The concept of caste system and religious discrimination are like a bane on the path of
India’s progress. For centuries Indian society especially Hindu society has been divided
on the basis of caste system and religion. The problem of caste system was so deep
rooted that it took years for the Indians to come out of that idea. Even today also India is
struggling to come out of this social menace. History reveals that efforts have been made
by various social reformers and individuals whose name doesn’t appear in the pages of
history to make India free from the clutches of caste system, untouchability and race
discrimination. And when we talk about Indian marriages, which are inter-caste and inter-
religious, it seems like a taboo to most of the people. But in order to eradicate the caste
system and race discrimination it is important that there should be inter-caste and inter-
religious marriages. Marriages are regarded as the most important social custom and the
best means to remove the barrier of caste system. Today in Indian society though we can
see inter-caste marriages but mostly it is part of the city culture. The rural parts of the country still have a long way to go.
Kannan(1963) studied 149 inter-caste marriages in the city of Bombay. He found that
inter-caste marriage is steadily increasing only recently and that has assumed a significant
component since 1956. The age of the women at the time of her marriage, the freedom
given to her to choose her partner, the range of female education are some of the
important factors for the inter-caste marriage in Bombay(Kannan, 1963).
Another study on inter-caste marriage(Reddy et.al, 1984) shows that the scheduled caste
has exhibited the highest tendency for inter-caste marriages than the other castes.
urban residence, education, employment in modern occupation and middle class
economic background have tended to be a set of attributes needed for incidence of
inter caste marriages. He further observes that inter-caste marriage takes place at fairly
advanced age (Reddy et.al, 1984).