Most Indian families still prefer marriages arranged within their religion and caste. Marriages outside
these rigid boundaries have often led to violent consequences, including “honour” killings. But some young Indians are still willing to defy their families and communities for love, reports the BBC’s Divya Arya.
Ravindra Parmar knew that pursuing a relationship with an upper-caste woman would be dangerous.
He is a Dalit (formerly known as “untouchable”), a caste that sits at the lowest rung of India’s social ladder. The woman he fell in love with, Shilpaba Upendrasinh Vala, is a Rajput – a Hindu warrior caste near the apex of the system.
The yawning gap between his position and hers is something rarely bridged in Indian society.
“We are not even allowed to walk past their area and I had dared to marry into their family,” he says.
“Those who marry inter-caste are seen as aliens. The perception is that they are terrorists who revolt in society.”
Ravindra and Shilpaba were born and brought up in two villages separated by more than 100km (62 miles) in the western state of Gujarat