Marriage is an integral part of any culture anywhere in the world. In India, this word depicts a completely different culture of age-old traditions and prejudices, especially, when it is an arranged marriage.
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Here, a marriage does not happen between a man and a woman. Rather it happens between two families of the bride and groom, their castes, religious beliefs, social standards, horoscopes, birth signs and such an unending list of objects and issues. If everything matches, the marriage proposal gets the green signal.
HOW DOES CASTE PLAY A ROLE?
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But what if nothing matches the pre-set social norms? What if it is an inter-caste marriage where the boy is a Muslim and the girl is a Hindu Brahmin? A few decades ago, such a match was unthinkable; it could even incite a communal riot between the two communities. The scene would not have been different even if both the girl and boy are from the same religion but different castes. A union between upper caste and lower caste was beyond any possibility as it would have brought shame to the upper caste family.
But, that is “past.” India has walked past those days of sheer blinding prejudices. Today, inter-caste marriage does not pose a big threat to both the communities, caste no more plays a spoilsport, and zodiac signs and stellar predictions have long shed their I-can-see-your-future-from-here status. The Gen Y of India is smart enough to make its own choice when it comes to marriage and strong enough to face any difficulties coming in its way. Whether it’s bending those medieval rules or mending ways or setting up examples for others – this young generation is bravely pushing the social boundaries and stigmas with their clear rationale.
ISSUES WHICH HAUNT THE INDIAN SCENARIO
Hold on for a second if it all starts sounding fairy-tale-like. There are still some issues, which are holding back the Indian society from fully recovering from its social and religious prejudices about marriage.
While urban India has embraced the changes in thoughts and perceptions, rural India is still arrogant about its caste system and society-over-anything notion.
In some particular states, honour-killing is still taking lives of those young hearts who dared to go against its pre-historic marriage laws. A love marriage between two rival communities is still considered to be a social crime and humiliation for the respective families and thus, this brutal punishment is being enforced upon the rabble-rousers.
Girls, who are economically dependent on their parents, cannot afford to have a say in choosing their own partners. In most of the cases, it’s the family of the girl that takes all the decisions.
Still, you can see the silver lining. Still we hear about stories where a girl of a remote village shows the courage of cancelling her own marriage to oppose dowry system. Still we see a mixed Punjabi-Christian wedding where the bride and groom first take the vows in pure Punjabi style and then go on and cut the three-tier wedding cake in Christian wedding dress. So, the change is here. Just a bit more waiting and it will be a fairy-tale land that will promise ultimate liberty in marriage.
Reynu joined WomenNow from the beginning on. She loves writing and combines this with her love for India, the country her parents emigrated from to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities. Studying litterature and journalism helped laid the foundation for her writing skills. She is into badminton and an avid runner. Her dream is to live between New York and Mumbai.