Love and relationships in India - statistics & facts
India has come a long way since its freedom from the British imperialism in the eighteenth century. Not just relative to economic development and advancements in other fields but more, in its progressive societal outlook. A long transcendent sojourn from a traditional orthodox and parochial society to one that is more-broad minded and, to a great extent, heavily influenced by the Western culture. Even though India is home to the Kamasutra and while ancient Indian literature has profusely and openly talked about the importance of love and pleasure during intercourse, the term sex and talking about it in public remains taboo. What is more, it has been grossly misinterpreted and even stigmatized to the point where it elicits shame and embarrassment. This is also one of the primary reasons why sex education in India is fundamentally non-existent. In addition, children have to resort to sources such as the internet for information, which can further distort their ideas of love and sex.
New age Millennials and Generation Zs
Up until a few decades ago, concepts such as divorce, premarital sex, or even love marriages were almost unheard of in the country. While in the West, dating is the usual precursor to marriage, in India, such a notion was frowned upon and hence, usually rare. The concept of dating before marriage is a rather modern model that preludes marriage, which is the most common and socially acceptable institution in India relative to romantic love. However, less-inhibited new age Millennials and Generation Zs are at the forefront of social change advocacy, leading to a dramatic transformation among the youth and their perspectives on love and relationships. With the audacity of redefining social and conventional boundaries, this new generation has brought about a fresh alternative meaning of what love is and what it means to be in a relationship. For instance, in a recent survey, over one-fourth of Indians with an earning capacity up to 60 thousand Indian rupees per month are unwilling to have children. Considering the traditional cultural expectation that all married couples will have children within a certain time frame - this is a radical step towards a progressive mindset among Indians.
Dating and Inter-religious marriage
With dating becoming more acceptable and intentional, Indians are becoming more honest and upfront about what they are looking for in a relationship. This includes honesty in preferences for sex and intimacy, bringing in more room for experimenting in physical relationships together with overstepping the boundaries of marriage into extra-marital relationships.
All the same, in a country where heterogeneity and diversity are barefaced, paradoxes can seem to be more commonplace. For instance, despite the evident evolution in mindset on topics around love and dating among Millenials, a recent survey showed that large proportions of Indians were still against inter-caste and inter-religious marriages – the majority of which were rural women. Further, there exists a clear negative correlation between the education level of the respondents and their resistance towards inter-caste marriages.
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