India, a country of diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages and beliefs. One can find people of all kinds here. From Ladakh to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to Manipur, we follow different cultures, live differently, eat different food and celebrate different regional festivals, but one thing that ties us together is that we all are Indians.
People all over the country are tied together with one more knot, that of a religious and cultural one. There can be slight changes in the way of life, but religious identity binds them together. There is a long ongoing process in our country of marrying in the same religion or, on the root level, within one’s community. In a way, this has been working successfully in our country for generations.
But what happens when a person wants to marry outside their religion?
Are we ready to accept them?
Britishers came to India in the eighteenth century, introduced several reforms, but then what happened? What they believed is the trickle down effect of reforms and westernisation of society rather than modernisation. They created discernment on individuals in society about their own culture. Instead of acceptability, they created disharmony and further divided the society.
In my opinion, interfaith marriage is sometimes acceptable in the upper-class society, but in reality, those upper class form only 1% of India’s population, the rest is the middle and the lower class population, who tries hard to make ends meet to survive. This deep-cut mark of society that discards interfaith marriage is large. This can be viewed by various instances in present day — criticising ads that promote interfaith marriage, non-acceptability of people who get married outside, lynching of the couple in an interfaith marriage in many towns and villages.
The Indian society, at present, need a lot of reforms. We have to find a way to change the minds of people. If we are able to meet all the needs of the present day India and reform measures are successful, we would be the most successful country in near future.