In the midst of our battles to obtain and retain such measures of equality and control over our own lives as we can, we should not forget that for others this battle is far more difficult.
Take, for example, Tanusree and Rinku. They had eloped and were living together as spouses (with Rinku disguised as a man) until police captured them and returned them to their parents. Now they are being forcibly detained.
Despite the fact that parents of both girls had accepted the duo as married partners in the district court where police had produced them, they decided to forcibly separate the two immediately thereafter. The two girls vehemently protested, but in vain. While Tanusree was taken to Gabberia, Rinku was taken by her brothers to their parental home in Manikpir, Nayachak, about 5 km away.
“No matter what we said that day on record, we cannot accept such an evil alliance. Have you ever heard of a girl marrying another girl? Someone might have cast a spell on Tanusree and we have managed to wrest her back from there,” said father Kanai Manna. Ever since the pucca road to Domjur was laid near the village, claiming his grocery shop like many others of the village, Kanai idles away at home, while his three unmarried daughters run the household by doing zari embroidery. “We were desperate to get Tanusree back, not only because she is our daughter but also because she is a key breadwinner for us. I am perennially ill and cannot work. I cannot afford to let go of the Rs 2,000 that she earns,” Kanai says.