Hindu woman gets married in Muslim neighbourhood | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 29, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 29, 2020


Hindu woman gets married in Muslim neighbourhood

As deadly clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups rocked parts of the Indian capital Delhi this week, the family of a young Hindu woman living in a Muslim-majority area was forced to cancel her wedding.

Dressed in her wedding finery, her hands laced maroon with henna and her skin cleansed with turmeric, 23-year-old Savitri Prasad said she was weeping in her home as violent mobs battled outside on Tuesday, which was to have been her wedding day.

But Savitri's father then organised the wedding for the following day, saying his Muslim neighbours were family and he was comforted by their presence.

"My Muslim brothers are protecting me today," Savitri told a Reuters team that visited the house on the day of the ceremony, breaking down again as her family and neighbours comforted her.

The rituals took place at Savitri's home, a small brick building in a narrow alley in the Chand Bagh district. Steps away, the main street looked like a war zone, with cars and shops vandalised, a Muslim shrine torched and the area littered with rocks used in pitched battles between mobs on both sides.

"We went to the terrace and just saw smoke and more smoke," Bhoday Prasad, Savitri's father, said of the scene on Monday and Tuesday. "It is terrifying. We just want peace."

Bhoday Prasad said he has lived in the area for years alongside Muslims without any trouble.

Violence ebbed on Wednesday, but markets remained shut and residents stayed indoors, fearful of further clashes. Savitri's father said he decided to organise a scaled-down ceremony.

Muslim neighbours gathered to offer blessings as the groom arrived and the wedding rituals took place, with a Hindu priest reciting holy verses and the groom and bride taking the rounds of a small pyre set up inside the house. 

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