'It's sad that societal barriers like community, religion, gender and age still become a reason for people to give up on their relationships.'
In a startling disclosure, India's badminton ace Saina Nehwal revealed that she had to initially hide her relationship with husband Parupalli Kashyap because of 'societal barriers'.
"I first met Kashyap at our badminton coaching class and eventually, our friendship blossomed into something more. :blush: What more could you ask for than to fall in love with your closest friend?! After spending enough time with him, I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with!," she said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
"But there was one issue that I'm from Haryana and he is from Hyderabad, and inter-community marriages are still quite rare in our country, which is why we had to hide our relationship for the longest time. It's sad that societal barriers like community, religion, gender and age still become a reason for people to give up on their relationships," the Olympic bronze medallist added.
Star Indian shuttlers Saina and Kashyap got married in Hyderabad in December last year. The two were in a relationship for a decade, before they decided to tie the knot.
"This is why @closeupindia's latest #FreetoLove movement is a much needed initiative to fight against these barriers . It takes a stand for many couples who succumb to societal pressures by supporting closeness of all kinds and building a future where all can be #FreeToLove. And I know that we weren't the only people to be afraid of being judged by others, as a survey by @closeupindia highlights that 3 out of 5 individuals believe that they’re not free to be in a relationship with whoever they want. Love should triumph! I am happy about the fact that we didn’t let our communities become a barrier and my hope is everyone should join Closeup's #freetolove movement here: http://freetolove.close-up.com/IN/ and take control of their own love stories!," Saina further stated.
Former World No 1 Saina has won 24 international titles, including an Olympic bronze, Commonwealth Games gold and a silver at the World Championships. Kashyap was ranked as high as World No 6 in 2015 before riddled by injuries that saw him stumble in the men's circuit.