Everything should get much easier after you’ve found someone you can really love and respect, someone with whom you can build a foundation for a happy partnership which will, hopefully, last a lifetime. Alas, that is not always the case, especially in India.
India’s caste system is, unfortunately, still alive and kicking, even though there are a lot of people trying to knock down those social-culture walls. The caste system forbids marriage outside the caste, and the whole country’s society has been based on this discriminating system for centuries. In fact, it was so rooted, that it took decades for India to simply come out of the idea and to acknowledge the possibility of the existence of inter-caste marriages. Acknowledge, but not accept.
Luckily, younger generations are substantially more open to the idea of marrying someone out of their own caste, and the percentage of inter-caste marriages has risen over of the course of the last few years. This was achieved by many social reformers and individuals who battled to free India’s society out of the clutches of the caste system, racial discrimination, and the “untouchable” factor. However, even when two people, who don’t share the same caste, decide to live their lives as they please after falling in love, and finally get married, they’re still not completely out of the water. Inter-caste couples face a lot of social challenges, especially if the live in rural parts of India.
Inter-Caste Marriages In Cities
The city culture in India is much more open to the idea and existence of inter-caste couples. During the last few years, people in cities realized what it actually takes to have a successful marriage, and that that list doesn’t include factors like having the same religion and being in the same caste. Education played a huge role in this battle, and a lot of inter-caste marriages happily exist thanks to it.
The majority of city folk are open to the idea of two people, who come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, sharing a life together. Still, there are those who openly defy this modern and righteous way of life, and their several organizations try to bring India “back on the right path” by openly despising any sort of reform.
Inter-Caste Marriages In Villages
A different story still plays out in basically all villages in India, and it’s a scary story indeed. As education is not so developed in rural parts of the country, the caste system still digs deep into the mindset of every older individual. Young people in villages are more open to inter-caste marriages by default, but their (correct) way of thinking gets quickly trampled on by their parents, grandparents, and basically everyone in their community that’s older than them.
The village population is extremely rigid and they prefer that their children marry “the old way,” as it represents “the right values and way of life.” If a village inter-caste couple gets married despite their families’ thoughts on the matter, they get disowned. And that’s if they’re lucky. There are numerous reports of both mental and physical tortures upon the couple, and even of wives attempting suicide or being murdered. They cannot walk freely without being ashamed and they are basically forced to move by the acts of people in their environment.