Saif Ali Khan and the way to annihilate caste

It is not often that you get popular film actors in India articulating themselves on political and social matters in a way that does not make you cringe. Led by Amitabh Bachchan, most of what is called Bollywood fawns on Modi (and with the way Maharashtra assembly results are expected to go, there will be even more love for him). These stars being obsequious to Bal Thackerary was common sight. At such a time it was refreshing to read Saif Ali Khan speak his mind on ‘love jihad’ in a crisp essay in Indian Express two days ago.

72878228What delights us is that, for a change, the usual suspects for the lib-sec brigade, Nehru and Gandhi, were not invoked. Instead, we had Saif Ali Khan evoking Ambedkar and even talking of a law in India that is ‘truly secular’:

“The good news is that no one needs to convert from their religion to get married. The Special Marriage Act, when applicable, is the paramount law of the land. If you marry under this, it is upheld over any religious law. It is truly secular.”

We already have seen how CSR-friendly Aamir Khan refused to even mention Ambedkar and reservation in a show focused on Dalits. But Saif takes a step in this direction:

“Intermarriage is India. India is a mix. Ambedkar said the only way to annihilate caste is intermarriage. It is only through intermarriage that the real Indians of tomorrow can be truly equipped to take our nation forward with the right perspective.”

The Special Marriage Act incorporates much of the Ambedkar-piloted Hindu Code Bill that was stymied in parliament by a pusillanimous Nehru. Brahamanic Hinduism’s bedrock has been strict rules on who can marry whom. And Ambedkar’s views on this issue have been brilliantly put together by the late Sharmila Rege in her best-selling book Against the Madness of Manu: B.R Ambedkar’s Writings on Brahmanical Patriarchy.


  • Anupam Chakravartty says:

    “I think we should have one law for all Indians, a uniform civil code, and we should all think of ourselves as one nation. All our religions must come later and be by the way. Teach our children about god and his thousand names, but first we must teach them respect and love of their fellow man. That is more important.” — Saif Ali Khan,’ Intermarriage is not jihad, it is India’

    Does annihilating caste by means of inter-caste/religion marriages becomes a case for laying down uniform civil code?

  • Sheela says:

    I greatly respect and revere Dr. Ambedkar, his teachings and his school of thought, but about annihilating caste through marriage, I defer. I may be politically incorrect.or talking out of context. i mean the question of woman’s position in marriage, is like Gandhi observing brahmacharya by lying naked with a woman, not considering her feelings.
    I am all for the Special Marriage Act, full marks. But does marriage annihilate caste? where are you? Yes if two people are in love it is wonderful to get married.Best to register under the Special marriage act. Yes the State encourages by giving some lump sum amount. But does it annihilate caste?In what way where when? No, far from it , it puts it in bold letters, and underlines it,almost like Supreme Court suggesting marry the victim to the rapist.
    Does it mean the couple start living in vaccum, of caste,culture and religion,do we exist without caste,religion? I have known some inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, it is the woman in the marriage who suffers most.I know a dalit girl who was repeatedly tortured by her husband and cruelly insulted by calling her names. I know a muslim girl whose hindu husband converted to Islam secretly to marry her but continued to be a Hindu, I know a hindu girl marrying a muslim boy and then forced to wear burkha.They have no back up of any family support and the friends who joyfully attend their marriage to show their progressive thoughts are no where to be seen when there is cruelty in marriage, specially if the man is politically active or popular. ofcourse hats off to Saif Ali khan, he is to be commended for quoting Ambedkar.

  • purna says:

    Sound great.

  • purna says:

    Sound great. I , m going listen him.

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