My take on Inter-Caste Marriages: -
To begin with, I would like to introduce our readers to a term; I’d like to call “Social crime”. It is only slightly different from social evil or injustice. A stark similarity is that the “criminals” in question here do not get punished. Now, old social evils would be Sati, Female infanticide, etc. The crime I’m talking about is a prominent one plaguing our nation largely; compared to other developing countries, even in 2010, the 21st century!
Okay, a scared daughter writes this note to her mother:
I’ve tried subtly hinting to you about this since almost 6 months now. You laughed the seriousness in my attitude towards this, as adolescence even when we got done with college. You know him, Maa. His name is Hussain. He’s been home so often, you’ve served him tea; he’s helped wash your vessels after our family sitting with drinks. In your words, you liked the sweet chap. If all that is acceptable to you maa, then why so much malice towards our relationship? I love him; you know that. And so does he. After what happened last night, you leave us no choice. So, we’re officiating our alliance without your blessings, Maa.
I love you.
One day later the girl reads in the local newspaper that her parents have disowned her.
YOU decide. Is it right on my part to call such an incident a crime or not? If yes, then who has committed a crime? The daughter? Or the mother? Either no one today knows the answer to this question, or no one is brave enough to stand up, only to be shunned by society. Your guess is as good as mine. Okay, so I am going to continue using the term “crime” for such a social evil. I am not going to tell you how the notion against inter-caste marriages has ruined or degraded and damaged society, because we already know that. I am just trying to rationalize with that sect of society who believes otherwise.
Now I am going to divide society into two parts.
1. The Foolish: who have been made to believe due to their being uneducated and illiterate, that successful marriages are only possible if both individuals belong to the same caste and religion.
2. The Even-More Foolish: who in spite of being educated people with apparent thinking minds, living in urban setups, still believe that successful marriages are only possible if both individuals belong to the same caste and religion.
Finally people today have started realising the importance of compatibility, co-operation and compromise over differences in praying mannerisms, idol worship colour and shapes. “Pooja” is happy with “Hussain” today because they understand each other, adore each other, and not because Lord Krishna and Allah have blessed them separately. People long so much for compatibility these days, that the result has been the mindless “Shaadi.com”, and its other versions. I am not crediting our generation for this, but I am crediting the overall change in mindset. If Emperor Akbar could have a 4 foot blue idol of Lord Krishna in his personal darbar (at least according to Ashutosh Gowariker) in 1605, then why can’t we today, in twenty-ten, just remove this sick, regressive mindset and try taking society forward. No, but what will the neighbour think of us? And what will our neighbour’s neighbour talk of us? This is what stops us right? Always longing for the validation of others. Our people need to remember one thing. We are the eyes of this hypocritical society we live in. If we shut our eyes and (literally) blindly keep taking rounds around fire, we are eventually going to be inflicted with vertigo and fall. Society will fall. Just widen your view frame, look at a marriage from a larger, more practical perspective, and not like a cumbersome, forced setup and the marriage will be more than just 4 special wedding days. Then nor Pooja’s Krishna will come down to earth and felicitate you, and nor will Hussain’s Allah grant you salvation; BUT you will be happy, so will your family and friends, and so society on the whole will progress. If everyone thinks like that, then the question of validation from others does not even arise. It’s as simple as if everyone stops littering, there will be no garbage on the streets. Adding to that, if marriages are made in heaven, then I am sure that there is one big “Matrimonial Table”, where even Jesus is allowed to sit.
Marriages are regarded as the most important social custom and hence, were viewed as the best means to remove the barrier of caste system. Films like “Ek Duje Ke Liye” and even the very recent “Jodhaa Akbar” actually propagate that. Education has broadened the periphery of thinking and helped people develop analytical powers. It has not only altered their perception about life, but also about social concerns such as marriage and . Inter caste and inter religion marriages serves as a beacon light for social equality and I always compare marriage to communism. They're both institutions that don't conform to human nature. In order to break the perils of caste-system, it has becomes incumbent that there should be inter-caste marriages.
“For two people in a marriage to live together day after day, is unquestionably the one miracle both, the Vatican and Jesus have overlooked.”
- Bill Cosby.