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Mukundan PR, Writer

This book is a most valuable and important work which all interfaith dating couples in particular and the Hindu community in general should read considering the author's finding that 38% of Hindus including Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs in America get married to Christians, Jews or Muslims. The belief system of a people is a serious issue as it determines their world view, values, customs, rituals and life style. The question why mostly Hindus get converted for marriage, and not the other way round reveals the exclusivist and fundamentalist nature of Islam and Christianity. At the same time it reveals how hollow is the awareness of Hindus about their own faith. Their lack of religious awareness and misconceptions land them into a lot of complications and unpleasant experiences in interfaith marriages involving the couples, their children, parents and the community. 'It is fashionable to talk of being secular and tolerant in colleges and thus not always easy to recognise an exclusivist', says the author. The author helps the readers learn to spot exclusivist thinking in the intended spouse by providing a simple list of questions. 'Everyone likes to have equality in many aspects of life. Religious equality in an interfaith marriage should not be any different, though it is difficult to define', argues the author. Further, tolerance towards religious differences may be high during the dating period but then differences may become a major point of conflict later in married life. The book is trying to raise awareness among the dating and married interfaith couples about the potential conflicts due to religious exclusivity. The author has given ten important points to interfaith dating couples to ponder over. The book contains interesting case studies and question-answer sessions on various aspects of inter religious marriages and faith systems. The marriage between Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, or that of Amir Khan with Kiran Rao are exceptional case studies. Religious education and religious discipline hardly exist among the present day Hindu families. The parents or the community is to be blamed for this because they consider worldly success more important than religion. Secondly, the Hindu youth is a bundle of confusions because of the contradictions and frictions between the precepts and practices, or between the sects and castes. The issue of interfaith marriages and their unpleasant consequences could be avoided to a large extent if the youths are given proper spiritual orientation from the beginning. The author has taken the pains to study and evaluate this sensitive topic from a neutral stand point.
Review by - August 05, 2021