Tamil Nadu

Irom Sharmila marries in Kodaikanal, sans family and fanfare

Wedding bells: Irom Sharmila Chanu and Desmond Coutinho at their marriage ceremony on Thursday.  

In a simple ceremony on Thursday, human rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu married her British partner Desmond Anthony Bellarnine Coutinho in the hill station.

The marriage was solemnised by their signing on a register before sub-registrar M. Radhakrishnan and exchanging garlands.

No company

Ms. Irom, along with Mr. Coutinho, walked through the streets of Kodaikanal from her house near the Observatory to reach the sub-registrar’s office at Moonjikkal. No one accompanied them. Divya Bharathi, director of the short film Kakkoos, welcomed the couple at the office. They signed the register at 11.40 a.m.

“I really feel happy as it is an important moment in my life. Again, I am thanking my fiancé who wholeheartedly and unconditionally stood by me. We are binding together today,” Ms. Irom said.

“I have been waiting for her for the past seven years. She has given me a new life,” said an emotional Mr. Coutinho.

‘Grateful to supporters’

“People in Tamil Nadu are very kind and good. But I did not have freedom for some time recently. All the protests against us were for publicity. But I am grateful to the people who supported me.”

Ms. Bharathi said: “Seeing her in person was my life-time ambition. Participating in her marriage and holding her hand and walking along with her is a great moment for me. It is a matter of great pride for the State to have her marriage solemnised here.”

Representatives of a few sympathetic NGOs and Ms. Irom’s lawyers were present at the wedding.

Police personnel were deployed in and around the sub-registrar’s office.

Reacting to the petitions filed against her, Ms. Irom said that marriage was purely a personal affair and no one had the right to interfere in it.

Five petitions were filed against her proposed wedding, while three NGOs supported it. On August 13, the sub-registrar rejected the objections.


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:30:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/irom-marries-in-kodaikanal-sans-family-and-fanfare/article19512589.ece

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