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Anything for Love

***Before you read this post, I suggest you switch your Pandora station to Meatloaf and crank "I Would Do Anything For Love." Now continue reading...
Love in India
While many of us have been focused on the right to marry here in the U.S. since President Obama made his landmark remarks in support of gay marriage, a group of Indians having been fighting age-old prejudice and cultural mores to help young people marry for love in their country. Despite rapid modernization in the country, arranged marriages are still the prevalent form of marriage in India. Furthermore, traditional families will only consider individuals from similar castes, or class groups that share traditions, economic status and even dialect, as potential spouses for their children.
I have mixed feelings about arranged marriage - I've known people who've had successful and unsuccessful arranged marriages - as well as successful and unsuccessful love marriages. I do believe there is something to be said for the wisdom of parents and grandparents choosing a mate based on compatibility that allows for passion to grow later on. In some ways, it's a beautiful tradition that has been corrupted by reality: not every family can find a good or kind partner for their child and not every child is willing to sacrifice their choice of partner for their parents'.

In extreme cases, which are still disturbingly common, young adults - mostly women - who have committed to a relationship or marriage outside of their caste are murdered by family and community in an attempt to restore the family's honor. Knowing this, young people who want to marry for love may fear for their lives and seek assistance in convincing their parents to consent - or running away.

That's where the Love Commandos come in. As their website states, the three commandos - business men who aid both Muslin and Hindu youngsters- are "dedicated to helping India's lovebirds who want to marry for love."
Their cause is not easy, safe, or even cheap - operational costs are up to $5,000 a month to provide transportation, shelter and legal services to young couples. But they are committed to their cause - helping eradicate the bindings and social divisions of caste by supporting inter-caste marriage.
How about that, a happy news story!


For more info, check out this BBC article on the Commandos. Donations are accepted on the Love Commandos website.

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