Is urban India as modern as it thinks? “No.”

Endless mega serials on television show women at their shrewish, assertive best. Every other week, there are talk shows on gay rights and single parenthood. Live-in couples openly flaunt their relationships on air. And there is an unthinkable level of boldness is evident in fashion and lifestyles.

Yet, the stories of Konidela Srija, who fled her father Chiranjeevi‘s home to marry her sweetheart, and the Calcutta girl Priyanka Todi, whose husband Rizwanur Rahman was found dead on the railway tracks soon after their marriage,  raise the simple question: is the news of India’s modernisation vastly exaggerated?

Yes, writes former Debonair editor Amrita Shah in today’s Indian Express:

“The social fissures that form so easily in cities as a response to issues of reservation and religion indicate that caste and religion are still pervasive influences in urban India. As far as marriage goes, surprisingly the young—despite appearances to the contrary—are more prone to conforming to tradition than rebelling against it.

“Youth surveys reveal a majority to be inclined towards arranged marriages. And though most want a greater say in their choice of partners, they are likely to choose spouses from the same class and the same or congruent castes. Materialism and a willingness to permit women in the workplace have also not translated into an upheaval of old patriarchal attitudes.

“There is a telling scene in the recent film, Chak de, India, when the goalkeeper, a married woman, tells her coach that her in-laws, after having availed of the flat allotted to her as a sportsperson, now want her to stop playing the game.”

Read the full article here: Papa will preach