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Opinion
Shruti Rajagopalan

In India, Don’t Hate the Matchmaker

A Netflix hit about arranged marriages reflects Indian society a lot more than critics want to admit. 

Social stability is prized over individual happiness in Indian marriages. 

Social stability is prized over individual happiness in Indian marriages. 

Photographer: Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Even as the Netflix show “Indian Matchmaking” has grown into a global hit, it’s incensed many Indians. The issue isn’t that most couples don’t go for goat yoga on their first date. Critics accuse the show of stereotyping and commodifying women, lacking diversity and promoting a backwards vision of marriage where astrologers and meddling parents are more influential than the preferences of brides and grooms.

They complain that the series, which follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she jets between Mumbai and the U.S. to arrange marriages, perpetuates an outdated, offensive and regressive marriage market. In fact, the real problem may be their discomfort with the way marriage works in India, with social stability prized over individual happiness.