What is an Inter-caste marriage?

India is a country that comprises of people following thousands of religions and customs. This is the reason why the problem of Inter-caste marriage prevails here at the most. This diversity paves way for various beliefs, rules and traditions to be followed by the respective citizens. Inter-caste marriage refers to the system of marriage which takes place between two people belonging to different social backgrounds or groups. Inter-caste marriages have always been opposed by the society due to the collision of norms and life style. Mostly the religious mentors such as pandits, Brahmans etc. possess a strong feeling of hatred regarding this practice. They feel the person belonging to different caste may offend the gods by not following the essential norms. Also there exists racism. People tend to prove others inferior in respect of belief and devotion towards god. These foul practices have evolved a long time ago and have always managed to create a division between the mass. Inter-caste marriages are the result of love relations. Hence the denial leads to depression and anger in the minds of the young couple and often there are cases of suicide or eloping.

Inter-caste marriage is practiced from a long time in our country. The first case of inter-caste marriage was witnessed on 4th of February, 1889. It was the first Satyashodhaki marriage. Here, the proceedings are quite similar to registered marriage. The bride-groom takes an oath to respect the bride and give her equal opportunities to proceed further in her life. The priests were not pleased with this and went to the court against the couple and their family. There are a number of similar cases from the past where the inter-caste marriage is denied by elder members of the family. They have a notion that these practices may lead to the loss of honor and reputation. So, the couple is tortured by both family and the society. There also exists a humorous reason for the denial of Inter-caste marriage- few people think that the children who are begotten through an inter-caste marriage are not born perfect. All these false superstitions have led our country down. People in India think too much about the society and their criticism.

The dis-approval of these inter-caste marriages led to the loss of national integrity and degrades the society. The people of different castes create a situation of riot and hatred all over the country. It is a fact that no two religions or caste have the same tradition. It is difficult for the couple to manage and adapt to the other caste. But it is not impossible. Once they get used to it, their life can be better. They need encouragement from the elders in order to know each-other’s life style and customs.

What steps can be taken to convince the people to accept the inter-caste marriages trend?

The youth of India should come up with new ideas and ways to convince their elders about Inter-caste marriages. They are the only people who can bring a change in the mentality and belief amongst the elder people. First of all the boy or girl should be introduced properly to the family as a good and dependable friend. The qualities should be made to known to the members of the family. There should be a proper interaction between the boy and the family members. This enhances the trust factor. Once the family starts liking and trusting the boy, the job is half done. But to gain their trust and affection, the boy must be aware of the culture and norms of the family and follow them precisely. Gradually you should make the family realize how the society has always misinterpreted the whole situation and this is a major cause of social riots and frequent suicides. This affects the development of our country too. No parent wants their child to suffer or stay deprived of happiness. If we are able to explain the situation to them precisely, there is every possibility that the elders would readily agree for this kind of marriage. We just need to highlight the truth and make them realize that society is nothing but a bunch of people who have a similar wavelength of minds and are afraid of any kind of changes to occur. We all are a part of this society and we all have the responsibility to improve it in order to enhance the progress of our country.

Steps Taken by the Government

There have been quite a few social activists as well as politicians who encouraged the practice of Inter-caste marriage. The first Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N Annadurai pioneered this practice. According the Special Marriage Act, 1954 Inter-caste marriage is legal and any denial can be legally prosecuted in a court. There are social activists and groups which help in spreading awareness amongst the people regarding the ill effects of rejection of proposal of Inter-caste marriages and also the role it plays in the progress of the nation. There are movies, plays, demonstrations regarding this issue to make the society aware of the facts and drawbacks. Also there are places where these demonstrations or groups of people fail to address. These interiors still live in the old era and often we come to know about suicides and family tortures done in the name of Inter-caste marriages. In-spite of all the efforts done by the government, there are backward people who tend to remain rigid and orthodox. As a result, the children of such families suffer. If they are patient and humble, they agree to their parent’s decision and if they are rebellious they simply elope or commit suicide.

Examples from the Silver-Screen

The most effective way of spreading awareness is films. People always have a tendency to copy the stars and be like them. There are various cases of Inter-caste marriages in Indian cinema. People should be inspired from all such dignitaries and help in the progress of the nation.

Raja Kumar

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