“Where the Love Laws lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.”- Arundhati Roy in The God of Small Things. People in love have a union of souls, and no one can really put up any sort of boundary around them. Love is an emotion to be felt, not a feeling to curtail or regulate. Controversial or uncontroversial, interfaith marriage has been successfully practised in Bollywood and other industries of entertainment for decades.
Recently, the Tata-owned Tanishq aired an advertisement featuring an interfaith marriage couple, which led to accusations against it for promoting ‘love jihad’. While many Indians found it absolutely normal and a beautiful example of the concept of secularism in India, Tanishq had to finally withdraw the ad fearing a larger impact on the brands and the vandalisations and controversies that followed the airing.
In a country founded on secular grounds after being partitioned on religious ones, fraught with acts in varying degrees of violence when religious and caste laws are trespassed; the institution of marriage can hardly be a private affair.
The concept of inter faith marriage continues to be a highly sensitive and controversial matter in the country. While the idea evokes the aggressive feeling of ‘love jihad’ in some, in others it brings about a sense of beautiful union from two different communities portraying the fundamental existence of secularism in the country.
Here are of 10 beautiful Bollywood couples who practised the act of interfaith marriage and bravely broke the laws of love prescribed to them so that they could spend the rest of their lives with the person they truly love.
Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Chibber Interfaith Marriage
The ‘Badshaah’ of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, is very passionate in real life too. He fell in love with Gauri Chibber, who belonged to a staunch Hindu Brahmin family. And, her family, especially her brothers, were always against their relationship.
However, even after so many disagreements and strong resistance from Gauri’s family ‘King’ Khan married her. Nothing could stop them. Shah Rukh always believed in his love, and that’s what his support was as well. They got married in 1991 and have been one of the best examples of fidelity in marriage since then.
Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor
Popularly known as “Saifeena”, the couple was one of the most talked-about couples a few years back. After five years of courtship, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor got lavishly married in 2012.
There were rumours that the actress will change her religion after marriage, but just like her mother-in-law, Sharmila Tagore, she too chose to stay a Hindu. Even after eight years of their marriage, they still make the most-ravishing couple and a handsome pair.
Kunal Kemmu and Soha Ali Khan
Love is the only religion of the Pataudi family, as most of them are married to a person belonging to a different religion. Just like her brother, Soha Ali Khan also chose to marry her long time boyfriend, Kunal Kemmu.
Both met on the sets of Dhoondthe Reh Jaoge in 2009 and fell in love. The couples dated each other for quite a long time before they got hitched. The two got married on January 25, 2014. They lived together for some time before they tied the knot.
Genelia D’Souza and Riteish Deshmukh
The sweetest and the gorgeous couple of the Bollywood met on the set of Tujhe Meri Kasam and fell in love with each other. This super-cute couple of Bollywood is one of the best examples of interfaith marriage. Riteish is a Maharashtrian Hindu and Genelia, on the other hand, is a Mangalorean Catholic.
The two got hitched in 2012, in both Maharashtrian and Christian styles and make a very beautiful couple.
Irrfan Khan and Sutapa Sikdar Interfaith Marriage
It was during one of the practice sessions when Irrfan noticed Sutapa Sikdar and fell in love with her. Irrfan took the risk and introduced himself. Gradually they became good friends, and finally, they decided to take their friendship to the next level.
They got married on February 23, 1995. Sutapa Sikdar is a Bengali Hindu. We recently lost the precious actor, Irrfan, and we are yet not out of mourning.
Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah
The two met during the rehearsal of a play, in 1975. Naseeruddin Shah was already married and had a daughter from his first marriage. However, that didn’t make any difference in their relationship. And they got married in 1982 and have two sons.
Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao
‘Mr. Perfectionist’, fell in love with Kiran Rao on the sets of Lagaan in 2001. Kiran Rao belongs to a Brahmin from Bangalore, while Aamir was already married to Reena Dutta. Aamir divorced Reena to get married to Kiran. Aamir and Kiran got married in 2005. Well, both of them set a perfect example for others by marrying despite the religious differences.
Sanjay Dutt and Maanyata
Sanjay Dutt and Maanyata, whose real name is Dilnawaz Sheikh, met in 2006, through a common friend. Sanju Baba fell in love with Maanyata, and soon the duo got married despite different religious backgrounds, too many rumours about Maanyata’s previous marriage, and a substantial age gap of 19 years.
Arshad Warsi and Maria Goretti
The Bollywood actor is not just famous for his incredible acting skills, but also known for setting an example for people in love. He got married to Maria, who is a Christian. Both met in 1991, and got married on February 14, 1999. They are blessed with two kids, a son and a daughter.
Sunil Dutt and Nargis
Their story is no less than a Bollywood masala. They got married because Sunil Dutt saved Nargis during the shooting of Mother India when a fire broke out. Nargis was impressed with Sunil Dutt’s brave act, so she decided to get married to the actor. Sunil Dutt was a Punjabi Hindu from Jhelum district. The two got married on March 11, 1958. She converted to Hinduism after marriage and changed her name to Nirmala Dutt.