Jamaath in Kerala to host a Hindu wedding after bride's family asks for help

The wedding, that will follow all Hindu rituals, will be hosted at an Islamic Academy near the Cheruvally mosque in Alappuzha.
Jamaath in Kerala to host a Hindu wedding after bride's family asks for help
Jamaath in Kerala to host a Hindu wedding after bride's family asks for help
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Two years ago, Bindu’s eldest daughter’s wedding has been fixed. But then Bindu’s husband had a heart attack and he passed away, and the wedding was stalled. Now, when it was time for the wedding again, Bindu did not have the money to pay for the proceedings. She approached a businessman she knew, in the same town of Cheruvally in Alappuzha. He has helped before and he is also the secretary of the Cheruvally Jamaath Committee. The matter was presented at the committee meeting and it was agreed Bindu’s daughter’s wedding shall be hosted by the Jamaath, following the Hindu rituals.

The expenses for the wedding is being born by Nizeer, another businessman who agreed to help the family out with Rs 10 lakh and 10 sovereigns of gold. The Committee would also arrange food for 5,000 guests.  

“When the mother reached out to me for help, I presented the matter at the Cheruvally Jamaath Committee. The committee agreed to host the wedding and take care of the food expenses of the guests. We had initially expected a thousand guests but now with the news spreading out so much, we expect at least 5,000 people to show up,” says Nujumudeen.

Nujumudeen has helped the family before too. Two years ago, a boy was writing his Class X public exams without realising that his father had a heart attack and passed away in those few hours. Unknown to the son, his mother became desperate without a place to bury her husband. The family of five – the boy has two elder sisters – were living in a rented house on two cents of a land in Cheruvally, Alappuzha. Learning about this later,  Nujumudeen offered to help out with the son’s education.

The news of the wedding is being celebrated, coming at a time when the Citizenship Amendment Act, protested by many as discriminatory to Muslims in the country, has been passed by the Centre.

With the news of the wedding being hosted by the Jamaath going viral, they have received mostly positive coverage and congratulatory messages. However, there were a few offensive trolls, spreading fake messages about the couple being converted into Islam. “That is not true. The wedding will be performed as per the Hindu rituals. Among the thousands of good messages, it is only one or two who try to spread hatred. We should ignore that,” Nujumudeen says.

Amid the country-wide protests against the CAA and the associated National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kerala has been churning out such examples of communal harmony one after another in recent days.

Only last week, the St Thomas Church in Kothamangalam opened its doors to Muslims taking part in an anti-CAA protest to offer their prayers when the march ended. The march was conducted by All India Professionals Congress and hundreds of Muslims had taken part in it. By the time the march ended it was time for the Muslims to do the namaz and going to a mosque would have delayed it. When the organiser asked the church that was close by, the authorities only permitted it, but also facilitated the prayers.

Two days before that, in Pathanamthitta, another church -- St Thomas Mar Thoma in Kozhencherry -- had boys and girls singing Christmas carols in traditional Muslim attire. The girls wore headscarves and the boys wore skull caps. The youngsters were expressing their solidarity with the anti-CAA movement in the country.

Two weeks ago, when one of the first protests against the CAA and the NRC broke out in Kerala, a young woman's photo took a lot of attention. She was wearing a hijab and carrying a placard that said "Mr Modi I am Indulekha, Identify me by my Dress?"

This was in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark that those protesting against the CAA and the NRC can be identified by their clothes, insinuating that they belonged to a certain religion. Indulekha is a Hindu name. The first year law student in Kochi received a lot of online abuse for her daring protest but she has learnt to ignore it. She has learnt Article 14 in her first semester, that said everyone is equal before the law, and feels very strongly about it. Young actor Anashwara Rajan too had reacted in a similar manner, posting a photo of her wearing a hijab, asking to ‘identify by her clothes’.

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