Gay indian dating
If we take the traditional Indian conception of marriage at face value, the biography on my profile—three or four sentences, much shorter than the extensive personality inquisitions demanded by Western dating sites—should have kept me out of the matrimonial running.Sure, I’d have my points of appeal, namely in the sections reserved for Education (Bachelor’s) and Complexion (Very Fair).There are 44 million Indians who now have smartphones, giving casual-encounter-driven “hookup apps” like Tinder a huge market.Tinder’s CMO said in September was seeing a 3 to 4 percent daily growth in its Indian user base.It’s one of more than 100 Indian websites that comprise the country’s thriving online matrimonial market, where an individual can browse for his or her ideal spouse among a catalog of potential candidates organized by the personal information that apparently matters most: religion, caste, income, fairness of skin, family background, and so on. Unlike online dating services, which at least superficially foster some sort of romantic connection, and which are effectively nonexistent in India, matrimonial websites are predicated on the idea that the first meeting between two paired users will be to chat about their wedding.They succeed for the same reason every online resource does: They offer convenience and expediency in an arena with high demand for it.They operate at the awkward nexus in modern Indian society between intracultural custom and intercultural connectivity, a conflict-prone junction built by a sudden 20-year economic boom that came without a societal user’s manual.
A few years back, a media psychologist named Srividya Ramasubramanian examined 24 American and British films about India for the prevalence and portrayal of certain tropes and saw little more than a country “consistently portrayed as backward, uncivilized, savage, and traditional.” The Western notion of “Indian-ness,” Ramasubramanian writes, is predicated upon a sense of Occidental superiority, complicit with a sort of “cultural imperialism…
by establishing Indian peoples as inferior and incompetent who need to be civilized.”Ramasubramanian’s study qualitatively confirms that the India offered to us in the West is an India of “inept subordinates” who deserve either our scorn or sympathy.
It is a caricature consisting of the most cartoonish and visceral stereotypes—child marriage, bride burning, snake charmers, etc.—that reinforces the idea of the country as a pitiably primitive slum, especially when it comes to Indian women.
Call it acclimating to the Indian single life after coming of age in the West, where India is often seen as a country of arranged marriages and impenetrable glass ceilings.
If there’s truth to caricature, then call my joining the online matrimony network a modern-day leap onto a bandwagon of millennia-old social custom.“Shaadi” is the Hindi word for wedding; is, intuitively, a wedding arranged via the Internet.