At a time when Hindutva leaders across the country are talking about 'love jihad'— an alleged campaign by Muslims to force Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love, a Kerala mosque has broken all barriers to host a Hindu wedding to set a perfect example of communal harmony and secularism which is a bulwark of the country's democracy.
Setting an example of its own kind, the marriage was organised according to a complete Hindu tradition, where the bride draped in a pink and gold sari, exchanged garlands with the groom, clad in white shirt and mundu, in the presence of a priest and later sought blessings from the chief imam. A ceremonial tent was also set up in the premises of the mosque to welcome the guests, while a vegetarian sadya was arranged.
A help in need
In November 2019, the Jamaat council of Cheravally mosque in Kerala's Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district reportedly received an unusual request from a woman, named Bindu, whose husband had passed earlier, appealing for assistance in the marriage of her daughter Anju.
"The marriage was arranged when her husband was still alive," said Nujumudeen Alummoottil, secretary of Jamaat committee, speaking to The Week.
"I knew the family before. They were from a modest background, staying in a rented home. After the death of Ashokan [Bindu's husband], I had helped with the studies of their younger child. But, never before had we received such a request in the 100 years of this mosque's history. It was an unprecedented moment in history for us," Alummoottil added.
And so, the mosque opened its gates for Anju and Sarath, early last month, amid a large crowd which thronged from across the state to watch the unique knot.
Nujumudeen further stated that there were no objections when he raised the issue before the Jamaat council.
Apart from organizing for the marriage and hosting guests, the Jamaat council also gifted 10 sovereigns of gold and Rs two lakh cash to Anju as a wedding gift.
No use of religion to discriminate
Meanwhile, Anju's mother reportedly said that they approached the Jamaat committee through a friend of her younger son Sanu. She said the Jamaat council was ready to help her with any matter of religious discrimination.
"Everybody stood together to make this possible—my friends, my relatives and all the near and dear," Bindu said. "I don't know how many people arrived for the wedding, but I do know at least four buses arrived," she added.
Some dignitaries graced the event with their presence as well. CPI(M) MP A.M. Ariff arrived at the event.
Lauding the event on social media, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "An example of unity from Kerala. The Cheravally Muslim Jamat Mosque hosted a Hindu wedding of Asha and Sharath. The Mosque came to their help after Asha's mother sought help from them. Congratulations to the newlyweds, families, Mosque authorities and the people of Cheravally."
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and Congress leader K.C. Venugopal, called the newly-weds to convey their appreciation.