This essay by Abhimanyu Roy is part of the ‘Studying Internet in India’ series. The author explores how the curious interplays between the arranged marriage market in India the rise of matrimonial sites such as Jeevansathi.com and Shaadi.com. The gravity of the impact that such web-based services have on the lives of users is substantially greater than most other everyday web-enabled transactions, such as an Uber ride or a Foodpanda order. From outright fraud to online harassment, newspaper back pages are filled with nightmare stories that begin on a matrimonial website. So much so that the Indian government has set up a panel to regulate matrimonial sites. The essay analyses the role of matrimonial websites in modern day India, and the challenges this awkward amalgamation of the internet and love gives rise to.
An Irregular Prejudice
Justices Ramana and Shantanagounder of the Supreme Court have come under a lot of flak especially from the liberals for their judgment in a case that was to settle inheritance in a disputed inter-religious marriage. Most newspapers and social media commentators reported the judgment as having called marriages between Muslim men and non-Muslim women as “irregular” – thereby giving the impression that the judges were being deliberately misogynist and in the process adding substantially to all-pervasive Muslimophobia – spreading a false impression that legally Muslim men can “irregularly” marry non Muslim women – a completely false claim – and this was being spread because of shoddy and lazy reportage apart from of course Muslimophobia which is ever ready homogenize Muslims and ready to accept anything that paints Muslims as backward readily.