Is the caste barrier breaking due to increased love marriages in India?

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Caste system in India is as old as Indian civilization itself. Indian society is moreover known for its brahminical dominance in its societal set up. Since time immemorial, caste system has proved to be a big barrier so far as free intermingling of various clans, tribes and groups. This fact has only proved to strengthen further the caste system in India. The so called upper caste has sidelined the other strata’s of the Indian society. Thus, caste system and its associated taboos have gained ground in the Indian society with the passage of time. Therefore, the age-old caste system has got great impetus. For Sociologist and the branch of study Sociology, caste and its study as the barrier in the very interaction of one another has provided various vistas which only prove it to be a barrier in this regard.   

At the same time, change is the essence of time. Change engulfs each and every domains of life. It further provides food for thought for the times to come as to shape our destiny in the near future. The phenomenon of caste barrier visa-a-vise love marriages by involving two different castes is not akin to it. Love as a concept is known for its magnanimity. The word ‘love’ as it encompasses under its domain is all encompassing. Thus, love marriages in our society have certainly led us to a new vision so far as looking at caste system and its dictates are concerned. These all have certainly put a check on caste barrier and thereby proving that, if not totally but, to a large extent the caste barrier is breaking due to love marriages.

The present generation youths are in the grip of their materialistic pursuits. The very concept of materialism runs on money. More money in one’s hand means certainly more luxuries in life. Moreover, in the changing family set-up our youths feel socially insecure. Thus, earning by both the husband and the wife is a common trend today in the Indian society. Coupled with it more closer interaction between youths irrespective of gender or any other considerations have made love marriages more common. This fact also includes caste considerations too. What has added a succor to this development is the fast penetration of smart phones and the much hyped IT revolution which has added to more love affairs. This is so only because today messages and information in love relationship can be shared by only a press of the button.

All these developments have made the grip of casteism and its barriers to slacken especially in the last few decades. On the contrary it has made love marriages more common in the Indian society. It was earlier believed that marriages are made in heaven. Now, it seems that it is more made in the click of the eyes involving the boy and the girl as involved in the love affair. All these have added a new dimension to the Indian society so far as its outlook towards casteism and increasing love marriages are concerned. This trend in the negative side has added to more stress, tension and anarchy in the Indian family set up. All these developments in the Indian society have itself changed our outlook towards all the dimensions of Indian life.

Yes, it is true that caste barrier is breaking due to increased love marriages in India but this trend too is not free from objections. The Khap Panchayats in the cow belt in general and in Haryana in particular is showing to a large extent its dictates. As a result, in large number of cases young boys and girls have lost their lives due to the punishment as inflicted by these Khap Panchayats. Here, it is worth pondering as to what is the way out of this trend. The answer seems to lie in the fact of relooking life and conjugal relationship from a new dimension. This new dimension must help us to overcome caste based barrier and at the same time establishing a sense of probity in the Indian society. Here I would like to conclude by stating a few words from the ‘Platonic theory of justice’ as enunciated in Political thought which states “everybody should set his own house in order and be an image of justice”. 

-JNANDEEP BORA

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