98.3 FM, Delhi’s hottest radio station has once again brought sunshine in the life of its listeners. It is said that Love has no boundaries and this time the season 4 of FLAT 983 contest was designed to award the couples who fought against all odds and put their love over and above their religious and caste differences.
Adding spark in the life of the beautiful couple ‘Esha and Prashant’Radio Mirchihorned them as the winner of the marquee campaign ‘FLAT 9823’.The love story of Esha, a catholic from a wealthy political family in Goa and Prashant, a Hindu with a humble background from Bihar is a complete Bollywood flick with a disapproving father. To achieve each other for the whole life, the couple bravely went through abductionand series of police investigations, court cases that made headlines in press.
In the fourth season, when love jihad and beef ban are trending on social platforms, Radio Mirchi’s marquee campaign is gained huge popularity among the Mirchi listeners. The contest was kick-started in September. Mirchi invited entries ON AIR of couples who had put love before religion.The entries started pouring in just after the first announcement and after screening all the entries in-depth, the most persuasive stories were selected as the 5 top finalists. These top 5 finalists were then open for audience votes. The final result had equal weightage to public votes and jury panel.
Commenting on the initiative Nitin Singh, Station Head, Radio Mirchi Delhi said, “We at Radio Mirchi have always made a statement with our campaigns. A lot of people will perhaps dislike the idea of promoting inter -religious marriages but we believe this is the essence of the country that we live in – secularity.”
Sunny Katyal, Director-Marketing Investors Clinic whose company put its weight behind the campaign each year believes that this brave campaign will push the envelope and encourage young couples who succumb to societal pressures of religion and caste. Adding on the occasion Mr. Katial said, “In the past, I have helped one of my dear friends to marry someone he dearly loved but the family protested due to religious differences. I believe love should be above and beyond everything”.
Among the top finalists, the stories of the following couples had made it to the final round of the selection procedure:
Ravinderand Shilpa – Ravinder, a Gehlot. Shilpa, a Kadyan. They were from different villages, their gotras were different. Panchayats from 12 villages gathered and declared their wedding illegal. Ostracized, their marriage declared incestuous, both have faced the tribulations of a medieval epic together. Their house was repeatedly stoned and their water connection cut off.. 7 years and Ravinder is still struggling with death threats and can only go to his village with Police security.
Ghazal and Kuldeep – A muslim girl from lucknow and a digambarjain boy from Rann of Katch Gujarat. Kuldeep, a hard core vegetarian who doesn’t even touch garlic/onion, knew it was going to be a hard sail convincing his parents for Ghazal, a non vegetarian. And it was not just the food habits which were different. The language, culture, standard of living, educational qualifications…they had nothing in common but love for each other.
Niby and Mrinmoy – Niby, a catholic malyali and mrinmoy, a hindubengali were childhood sweethearts and next door neighbours. The day Niby’s family heard about the relationship she was beaten up and thrown out of the house. The couple then tied the knot and the girl’s family severed all ties with them.They worship both Christ and Durga and their little daughter is equally excited about upcoming Durga Puja and Christmas.
Ambreen Arun – Ambreen came from a conservative Muslim family residing in Nizamuddin and Arun was a Malyali Hindu. Ambreen was beaten up and thrown out of the house the day her dad got to know about their court marriage. She kept pursuing him but he would not budge. It was only after years that her dad started speaking to her. All this while she was declared dead by her father to their family members. Ambreen believes that though Arun and her dad now share a great camaraderie, her dad has not gotten over the past yet.