Registering marriage: Row over bride's 'Christian name'

After a widespread resentment against the Guruvayur Municipality's decision not to register a marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act citing that the bride's name was Christian, the local body has finally registered the marriage.

Deepak Raj and Christina, both hailing from Hindu families in Kerala, tied the knot at the Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple at Thrissur on August 24.

When the couple approached the municipality (on September 2) to register their marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, the official concerned told them that Christina's name was Christian and demanded a valid document to prove her religion— even though the couple had submitted all other prescribed documents.

The couple and those accompanying them claimed that Christina's SSLC book mentions her religion as Hindu, but they didn't have it at the moment.

Venu Edakkaziyur, a social worker and a friend of the couple, alleged that even after the intervention of a municipality member, the official insisted on a proof.

Top officials of the municipality came across the incident after it invited widespread criticism on the social media, especially since the ruling left-democratic front government in the state has been highlighting a progressive stand after the Sabarimala women's entry issue surfaced.

The couple again went to the municipality on Tuesday with Christina's SSLC book and the officials swiftly did the procedures for registering the marriage.

Guruvayur municipality vice chairman K P Vinod told DH that the official who was in charge of the marriage registration got confused by the name and hence he insisted on any record to prove religion to register the marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act.

"He only tried to make his part safe. Senior officials did not come across the matter on Monday. Otherwise the inconvenience to the couple could have been avoided," he said.

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