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Marriage in the New India: A Conversation with Anita Jain

Marrying Anita by Anita Jain (Bloomsbury, 2008).
by Stephanie Valera
16 September 2008

MUMBAI, September 16, 2008 – Dolly Thakore, social activist and communications consultant at the American Center, joined author Anita Jain for a conversation about Jain’s new memoir Marrying Anita at the Asia Society India Centre.

Marrying Anita
follows Jain, a 30-something New Yorker frustrated with Western dating
norms, on her journey to Delhi to find a husband using somewhat more
traditional methods.  In Delhi, she discovers a vibrant cosmopolitan
new India, where more than half the country is below 30.  In this new
India, instead of a marriage arranged by aunties, she finds herself
among a generation that enjoys bar-hopping rock bands and Westernized
dating.  She meets people in India who live very traditional lives
alongside single and divorced women, gay men and others, who instead of
leading marginal existences, are very much part of the rising,
prosperous new India. In Marrying Anita, Jain explores the idea of cultural change and identity.

and Thakore engaged in a wide-ranging conversation about Jain’s book,
covering topics such as identity, sexuality, and the clash of cultures
between the new and old India. They also discussed the validity of the
institution of marriage for the modern woman, the definition of
marriage in the east versus the west, and whether there really is a
“right” way to approach marriage.

Reported by Purwa Bansod, Asia Society India Centre