As an adult of the 21st century, there are barely any points that I have to prove that an inter-caste marriage has disadvantages. There are no disadvantages as much as there are hurdles and difficulties.
But this statement is easy to make for an urban kid. Will an Indian couple belonging to different castes in rural Indian villages be able to pass the same statement?
Recently, a Marathi movie ‘Sairat’ was released and surprisingly it got an overwhelming response from audiences of different age-groups, which I must say was a pleasant surprise. For those of you who haven’t heard of the movie, the movie is based on honor killings.
It definitely have more positive points than negative ones. But whatever few negative points it has been absolutely dreadful and ghastly.
There are some serious negative aspects of not the inter-caste marriage itself but the after-effects of it. Inter-religion marriages are even more of social stigma and taboo. What are these points? Let us have a look at them:
Disapproval of family
As sad as that sounds, yes, that does happen. Sometimes, despite all the best efforts in the world, the families are just not convinced and comfortable with the idea of their child having an inter-caste marriage. In some cases, families break all their ties with their child and his/her spouse and abandon them.
Not just that, some relatives make sure that they provide life-long torture of humiliation and embarrassment to the parents of the couple.
Most of the time, this is the major reason for disapproval from families. In worst cases, the families of the couple, despite abandoning their children who went ahead with an inter-caste marriage, are banished from the community.
What exactly is society? And why should one care about their views and opinions? Are we not literate enough to know what is good for us and what isn’t? Why should someone else decide who I should spend the rest of my life with?
If only people came up with such questions. Sadly, a lot of people don’t.
The so-called ‘society’ ruins an inter-caste marriage couple’s life. The couple is banished from the community altogether. Even today, inter-caste marriages are a social stigma.
The couple is humiliated and denigrated in public. They are made to feel ashamed of their decision of inter-caste marriage. Some extremely sick-minded people think that inter-caste marriage is a result of excessive libido.
Yes, that’s true; some people do actually have such gross mind-sets. If you think this isn’t horrible enough, I have some more disastrous effects of inter-caste marriage for you.
‘Khap Panchayats’ are unauthorized bodies in India who are strong haters of inter-caste marriages. They have passed heinous verdicts of killing a couple of inter-caste marriage brutally and publicly to make sure the other youths don’t opt for inter-caste marriages.
Here’s a clip of Aamir Khan’s famous show SATYAMEV JAYATE’s episode based on honor killings and ‘Khaps’:
Harassment from the spouse’s family
If after numerous pleadings, the families do agree to the union of two people belonging to different castes, another problem may arise. In some families with backward and rigid thinking, the family might ask for a huge sum of dowry.
If their wishes aren’t taken care of, they might physically and mentally torture the daughter-in-law/son-in-law. There are cases reported by many people who have an inter-caste marriage that they regularly get death threats from their spouse’s family.
The son-in-law/daughter-in-law is always isolated during public and social events. They are talked of very lowly in public by their in-laws. There are numerous other problems.
The couple’s inability and lack of mutual acceptance to deal with each other
Now, this is something that can’t be blamed on other people. Sometimes, if couples rush into the decision of an inter-caste marriage without having spent enough time with each other to know and understand each other and their respective cultures well, it may have some repercussions.
As every day passes by, if you aren’t comfortable with your spouse’s culture, there is a possibility of constant arguments and superiority/inferiority complex. In an inter-caste marriage, as important as it is to know each other as human beings, it is also important to understand each other’s cultures.
I have also read instances where couples have separated because they couldn’t agree upon what should be the religious upbringing of their children. Yes, this is the outcome of an inter-caste marriage where people fail when it comes to compatibility.
The ultimate point here is that don’t rush into not just inter-caste marriages but any other kind of marriage if you are not sure of what you will be able to deal with and whatnot.
Inter-caste marriages are definitely a boon to modern thinking and advanced society, but they are also a big step. Different cultures, different people may be a little difficult to adapt to; it is not easy and the same for everyone.