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Grooms not wanted: Demand for US-based men falls in great Indian wedding market

Trump’s presidency has managed to do what no one else could! Reverse the trend of the old age preference of US based NRI grooms to those settled here.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2017 18:03 IST
Abhinav Verma
The Trump effect has turned the Indian marriage market upside down.
The Trump effect has turned the Indian marriage market upside down.

The prospective NRI groom is losing his coveted position in Indian families chasing the big fat American dream for their daughters, because of President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies and a spate of hate crimes in that country.

Parents are now scared of marrying their daughters off to Indians settled in the US.

“We have witnessed a 25% fall in queries for NRI grooms, especially those in the US, in the past two months. This number has been on a steady decline since November, but the sharpest fall came in February because of the political developments there,” said Richa Garg, manager with matrimonial website Shaadi.com.

The fear and fall in demand stem from sporadic violence against Indians in the US and anxiety among immigrant workers over Trump’s call to “reclaim jobs” for Americans. Most NRI grooms are professionals working for multinational companies.

“NRI grooms are not in demand anymore. Donald Trump’s immigration policies have made Indian parents worried. Considering the recent events in the US where Indians were attacked, it’s not a safe option anymore,” said Niti Jha, vice president, Sycorian Matrimonial Services based in south Delhi.

Real estate agent Pankaj Malhotra has been desperately looking for a suitable Indian girl for his doctor nephew, financially well-placed in Austin, Texas.

What his family thought would be a cakewalk has become a tricky task, the 56-year-old man said.

We have witnessed a 25% decline in queries for NRI grooms, especially those in the US, in the last two months itself. While this number has been on a steady decline since November, the sharpest fall has come in February: Richa Garg, manager at the matrimonial website Shaadi.com

The wannabe brides he shortlisted put one condition. The “boy” should return to India.

“They don’t want to live in the US. This is shocking. Indian girls are not keen to settle in America anymore. They think it’s much safer to live in India,” Malhotra said.

Gaurav Chhabra, co-founder of Royal Matrimony.com, was playing matchmaker for a family looking for an NRI groom a few days ago. Not anymore. The parents changed their mind recently, shifting their preference to “somebody settled in India only”.

“Since January, there has been an approximately 50% decline in queries for US-based grooms and brides. We are still trying to decode the trend statistically,” Chhabra said.

Since January, there has been approximately 50% decline in queries for US-based grooms and brides. We are still trying to decode the trend statistically: Gaurav Chhabra, co-founder of Royal Matrimony.com

Homemaker Mira Singh was caught up in similar dilemma after an Indian techie was killed in Kansas and a Sikh man was shot at near Seattle.

She was hoping to get a US-based match for her 27-year-old doctor-daughter. Not anymore.

“The rise in hate crime against Indians has frightened me. Safety for our children is paramount. I’d much rather have my daughter safe here, even if it means having to compromise on the quality of life NRIs have in the US.”

Vijay Singh, a businessman in central Delhi, echoed similar thoughts.

His daughter dreamt of living in the US and Singh was trying to arrange her marriage to a “guy settled there”. But he thought it’s not a good idea anymore.

“What does America have now that we don’t? And then they are threatening and killing Indians.”

(Some names have been changed on request)