By Enkayaar, Glamsham EditorialManu Smriti is one of the biggest treatises produced by our forefathers which talks in detail about the institution of marriage, and it had defined marriage as being of two kinds, anuloma and pratiloma, anuloma was married within the caste while pratiloma was married outside the caste. But nowhere was it ordained that those who chose Pratiloma marriage were to be at the receiving end of the society. But they continue to be so in North India hence Aamir Khan decided to focus upon this aspect and to understand the nuance of the institution of marriage as it is governed in India. He also focused upon the inter-religious marriages and its repercussions. May be, Habib Faisal should have been invited to share the views as ISHAQZAADE precisely focused upon it.
For a country which is now sixty years young, and has had one of the finest sociological traditions associated with the institutions of marriage, to still not encourage and welcome marriage outside caste and kin is a matter of concern. It was this concern that Aamir Khan tried to highlight in the latest episode of Satyamev Jayate and he took the Khaps- the extra constitutional body in Haryana which does not allow marriage within gotra- head on.
For the Khap Panchayats which has heaped havoc on same gotra marriages and has destroyed many young lover's life, the admonition could have been more critical had Aamir Khan also brought in the reference of Justice S.N. Dhingra and Justice A K Pathak of Delhi High Court who had castigated the Khap Panchayat and asked them to give references from texts where same gotra marriage was banned.
It indeed is one of the apparent paradoxes of our country that a youth of 18 years of age has the maturity and the sagacity to select a government but he is not mature and smart enough to choose his or her life partner. The problem becomes more so acute if one were to factor in the idea that the age of consensual sex in the country is 16 years and though the government did try to raise it, it was met with stiff opposition.
The problem is more so acute in North India, but it is not that South India is not affected by it. Here one is reminded of an interaction with an American lady scientist who had married a Tam-bhram software professional and the kind of opposition that she had to face when she came to India to meet the family of her husband. She disclosed to this writer that it indeed was a suffocating atmosphere and it is the female of the gender who made it more suffocating for the female! The stranglehold of caste, gotras, kins, etc., is so strong that when a person tries to break it he or she gets totally socially and economically ostracized in general.
Now that Aamir Khan has highlighted the issue one only hopes that the young generation of the present times would get a breathing space and would be allowed to choose their partners on their own, but without getting socially and economically ostracized. If a small beginning is made after this program, it would serve the purpose.