KOCHI: It was without much fanfare that a group of people launched the movement “Love Commandos” in Kerala in June. But since then, it has been flooded with calls from lovers seeking support to marry a man/woman of their choice against the will of families. Between June and August 2018, the Delhi-based NGO received over 500 calls from Kerala and handled 52 cases.
“There has been a tremendous response to our initiative right from the start. We never expected that lovers wishing to get married in Kerala are under this much stress. We’ve been able to support a lot of people without being threatened or attacked by their family members,” said Love Commandos Kerala chief coordinator Anil Jose.
“Though Kerala boasts a socially and literarily progressive culture, things aren’t that rosy as it seems. Families go to any extent to prevent their wards from marrying people belonging to other religion or caste,” said Jose.
Love Commandos provide the couples with legal services, shelter, protection and help them find employment. “We also sensitise the couples to their rights and involve the police to ensure their safety. We organised two meetings in Kerala in the past two months. The next one will be held later this month in Thiruvananthapuram,” Kerala chief coordinator Anil Jose said, adding they are in the process of deploying 800 trained Love Commandos in Kerala to sensitise people to their rights and provide support to lovers who want to get married.
The group will also provide social security to those who have entered into a love marriage, inter-caste, inter-religious marriage or live-in relationship. Meanwhile, intelligence officers of the state police said they have been monitoring the activities of the Love Commandos as a few Left-wing and religious radicals have managed to sneak into this group to carry out their activities. “We are monitoring their activities and verifying their background,” the officers said.