Dailybhaskar.com | Last Modified - Jul 28, 2013, 03:19 PM IST
Bangalore: Fearing ostracism and resisting pressure from their families, two girls from Kerala who are in love with each other, have sought refuge in Bangalore.
DNA tells us the story of Shraddha and Shravani (names changed), who boarded a bus from Palakkad, Kerala on July 6, seeking help from Sangama, an NGO fighting the cause of sexual minorities who lack societal familial support.
On reaching Bangalore, they reportedly informed their families about their decision to live together in Bangalore. On July 10, Shravani's father arrived at Sanjay Nagar police station accompanied by a Kerala police officer, and claimed that his daughter was kidnapped by a 'lesbian'.
On the same day, police visited Sangama looking for the girls without a search warrant. Sangama members negotiated with the police, allowing the girls to be taken to the police station only to record their statements.
"We are not only close to each other, but also want to live together in the future. We have attained the age of 21 and are independent and mature enough to choose the way we want to live," said Shraddha, at a press meet organized in Bangalore on Saturday.
"My parents have filed a complaint of kidnapping against my friend. Fearing that our parents may take drastic measures, we came to Bangalore seeking Sangama's help," a visibly scared Shravani told DNA.
The girls continue to receive threatening phonecalls from their families. They also alleged to the publication that their relationship is receiving a lot of negative media coverage in Kerala.
Arvind Narrain of the Alternative Law Forum, a leading Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights activist, says Shraddha and Shravani are free to live together, as the law upholds the right of anyone who has attained the age of majority can chose his or her partner to live with.
As of July 2013, 13 countries have passed laws allowing same-sex couples to marry, the latest being France. Some states in the US too now allow such marriages.