Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

Milchar

Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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| Home | April-May 2003 Issue |

Milchar
April-May 2003 issue

Maa Sharika Temple, Hari Parvat, Village Anangpur, Faridabad.

Table of Contents

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

 

Editorial

Inter-caste Marriages                             

I have a letter from Mr. M.N. Ambardar of Satara, suggesting that the Milchar, while giving news about P.N.Wali community marriages, should blackout the inter-caste marriages, for they are basically not desirable. A simple suggestion like this raises many issues and for which answers may not be easy. It is a fact that we want our boys and girls to get married within the community. This will preserve the value system we imbibe from our forefathers. It will help continue a way of life we cherish. We are all for it. Yet we find that inter-cast marriages are taking place. We saw a spurt in these immediately after the exodus. May be this was a reaction to the events of times or a consequence of a new found freedom. There was some thaw for few years but last one year witnessed an unusual increase in such marriages. Why inter-caste marriages take place at all? At a certain time in a young personís life, a very strong feeling of attraction for the other sex takes place. At this stage he or she is attracted to a particular individual so that tying the nuptial knot remains the only option inspite of disapproval or even opposition by the family. It is human nature and not something particular in our community only. But what we find interesting in our community, is that a large number of parents after initial disapproval, eventually accept it. They soon give their blessings for the marriage and try to make it look like any other marriage. Probably this is genuine pragmatism. There is no gain in rejecting the inevitable. Better accept it as normal and not lose the son or daughter in the process. Call it being liberal if you want to, or being wise, if you prefer. But often it is the right course and is appreciated also. Interestingly our community has also a history of welcoming the other caste boy or girl into our fold with open arms and genuine affection. The boys and girls from the other caste have found us very affectionate and often return the affection in equal measure. This makes our family more peaceful and lovable inspite of an outsider coming in. Girls married into KP families have been found often sport a Dejihor . Even girls married out of the community, also sometimes wear it. Our culture appears to be strong enough to assimilate the new entrants. They might perhaps even imbibe the community value system. We recently witnessed a strong debate within the Parsi community on this subject. Parsis strongly oppose marital intrusions into their community. A view is being expressed that it needs to change. The present system appears to be working to their disadvantage. The community is shrinking through its exclusiveness. A large section of Parsis are advocating a change. To this extent, the KPs look to be more broad-minded. The question still remains as to why a KP boy or girl wants a partner from outside his own community? Donít we have good boys or girls within the community who could meet the aspirations of our young souls? We have enough of them but there is no interaction among them. They meet boys and girls of other community in the college, building society, work-place and so on. As we said, the attraction is instinctual and physical, and meeting physically is a precondition. We as parents have failed to provide a platform for our youngsters to meet and know each other. It is the failure of elders at one stage which becomes their problem at another stage. Can't we strengthen the community contact points and provide necessary opportunity to our youngsters? The other defense against this trend is in creating a sense of pride in belonging to the community in our youngsters. How much we tell them about our community, its achievements, its stalwarts, its contribution to world philosophy and knowledge, etc? Again it is the elders who have to do it. Do it, when children are young and at an impressionable age. Till the time we donít build the defenses as suggested above, we will have to accept the situation as it is. Blacking them out is no solution. We will continue to welcome them into our fold with the hope that they will imbibe our way of life and thinking and perpetuate it.   

Ö P.N.Wali

 

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