I see arranged marriages all around me. Even among the educated lot of Indian society, the word “love marriage” is “filmy” and somewhat filthy. Behind closed doors, in drawing rooms, everywhere people mutter and whisper that X married Y and they knew each other beforehand! How shameful! I think the key words here are “middle class”. Indian middle class has to somehow discern the upper class and the lower class from itself. As the thinning boundaries and its growing ambitions make the job difficult day by day, the middle class works on certain sturdy definitions that define it and keep it grounded.
One such notion defining it is the higher sense of morality which feeds its ego. It is like saying, “Look! We have risen above ground and touching new heights but, we still haven’t forgotten (unlike you!) where we come from and what we were spoonfed with; and that we will continue to plant the saplings of the very same ideology into the minds of posterity. This notion is kind of ok at certain points but, when it starts taking the shape of intolerance, it needs to be met with an iron hand. Else, we’d all continue to do the same mistakes our forefathers did without learning from them… because it would be a liability. We know it’s wrong but, it ought to be right because our forefathers lived their whole lives on it.
Just like the line between middle class and the so-called progressive class, there is a gap of generations. The upper member of this gap needs to somehow negotiate tactfully its way through rationalism. The walls of faith need to remove their blindfold and it would be heartening to see if it happens without a hard fought revolt.
Speaking for myself, I am glad I didn’t find myself into this cultural clash as I am not as deeply in love with anyone that I would fight my parents to marry her. I would need to negotiate my way through though when the time comes… until then, the waters are calm. Any ripples?