A. R. Vasavi’s article “The Freedom to Love” discusses the culture of arranged marriage in India, and the recent protests that have come up against them. The article explains how love, particularly romantic love, is glorified in most parts of the world, but such has not always been the case in India. The theory in India is that parents should choose a spouse for their child because parents are older and wiser, and at the time when most people decide to get married, they are not old enough to know who they want to be with yet. As strange and oppressive as this may seem to us, it is important to recognize that that is really the logic behind it.
A movement called Hinduvata has come out recently in India. This movement works to fight against those who are rebelling against the culture and are trying to marry for love. The Hinduvata movement argues that marrying for love undermines the country’s tradition and redefines social norms in a way that people are not okay with.
A big part of why people in India are so against it is because it makes it easier for people to engage in inter-caste relationships, which undermines the purity of families that is so important to Indian culture. Even so, there are many groups that work to fight against this movement, which is extremely important because as it stands, India is a country that faces severe inequality and lacks any form of democracy, and for some people this is the closest form of democracy they could hope to get.