- What is inter-caste marriage?
Inter-caste marriage is when the couple belong to the same religion but to different sects and communities. Today, with young men and women coming in closer contact, especially in urban cities, inter-caste marriages are on the rise. The Supreme Court of India too has stated that inter-caste marriages are in 'national interest' and help to unify the country.
- How it began
When you begin to doubt yourself in an inter-caste union, remind yourself why the caste system was established in the first place – to classify people according to their occupations, each with its own rules and customs. With this specialisation of society, each member knew their role. Today however, few people stick to their caste-driven professions and therefore, the caste system is out-dated.
- Subtle differences
Marrying someone from a different caste can throw up several differences and issues between you. For instance, he may be a meat-lover while she is a staunch vegetarian. These may seem like minor differences but they can develop into major obstacles later on, so it's best if the two of you sit down together and discuss how it will be dealt with.
Additionally, be prepared for your parents and those close to you to raise questions or oppose your decisions. Anticipate what their concerns could be and try to talk with them to sort it out. Don't lose your temper and convince them calmly of why this decision is the right one and that every marriage needs compromise and adjustment from both sides. Seek help from someone in the family you trust and who you feel will back you up.
It may seem rather much to talk about money when it comes to something as personal as marriage, but in order to encourage marriages between couples of two different castes, the governments of various states offer employment and monetary incentives. The West Bengal state government, for instance, offers inter-caste couples an incentive of Rs 50,000. In Tamil Nadu, inter-caste married couples are offered government jobs.
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