In 2008, I went through yet another break-up. My girlfriend was cheating on me. Depressed, I thought I’d never find true love. That I would grow old in a very lonely house. I started to search for the meaning of true love. Inevitably, I stumbled upon love stories from South Asia, which struck me as modern day versions of Romeo and Juliet grounded in the Hindu caste system. Yet, when I saw that these lovers face violence, ethnic cleansing and death, and that no one was talking about it, my motivation to tell this story became the hope that it will increase protection of the rights of those who fall in love with untouchables.
Within Nepal, I hope to raise awareness to the rural public about the legal provisions for inter-caste marriage. Much of the abuse of human rights happens because the perpetrators think they are acting within the law. At an international level, I hope to call upon the global community to pressure the government of Nepal to punish those who practice caste-based discrimination, and to pressure Hindu leaders to reform the religion.
I am from Africa. Living in Nepal opened my eyes to the fate of black South Asians. I was so often mistaken for an untouchable, and denied entry into restaurants and people’s houses, simply because of my skin color. And yet no one treats it as racism.
I hope this documentary can play a part not only in promoting the freedom to love, but also in stopping racism, and in compelling Hindu leaders to reform the religion, which is the major source of discrimination.