Love Commandos: How One Group in India is Fighting For Love Sean Morrow

There are some jobs that just sound totally badass purely from the job title: Nazi hunter, chaos theoretician, warlock, stuntperson, jet fighter, HelloGiggles contributor, and so on. None of these, however, sound as totally awesome as “Love Commando.”

The Love Commandos do exactly what it sounds like they do, they protect love. Sounds awesome, right? It is. But then you think about it for a minute–if they’re protecting love, that means that someone else is attempting to quash love–the existence of the Love Commandos necessitates some kind of anti-love force for them to commandoalize against. How could someone be anti-love? It seems like an insane position to take. Let me (with a little help from the BBC) tell you a bit about Rajveer and Madhuri, and how the Love Commandos helped them.

Rajveer and Madhuri are in their early 20s, live in India, and are in love. But quote the BBC, “…when Rajveer and Madhuri told their families they wanted to marry, the answer was a resounding “no”. Rajveer’s family are Thakurs, or landowners. Madhuri’s are Banias, or traders. Apparently incompatible.” See, Rajveer had been in love with Madhuri since his teens, but because they weren’t of the same social class, their families didn’t approve of their love. Their families were the anti-love entity.

That’s where the Love Commandos come in. According to their own website, they are “a voluntary organization in India dedicated to helping India’s lovebirds who want to marry for love. We provide assistance in protecting couples, helping them fight harassment and giving them shelter so they can marry freely.” How awesome is that? When a couple falls in love in India, and familial pressure doesn’t allow them to be together, the Love Commandos step in and fight for what is right—love. Unfortunately it’s not all love and happiness, the Love Commando intervention led to some violence against Rajveer and Madhuri, violence the Love Commandos were meant to protect against.  The BBC article quoted above has a great in-depth look at the specifics of Rajveer and Madhuri’s romance, and the Love Commando hand in it.

Now listen, I’m not from India. I’m not fully acquainted with Indian culture. I have absolutely no right to say “still having a caste system and arranged marriages is absurd.” That is not my prerogative, I can’t judge a culture from outside. I will however argue that it is always wrong to suppress the personal choice of others, especially when it comes to love. If two people want to spend the rest of their lives together, there is no acceptable argument to the contrary. They should be allowed to do it. Mutual love is an inalienable human right. No one should ever be able to keep two (or more) people from spending their life together if they so please. No cultural norms make being anti-love okay.

The Love Commandos use the phrase “love marriage” as a term for what it is they protect. I argue that “love marriage” shouldn’t even need to be a phrase, because marriage should be love marriage. This isn’t Game of Thrones, lifelong romantic commitments aren’t about socio-politics, they’re about love. Politics should not play into love, the opinion’s of others should not play into love. Love should play into love. That’s it.

An obvious Western corollary to a discussion of love and politics is gay marriage. Gay marriage is the kind of political issue where there is the intelligent side and the unintelligent side. There’s a right and wrong. Homosexual couples should be allowed to get married and any argument to the contrary is incorrect. It’s just common sense. If you don’t support gay marriage you’re kind of like someone standing on the escalator of society—you’re impeding every one else’s progress for literally no good reason. Just a combination of hate, disregard for others, and laziness.

In early 70′s San Francisco, there was an under-the-radar group fighting for the right of gays to love in peace. Similar to the Love Commandos, the group worked against  current societal values to fight for the right to love. The group, run by an openly gay Kung Fu Reverend (talk about a badass job title!) called them selves the Lavender Panthers, and roamed the streets of San Fran with “chains, billy clubs, whistles and cans of red spray paint,” protecting homosexuals from persecution. The Kung Fu Reverend Ray Broshears, told Time Magazine (in 1973) “Middle America has always had a little tinge of homophobia, but I’ve had it up to here. All this queer bashing has simply got to stop.”

The Love Commandos and the Lavender Panthers both fought (and in the case of the Commandos are still fighting) for what is right: love. Do you believe that love is worth fighting for? Is it ever OK to tell someone they’re not allowed to love another? Let me know in the comments!

Image via Shutterstock

 

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  1. LOVE KNOWING THIS EXISTS! I remember, after watching “Brokeback Mountain” on Valentine’s Day when it premiered in Ireland (where homosexuality was just legalized in 1993), emerging from the theater (theatre) snot-nosed & blinded by tears. After walking back to our flats with a gaggle of, like 10, girls, I drafted the “International Laws of Love.” Ink smeared & ran as gobs of lingering tears soaked my journal’s pages. I will never forget that feeling, innate like love for a baby: wanting so badly to defend what is only natural & beautiful. What keeps us going. Glad to know it’s real. (And completely agree w above 2 comments: Hannah & Alycia.)

  2. The beatles said it best “all you new is love” which is why I don’t understand why so many people try to take it away from us. Love is always worth fighting for, it’s just sad it has to be fought for at all in the first place.

  3. I think it’s great you acknowledge that it isn’t necessarily possible to judge a culture from the outside. In most of the world, marriage is a political and legal entity, and while love does exist, the idea that only love leads to happiness is a very Western and ethnocentric sentiment. I do agree though that personal choice can trump tradition, so while I usually have no problem with the existence of arranged marriages (so long as both parties are agreeable and of a decent age, etc, culture is complicated, etc), if two individuals make a collective decision then I hope not much would stand in their way.

  4. Couldn’t agree more with your article! There just can’t be – or shouldnt be – any sort of obstacle to true love! It’s rare enough to be protected and fought for! Go, go, go Love Commando!

  5. Bad ass Now I know what I want to be when I grow up