Life is beautiful… or so I thought it was! I was into my second year of college, surrounded by my best friends, teachers who trusted us and encouraged us in all our college activities. For me, life was all about Mom and Dad, my college, my room-mates and Books… my fantasy books – my entire shelf of Mills & Boons!
Ok, I was not a crackpot who dreamt of a silly prince charming coming on a horse to take me away to the land of love!! Well, I always knew the truth of life and believed in staying in it rather than getting carried away by my emotions. I believed in true love and it didn’t matter whether I found it in an arranged marriage or a Love marriage. It was then… that I met my love, my then friend and my now Husband! Yes, I was lucky that my parents accepted our relation despite of the fact that he is a Gujarati and I a Bengali! But the story wasn’t the same for my room-mate. For her family, inter-caste marriage was a crime.
Brought up in a Brahmin Bengali family, Anandita (name changed) was the sweetest Bengali girl I had ever come across. A brilliant cook, excellent in studies and beautiful in her most simple appearance, it was not difficult for any guy to fall in love with her. And even Deep (name Changed), one of her classmates, couldn’t deny the attraction he felt for her. Love blossomed and they were happy in their small world. For both of them, this was their Forever! Deep introduced Anandita to his parents, who happily approved the relation and asked her to talk to her parents who lived back in Kolkata. She knew her parents loved her and would easily approve of their relation. But, she was wrong!
We were now doing studying in our Masters, and Deep had enrolled himself into a University in Australia, a place where he wished to settle with Anandita. It was now the right time for her to talk to her parents about her relation with Deep. Looking for the right time, Anandita spoke to her parents about Deep. The next thing she knew, was that her parents took her back to Kolkata and shunned her education and threatened of getting her married to a Bengali Brahmin guy ASAP. For them, Inter-Caste Marriage was out of question. They believed in continuing a pure bloodline and didn’t want their daughter to corrupt their believes and traditions. For more than a month, Anandita was not allowed to leave her home. Her teachers kept calling her parents, pleading them to allow their daughter to finish her college. Finally, she accepted their demands, said yes to the guy her parents chose for her, got engaged and moved on with her life.
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Why No to Inter-Caste Marriage?
‘Brahmin ho, Brahmin ladke se hi shaadi hogi. Varna tere tukde kardunga!’
‘ Paap he ye! Ghar ki izzat utaregi??’
‘Pair todd dunga agar us ladke se Baat karegi.’
Aren’t these some of the lines we hear when we tell our parents about our love or ask their permission for inter-caste marriage?
What is wrong with Inter-Caste Marriage? I don’t see any reason why people should deny it. I have a happy married life, my husband loves me like never before, I have a beautiful daughter who speaks both Gujarati and Bengali, my in-laws are happy with me and my parents are happy to have found a son in my husband. We celebrate all the festivals together, whether it is Navratri or the Durga Puja! We teach our innocent daughter the value of life, love and respect! She worships every God and Goddess, loves eating both Bengali fish curry and Gujarati thepla!
Is It An Urban or Rural Mind-block?
According to a survey, only 5% of the Indian marriages are Inter-Caste. The percentage was a little higher in the urban cities as compared to the rural areas. But with people now living in bigger cities, the percentage of inter-caste marriages is now increasing slowly. Still, there are a lot of communities and people who still consider inter-caste marriage as a heinous act. There are still cases of young couples being punished or beheaded due to inter-caste marriages. Some couples elope and never get to live a normal life. They keep running and living a life in hiding, just because they dared to love. Is love a mistake?
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