When Gunjan, a Mumbai-based Bihari, uploaded her profile on shaadi.com she was not looking for a fellow Bihari of her caste, but someone with a similar professional background.
"As a public relations professional, I wanted to be with a like-minded person — preferably someone who worked in marketing or media," she said. Her wish was granted.
In four days, Pranav, a Gujarati in Mumbai with a marketing and sales background, crossed her path on shaadi.com. The match clicked, making Gunjan's marriage the first inter-caste one in her family.
The young India that is logging in to matrimonial websites to hunt partners is slowly logging out caste and community barriers. A jeevansathi.com study shows that 50 per cent more people now look for partners on the basis of their profession. More than half the Konkanis on jeevansathi.com want partners outside their community; as do 40 per cent Kannadigas, 37 per cent Sindhis, 35 per cent Gujaratis and 30 per cent Bengalis.
Vivek Khare, jeevansathi.com's business head, said: "Profession, salary and education are becoming important search criteria. The mother tongue isn't the key criterion for 41 per cent users and over 35 per cent don't have caste preferences."
Murugavel Janakiraman, bharatmatrimony.com's CEO, said: "Fifteen per cent of our members are in the caste-no-bar category. Given that we have 3 million users, this is a significant number."
There is also a growing demand for working women. "Forty-five per cent men want a working wife and 65 per cent women want to work after marriage," said Vibhas Mehta, shaadi.com business head.
Rakesh Kumar, a 26-year-old jeevansaathi user, said: "Just like a woman won't like to marry a man who sits at home, I don't want to marry someone who sits at home while I work." And, of course, caste and community don't matter.