HomeIndian AmericanJury's still out for Indian Matchmaking as audience urges deeper discussion
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Jury’s still out for Indian Matchmaking as audience urges deeper discussion

From Netflix

Viewers of Indian Matchmaking, a recent Netflix series hit, find themselves conflicted over the show’s depiction of arranged marriage and its underlying prejudices, Newsweek reports. 

While some praise the show for depicting the process realistically, others have criticized Indian Matchmaking for not taking a more heavy-handed approach to contestants’ prejudiced views. 

Colorism shows up frequently in the series. One contestant said they wanted a partner who was “not too dark, you know, like fair skinned,” Newsweek reports. 

Additionally, the show has come under fire for a lack of diversity. According to Newsweek, “viewers have criticized the dating show for not representing the full Indian diaspora, with all but one of its main participants Hindu, and all of them straight.”

Ruchika Tulshyan, a viewer who had an arranged marriage herself, embodies the two camps: she can relate to the show, but wishes it would do more to deepen the discussion, NBC reports. 

“I actually found the show to be something that really did resonate with my experience,” Tulshyan said, according to NBC. “Unfortunately, it reinforces some of the very negative parts of India today… there’s colorism, there’s casteism, there’s a lot of emphasis on traditional beauty.”

Tulshyan also criticized the show’s portrayal of Aparna, a female lawyer who is seen as “overly picky, difficult, and uncompromising.” 

As a feminist, Tulshyan said that women need to be their own advocates, especially in the arranged marriage world. 

“You really have to unlearn a lot of the things that society unfortunately has told you about the fact that your value and your worth is determined by marriage and children,” Tulshan said to NBC.

Smriti Mundhra, the show’s director, defended the series and urged more discussion, CNN reports.

“We need to push to do better as a community and as a culture,” Mundhra said, according to CNN.

Mundhra isn’t shocked by the widespread criticism and believes it inevitable with such little South Asian representation on the big screen.

“We are looking for each one of [the shows] to represent a lot of the South Asian experience, when in fact we are a billion and a half people around the world,” Mundhra said, CNN reports. 

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