Inter Caste Marriage
Arya Samaj Tmple provide facilitiy of Inter Caste Marriage. However, marriages between individuals of different castes have probably occurred in India throughout history. This type of marriage existed in ancient India in the form of hypergamy or ‘Anuloma’ and hypergamy or ‘Pratiloma’.
Hypergamy or Anuloma:
The marriages between men of higher Varna or caste and women of lower varna or caste are called Anuloma .Such marriages while not common were sanctioned. The society allowed Anuloma (hypergamous) marriages under certain social circumstances. There is enough evidence in ancient Indian literature to show that hypergamy was an accepted’ form of marriage. The Brahmins were allowed to marry women of all other lower Varnas including Sudras.
In the Mahabharata, we come across several instances of inter-caste marriages of this type. For example, Santanu married Ganga and later Satyabati, both were from outside his own caste. In 160 B.C., Agnimitra, a Brahmin king, married a Kshatriya princess Malavika.
Till recently, the custom of hypergamy was prevalent in Bengal among certain sections of Brahmins. In Kerala, the practice of hypergamy has been in vogue among some castes. For example- , the younger sons of Nambudri Brahmins are allowed to marry the Mayar women. Inter-caste marriages in the form of hypergamy are said to have existed among the Rajputs and the Marathas also.
Hypergamy means ‘marrying up’ and hence is practised in a. Society arranged hierarchically. It has been accepted as the social ideal of Brahminic culture. With the growth of the endogamous character of caste and prestige determined by social hierarchy, hypergamy has become a more widely pattern of marriage.
“It is known to exist, as says Kapadia, among Brahmin castes such as Kulin, Audich, Khedival and Anavils, and among non-Brahmin groups such as Marathas, Rajputs, Leva-Patidars of Gujarat and Nambudri Brahmins of Malabar.
Hypogamy or Pratiloma:
Marriage between male of lower Varna or caste and a female of higher Varna or caste is called Pratiloma marriage. The Pratiloma marriage was strongly condemned and discouraged by all the earlier Hindu law givers.
Regarding the rules of endogamy, marked changes have taken place. The rates of inter-caste marriages are increasing day by day. Due to various factors such as secularisation, urbanization, industrialization, and education etc. people are changing their attitude towards inter-caste marriage and they are becoming tolerant of inter- caste marriage. A number of Acts have been passed to facilitate inter-caste marriage.
In 1949, the Hindu Marriages Validity Act was passed which declares, no marriage between’ Hindus shall be deemed to be invalid or ever to have been invalid by reason only of the fact that parties thereto belonged to different religions, castes, sub-castes or sects. The Special Marriages Act, 1954 has enabled marriages between caste and religions. The inter-caste marriages have been legalised by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Although there is no general approval of inter-caste marriages and these marriages have not become common in Hindu society, the number of inter-caste marriages is increasing. A significant change in this regard appears to be a general weakening of the barriers existing between the sub-castes of a caste.