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Does "love make the world go 'round," or does religion, tradition and society? The computer science student at the University of Michigan, agreed to share her story with Hinduism Today on the basis of anonymity.Neha met Mohsin Ali at a party which her elder brother held four years ago. "I was always very friendly and had no reservations about race or religion.

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He proposed to me and I wanted to say yes, but he wanted me to convert to Islam. It got to the point that I was too scared to step out of the house. She sighs, relieved, and says, "after what I've been through, I know that religion matters. That's only the beginning." To girls her age she suggests: "Think before you leap into an inter religious relationship.Mohsin was the way he was because of his upbringing. Don't do it if you can't be honest to those around you and to yourself." Is Neha's experience the rule or the exception?"We hold forums for both parents and teenagers about dating, etc.," says Bina, head of Sahara's Youth Chapter.Sahara gets a lot of calls from parents, worried about their children dating people of different races and religions.He says, "We should judge people for their character, not their religion." How concerned are parents about their sons and daughters finding interreligious partners?

"They are very concerned," emphatically shares Bina Parekh (left), of Sahara, a hot/line counseling center in California serving the Indian community.

My children have been raised in this country, so I don't expect them to marry a Hindu." Asked if there was any opposition from the Hindu community, Mrs. Interreligious marriages are quite common now." Happily married for four years, Raghu and Christina have successfully integrated Hindu and American culture. He says, "I believe your faith is your way of life.

They have two sons, Andrew and Austin, who are being brought up with a blend of Hindu and Christian principles. Ellaru agreed: "We are happy with whatever they choose to do." Mrs. If your life partner shares the same faith, you share a common philosophy in which you can bring up your children.

Eventually Neha told her elder brother who replied, "It's your life and your choice to make.

But if our parents find out, don't count me in." Neha was shocked to hear her brother's words.

How would they react if they knew about Mohsin, her Muslim boyfriend!