Cruel; Society Leaves the Choice of Either ‘Love or Lover’

‘Kitna pyar hai tumse ye jaan lo, Tum hi zindagi ho meri is baat ko maan lo, Tumhe dene ko mere paas kuch bhi nahi, Bas ek jaan hai, jab jee chahe maang lo.’ (Must you know how much love I have for you, please accept that you are my life. Except this life I have nothing to give to you, whenever you feel like getting it, ask for it). This is called the sublimity of love between a lover and beloved. Passionate love and logic do not go together and it is always the love that defeats logic. There have been innumerable cases not only in India but all over the world where the lovers have laid down their lives on the altar of their love without slightest hesitation. There is an apocryphal story that once Majnu, mad in love with Laila, was running towards a hamlet treaded upon the mat of a Maulvi, who was offering Namaz. Maulvi took umbrage and shouted at Majnu for running like a blind without looking at the mat, which was spread for performing the Namaz. Majnu stopped and asked, ‘how could you see me running over the mat when you were in communion with Allah while doing Namaz?’ I am in love, head over heels, with Laila, Therefore I cannot see anything else but her only.
A judgement of the Supreme Court of India in ‘Satish Nirankari vs State of Rajasthan’ endorses the story of Laila and Majnu and has set the Majnu free of murder charges. Here in this case,two lovers, Satish Nirankari and Pooja, belonging to different castes, decided to end their lives by consuming poison, because of parental opposition to their marriage. While Nirankari survived in the suicide attempt, Pooja died. Both the trial court and the High Court found Nirankari guilty of murdering Pooja, on the assumption, that Pooja had changed her mind to marry him, and it was he who forced her to commit suicide.
The Supreme Court, however, found him not guilty because it felt that the threat of honour crime by their families could force lovers to choose suicide as an option. If, in the process, one survived, and tried to seek medical help for himself and the deceased, as in the instant case, he could not be held guilty of murder. The criminal appeal filed by Nirankari against his conviction and sentence was finally allowed by the Supreme Court. The judgment, conceded that the phenomenon of a girl sacrificing her love and accepting a decision of her parents, even though unwillingly, is common in this country. “It also happens in love that when a man is not able to get a girl which he wants, he may go to the extent of killing her as he does not want to see her alliance with any other person. This might be the motive in the mind of appellant. However, whether events turned in this way is anybody’s guess as no evidence of this nature has surfaced. It is not even possible for the prosecution to state any such things as whatever actually happened was only known to two persons, one of whom is dead and other is in dock”.
Pooja was the daughter of Pramod Bhatnagar. She was a student of English Literature and simultaneously she had joined Management course of which she was attending classes in the evening. She was 23 years of age. Her lover Satish was non-matric. Both of them were in love when they were teenagers. Pooja was found hanging in the house which belonged to one Priyambda and was under construction on the relevant date, though the construction was almost complete. Thus, at the time of incident nobody was staying in the house. How this incident happened and under what circumstances the incident came to be noticed and Pooja was taken to hospital were described by witnesses.
The only aspect on which the controversy revolves around is as to whether it is the appellant who committed murder of Pooja or Pooja had committed suicide? It would be apposite to take into consideration some of the admitted facts which would also help in resolving the dispute. One of the witnesses, Mahesh, stated in his deposition that in the ground floor of his house, a register, purse, wrist watch, small box of vermillion, metal glass, glassware contained copper sulphate Neela-Thotha, fruit juice and many other articles were found. In cross-examination, he stated that two cable wires were hanging from the railing of staircase. Garlands of rose and glass bangles were also lying. He also stated that he had seen Pooja (deceased) once when she came to his house with Satish. Satish wanted to marry her and he advised Satish to seek permission of their parents. On reaching the house he was informed by neighbour Vinod Gupta that a boy and a girl consumed poison and they were vomiting. The boy told him that he and his girlfriend consumed poison. The boy made request to save him and gave the telephone number of his brother. Vinod Gupta communicated information about the incident to Vidhya Bhushan and the brother of the boy. After fifteen minutes three persons came on a scooter and the girl was removed to the hospital. The condition of the girl was serious. Convict Satish was able to convince the court that they did so as the girls family was not agreeing to their marriage. He also added that after consuming copper sulphate Pooja’s health deteriorated and he tried his best to seek help from neighbours, but found her hanging when he returned. He rushed her to the hospital but destiny has already decided something else and she died on the way.The Supreme Court, thus found him not guilty as the threat by their families could be seen and they have been left with no option rather than suicide.
The top court noted that the woman might have first “unwillingly” agreed to go by her parents’ wish but later she apparently changed her mind which appeared from the scene of the incident where garlands, bangles and vermilion were found. It was further observed that the woman might have told her lover that due to resistance from her family, she would not marry him.
The bench observed that ‘criminal cases cannot be decided on the basis of hypothesis and acquitted the man holding that the prosecution has not been able to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a case where there is no eyewitness and, which rests on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution is obligated to prove all those circumstances which leave no manner of doubts to establish the guilt of the accused person. Moreover, all the circumstances shall be complete and there should be no gap left in the chain of evidence. Further, the proved circumstances must be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused and totally inconsistent with his innocence.’
Our law allows inter-caste marriage but has no provision to protect people who dare to marry outside their caste. Are the laws confined to books only with no practical approach? The lovers get turned into warriors fighting for the existence of their love in the family and the society. Is loving someone deeply such a big sin that it even amounts to ‘Honor Killings’. This story is not only of a girl but thousands of girls who have heard of their inner conscience, done a mistake of loving someone out of caste or out of religion. Either they have compromised with their life or have embraced death with open arms. Stories don’t end with it and everyday this beautiful feeling turns fierce with thousands of love birds who get lost in this never-ending sky. It really needs a change otherwise it’ll peter out either of the two: love or lovers.