he a Muslim. But with their families and police beside them, the story of Ashitha Babu and Shakeel Ahmed has turned out different. On April 17, Ashitha and Shakeel of Mandya city, both 29, got married, after 12 years of courtship — the last few days of which were spent fighting the charge of love jihad by right-wing groups. Falling in one of Karnataka’s most clannish regions, Mandya isn’t used to stories such as theirs. Families belonging to the dominant agricultural community of the Vokkaligas, such as Ashitha’s, are strongly patriarchal and known to aggressively stick to their own.