ABSTRACT

The anthropological and feminist literature on marriage is undergoing an overhaul. Recent studies appraise conjugality against the backdrop of globalization, and more and more scholars are texturing intimacies. While these are welcome additions, marriage patterns have met with close media scrutiny in relation to actual and ostensible trends. These for example include the import of cross-regional brides in Haryana and the phenomenon of love-jihad conversion to Islam. Intimate relationships feature even more prominently in Indian films and television serials, with premarital sex and adultery occupying central leitmotifs. All these developments are evoking beliefs about a ‘new India’ that has rapidly changed in the post-liberalization years. The country’s projection of a rising global economy has equally bolstered this perception, whereby marriage is being allied with portentous societal transitions.