Inter-caste marriages find more social acceptance

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Caste barriers seem to be crumbling in parts of Haryana. Official figures reveal that 25 inter-caste marriages took place from April to October this year. Last year (April 2014-to April 2015) the figured was 34.
Said district welfare officer Seema Rani: “The number that we have is impressive in comparison with Gurgaon, considered a progressive district. The government offers Rs50,000 to a couple as an incentive in such a marriage”, she said.
Social activist Sanjay Chauhan says his outfit, Sanathan Dharam Charitable Trust, has helped in 68 love marriages this year out of a total of 173 since the Trust began its work. “Barring 10 cases, the rest are intercaste marriages. Of these, 100 couples have left their houses and settled elsewhere to avoid trouble from their families.” He said such alliances are still largely unacceptable among Jats and Bishnois.
Babita Chaudhary, women protection officer, says it has been difficult to counsel certain communities to accept the choice of their girls. “Due to a skewed sex ratio, boys’ families have started accepting brides from other castes. But girls’ families don’t agree especially if the boy belongs to a Dalit community”.
The khap role has also been encouraging. Says Inder Singh, Satrol khap chief: “We have been urging people, especially from upper castes, to marry off their boys in other castes. This way, a family won’t feel culturally isolated, and it would be better than getting brides from other states.” He said the khap had announced a reward of Rs21,000 and a household item in gift to such an intercaste couple.
Jagdish Gurjar, who initially opposed his son’s marriage to an SC girl in Hisar, but later accepted them, said: “I realised that caste system has served no purpose. If the two sides have mutual understanding, they can make a better couple, notwithstanding their castes.”