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Marriage in the New India: A Conversation with Anita Jain

Marrying Anita by Anita Jain (Bloomsbury, 2008).

Marrying Anita by Anita Jain (Bloomsbury, 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.

Jain 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