Social and human rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu married her British partner Desmond Anthony Bellarnine Coutinho in the hill station of Kodaikanal in Tamilnadu yesterday in a simple ceremony. The marriage was solemnised by their signing on a register before sub-registrar M. Radhakrishnan when the garlands were exchanged.
Earlier, the bride and the groom walked all the way from the bride’s house near the Observatory to the Sub-Registrar’s office which is located at Moonjikkal. They were welcomed by famed director, Divya Bharathi of short film Kakkoos(against who a case has been registered by the Tamilnadu Police).
“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 Coutinho who continued further adding “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.”
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.”
Despite five petitions were filed against her proposed wedding, three NGOs supported it. Irom hit back on the ones who opposed saying that her marriage is a private affair and no one has any rights to interfere in it.