By Abdul Vahid V (Khabrein.Info)
India is a country of diverse castes and many religions. Several religions have tens of millions of adherents across the country. And every religions have at least dozens of sub castes and many groups. Even religions where castes and sub groups are prohibited, there are numerous castes. This includes Abrahamic religions like Islam and Christianity.
Go out of India and talk about presence of sub castes among Muslims and you would become a laughing stock. For, Quran clearly says that the only reason of preference over one another in Islam is piety and nothing else. But here in India Muslims have been greatly influenced by Hindu caste system and are now badly divided in upper and lower castes. Though the intensity may not be as bad as among Hindus, nonetheless division exists among Muslims.
Meanwhile Indians still find inter caste and inter religion marriages as something to be avoided for better marital relationships. Because of several factors, inter caste and inter religion marriages have not become widespread in the country. There should have wide changes in the mindset of Indians to increase the number of such marriages, which will help nourish up relationships between various castes, communities and religious groups.
Special social and religious traditions of India still remain as blockades for such marriages. Most of religious and caste groups in India ban inter caste and inter religion marriages. However, there are some visible changes in the trend recently. The number of such marriages is indeed on a raise especially in urban areas. Rural areas are still stuck up to the traditional conceptions on marriages.
It is hoped that more inter caste and religious marriages will keep up the relationships between various communities and castes in harmony. Indeed, there will be a consciousness among people beyond the tiny limitations of caste, creed and religion in front of love, affection, mutual understanding and compatibility. This is the much-featured power of such marriages.
However, what prevents inter caste and religious marriages are the sets of doctrines most religions insist on its adherents. In case of Hinduism, which is the father of caste system in India, marriages between people from different castes are definitely banned. What is unfortunate is that the system is still followed on the modern era. Hindu families in India especially in rural areas strictly prohibit marriages of their sons and daughters with brides and bridegrooms from other castes.
Islam also puts hold on extensive inter-religious marriages. Since Islam does not entertain a caste system, its principles only talk about marriages between followers of other religions. In fact, Islam allows men to marry ladies from other religions, especially from among the People of Book. In the meantime, Islam bans Muslim women to get involved in marital relationships with men from other religions. But Islam also demands men to covert their wives into the religion after the marriage.
Some Christian churches also hold ban over inter religion marriages. Some churches allow such marriages on condition that the women or men married should be converted to the Christianity; unless, it will be against the principles of the religion. Almost all other religious groups in India such as the Parsis, Samaritans, Judaism and Zoroastrians have strict provisions on inter caste and inter religious marriages.
However, people in the modern era have started to stay away from such rough rules and terms regarding marriages. They often get married and lead the married life in harmony according to their own beliefs and customs. Hopefully, it will help nurture up the relations between various communities, castes and religious groups.