Love as an Anti- Institutionalized Regulation in India

The freedom to love in India is thought of as a crime. Arranged marriages that are not based on love have been a customary norm and tradition for a long time in India. It is argued that this organization of marriage is practical, logical, and important to the political agenda in India. However, over the past few decades, love marriages have been a new trend in India. Young people have been encouraged by growing “love” media to seek a spouse for love. This path of self-fulfillment traveled by an increasing amount of young people in India defies the strict community norms and family traditions. Overall, love has become “a symbolic and real form of contestation” in India. The turmoil created by the opposing superpowers of human nature and structure, self-fulfillment and politics, has caused a major friction in Indian society.

In the spotlight of Anthropology, an arranged marriage in India is an institutionalized regulation that shapes the cultural structures. The main concern from angered parents and fundamentalists is the increasing number of inter-religious (especially between Muslim Men and Hindu girls) and inter-caste relationships. These relationships are thought of as a crime called the “love jihad”. This runaway love threatens the ideas and ideals of “pure” families and communities and becomes the battleground on which communal tensions and hatred are promoted. People that violate these inter-caste, class, and religious, relationships are disciplined. Through these strict regulations, India is trying to preserve values such as hierarchy. Inter-religious offspring puts a challenge to the hierarchal system that the country has. The rights and duties of kinship that so strictly shape the cultural structure are put at risk when young people marry for love.

In the article, The Freedom To Love, A.R Vasavi, explains the depletion of democracy throughout India, using the freedom to love as a powerful example. The contestation brought about by marriages that are not arranged questions the morality of democratic processes in India. If arranged marriages were used as an institutionalized regulation in America to control caste and religious proscriptions, would our Democracy be strong enough and true enough to allow people to protest against anti-love marriages to support self-fulfillment, or would our Democracy prove to be ask weak as India’s?