The Trouble with Indian Matrimony: Matchmaker, Make me a Match!

By Gardiner Harris. NEW DELHI — For thousands of years, fathers in India have arranged the marriages of their children, and Garima Pant — like an estimated 95 percent of her millennial peers — was intent on following this most Indian of traditions. Her father found a well-educated man in her caste from a marriage website that features profiles of potential mates and presented his choice to her. And that was when her rebellion began. Pant, a year-old special education teacher, after seeing a picture of a man with streaks of color in his hair. So her father picked another profile. When a profile of a man who intrigued her finally appeared, Ms. Her boldness made the match. By the time the fathers discovered that their families were of the same gotra, or subcaste, generally making marriage taboo, their children had texted and emailed enough that they were hooked.

Matrix of arranged marriage

Bangalore: Netflix Inc. The eight-episode series with its blend of romance, heartbreak and toxic relationships is gaining viewers not just in India, but also in countries like the U. The show is a major win for Netflix, which is competing for eyeballs with Amazon.

Matrix of arranged marriage. (/5). Film: Indian Matchmaking. Director: Smriti Mundhra. Cast: Sima Taparia, Aparna Shewakramani, Jay.

Despite it focusing on a practice that could be seen as archaic and almost out of place in , it was a hit among people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. For those who had never heard of biodatas, star charts and the very concept of arranged marriage, it was maybe a morbid curiosity that got them deeply involved in the exploits of matchmaker Sima Taparia from Mumbai. The quest of its participants to find everlasting love amid the constraints of culture was played out for everyone to see, judge and make memes about.

But this is a reality that many young people face in India and other South Asian countries, where family comes first, second and third. So, does old school matchmaking still work? Can it be used to find true love? Does it have a place in our world today? For the longest period of my life, I thought my parents had a traditionally arranged marriage. In my teen years I pieced together information casually dropped sarcastically by relatives and realised that it was not!

My dad worked as a lab tech in the same college that my mom worked towards her nursing degree and they had a few conversations. Soon after he left for a job overseas but came to know through his brother that my mom was getting arranged marriage proposals.

Indian Matchmaking: Why Netflix’s New Show On Arranged Marriages Has Kicked Up Controversy

This book is an extensive and thorough exploration of the ways in which the middle class in India select their spouse. Using the prism of matchmaking, this book critically unpacks the concept of the ‘modern’ and traces the importance of moralities and values in the making of middle class identities, by bringing to the fore intersections and dynamics of caste, class, gender, and neoliberalism. The author discusses a range of issues: romantic relationships among youth, use of online technology and of professional services like matrimonial agencies and detective agencies, encounters of love and heartbreak, impact of experiences of pain and humiliation on spouse-selection, and the involvement of family in matchmaking.

In some cultures a professional matchmaker may be used to find a spouse for a young person. This is in contrast to forced marriages, where either the bride or.

The Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia delivers this meme-friendly one-liner in the seventh episode of the hit Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. But she departs from this well-worn model in her attention to one extra characteristic: caste. This silent shadow hangs over every luxurious living room she leads viewers into. She lumps an entire social system, which assigns people to a fixed place in a hierarchy from birth, together with anodyne physical preferences.

This prejudiced treatment includes, but is hardly limited to, workplace discrimination in the United States. For example, the state of California sued the tech company Cisco in June for allegedly failing to protect a Dalit employee from discrimination by his higher-caste Brahmin managers. When a popular show like Indian Matchmaking neglects this alarming fact of the Indian American experience, it quietly normalizes caste for a global audience. Contrary to what some viewers might think, the caste system is an active form of discrimination that persists in India and within the Indian American diaspora.

One of the primary functions of arranged marriage is maintaining this status quo. That explains why people in dominant castes often carry out brutal violence against their own family members who dare to marry outside their caste, particularly if a partner is Dalit. Last year, in Maharashtra, a father reportedly doused his daughter and her Dalit husband in kerosene and lit them on fire to condemn their intercaste marriage.

These attacks are part of a pattern of families punishing relatives for rejecting marriages arranged on the basis of caste.

Unless You’re Brown, ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is Not Yours to Criticize

What influences our youth to set aside their enterprising, free-wheeling spirit to follow the well-trodden path of arranged marriages? Part of the answer lies in the deep socialisation process, which is woven into the fabric of the close-knit extended Indian family, and its rootedness in the larger network of society. The young too seem to believe in the cultural definition of marriage as a family affair, rather than an individual undertaking.

Indian Matchmaking, the desi reality show wedged between horror & rom-com follows NRIs in US who are pushed into arranged marriages.

