A Bharatiya Janata Party leader based in Uttarakhand on Saturday, 20 May, cancelled his daughter's wedding to a Muslim man because of protests by Hindutva outfits.
Yashpal Benam, the bride's father and chairman of the Pauri Municipal Corporation, said that he had thought of getting his daughter married to a Muslim man for her happiness, but had to postpone it due to the protests and the way social media users reacted to the news.
"I fixed my daughter’s marriage with a Muslim boy and informed everyone. They all agreed to the marriage as this is the 21st century and our children are free to marry whoever they want," Benam said while addressing the press.
"Slowly, such an environment was created that the situation is now not favourable for the wedding. The events planned for May 26-28 are put off keeping that in mind," he added.
Several right-wing groups, such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bhairav Sena, and the Bajrang Dal had protested against the proposed marriage. "We strongly oppose such a marriage," the working president of the district VHP Dipak Gaud told news agency PTI.
Hindutva outfits began opposing the marriage after a wedding card of Benam's daughter started doing the rounds on social media last week.
VHP and Bajrang Dal members had also undertaken a protest march in Pauri Garhwal on Friday, 19 May, raising slogans and burning effigies, The Indian Express reported.
Benam was previously a member of the Congress, but left the party over 10 years ago. He also served as an independent MLA from Pauri in 2007.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI.)