Sunday, October 10, 2010

India: Love Commandos

From the Guardian:
A spate of brutal killings in northern India has spurred a group of volunteers to set up a helpline to rescue couples whose lives are in danger because they want to marry across caste lines.

It is a reflection of just how tightly caste still holds India in its grip that a group such as the Love Commandos should need to exist at all. But exist they do, a volunteer force dedicated to rescuing young lovers from families who would rather kill them than suffer the social stigma of an unsuitable match, and from the khap panchayats, the notorious village caste councils that rule on who can and cannot marry and regularly pass sentence of death on those who refuse to accept their diktats on caste or gotra (another subdivision based on lineage). The Love Commandos' phones ring night and day. What started as a group of like-minded friends protecting couples trying to celebrate Valentine's Day is rapidly becoming a national movement, with 2,000 volunteers across the country and more coming forward every day.

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