I was in the middle of an editorial meeting at the newspaper I worked for in when it came out of nowhere: an overwhelming sense of fear, the trembling hands, the absolute certainty that my heart was going to burst out of my chest. It would be years before I understood that what I had experienced that day — and would on three subsequent occasions — was a panic attack.

I was 24, and just two hours before, my parents had called to ask me to be home on time that night. I had no intention of watching it. I had been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt and made a bonfire from it. It is a practice that is followed in several Middle Eastern countries, Japan and Turkey, among others. They all came recommended through friends and family, that larger collective that works very hard to bring together not two individuals but two families — mirror images of one another, both wearing a thick cloak of respectability going back generations — into a union, under the guise of pragmatism, that promotes caste and economic hegemony.

Vyasar, as he worries throughout the show, would have indeed found the going very tough. What did I mean I was uncomfortable with the questions he asked? I should give him the benefit of doubt: marriage is a compromise. After all, marriage is about compromise.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ might be controversial but it’s helping Netflix in battle for India

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, but need love too — couples redefine arranged marriage. Outlook August 02, IST Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, but need love too — couples redefine arranged marriage outlookindia. The times are changing, but slowly. Singh, who works at a government regulatory organisation, had one non-negotiable condition.

She would not give up her job.

Outrage-centric TRPs of Indian Matchmaking aside, here is what millennials have to both good and bad, with the arranged marriage process. Society Your used gadget still has a use: It can launch a child’s online class.

It works like this in South Asia, at least:. These initial marriages are then filtered by social and economic considerations like class, income, education, profession, religion and https. The write-ups are accompanied with photographs. Usually, a studio man in a flattering angle. The picture is the clincher. A close-up to check for childhood acne and make-up marriages. The girls shortlist their photographs as how. She swipes left and how on the quora, as her parents look over her shoulder helplessly.

Matchmaking

Your spouse is just a set of qualifications to finally one-up your neighbours or your rival at work. Stagnant social mobility, casteist educational institutions and economic inequality glom together to create families, neighbourhoods, schools, colleges and work places where everyone has similar incomes and wealth, lifestyles, intellectual interests and ambitions.

In other words, the metrics of compatibility all conspire towards upholding oppressive structures. Practicing hyper-individuality to stand out on dating apps is disenchanting, having your personhood disregarded completely is no better. Marital rape is still legal in India.

and Patnayakuni’s “Online matrimonial sites and the transformations of arranged marriage in India” () and Sharma’s “Caste on Indian Marriage dot-com.

Follow Us. We go behind the scenes of the Netflix show that has taken over our Instagram feeds with the two women instrumental in bringing it to life. In her twenties, Indian-American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra vacillated between blueprinting the creative life she sought and a more conservative vision touted by her family. Her latest endeavour, Indian Matchmaking , is a brand-new Netflix series featuring Mumbai-based alliance consultant Sima Taparia and a clutch of happily-ever-after hopefuls, split between the US and India.

At first blush, viewers may suspect the eight-part reality series, which debuted worldwide on July 16, is the South Asian answer to Dating Around , another courtship-centric series from the streaming giant. But a closer look reveals that Indian Matchmaking , steered by the straight-shooting Taparia, is a nuanced portrayal of a practice in flux. Smriti Mundhra: It was Sima! She was my matchmaker back in the day.

My previous project, A Suitable Girl , which featured her, was meant to be a coming-of-age film about young women in India but there was this whole world of matchmaking that Sima embodied that was just as revealing about our culture and our biases. When I had the opportunity to pitch Netflix in , I mentioned Sima and what she represented.

The evolution of marriage, from strictly arranged to semi-arranged

Once the Indian Matchmaking series aired, nobody could keep calm. But on the flip-side, the show ends on a high with the cutest couples celebrating growing old together, most of them having been married for over 30 years—all arranged. Finding a trusted matchmaker in India can be a task of its kind. What one must ensure before anything else is:. Do a research on prospective matchmakers you are willing to consult for your arrangement.

I learned about Netflix’s new show Indian Matchmaking during a phone call with my dad. In the arranged marriage process, strong independent women are expected My dad did the work of poring through profiles online.

The times are changing, but slowly. Singh, who works at a government regulatory organisation, had one non-negotiable condition. She would not give up her job. Her parents were keen on the caste factor but soon gave in to what she wanted. So, Singh met and interacted with at least 10 men, some for even a few months, before zeroing in on Aditya Fogat, now her husband. They got married within 10 months of meeting but not before falling in love with each other. Delhi-based business consultant Mudit Varshney got married last month.

We initially connected over the fact that both of us have twin siblings. Treading the fine line between tradition and modernity, people like Singh and Varshney are among those who believe emotional and intellectual compatibility take precedence over social factors like caste, and aligned goals and ambitions are a priority over physical attributes like complexion and height.

Love marriage and arranged marriage