Nothing like the matrimonial bazaar as a barometer of the labour market. The global financial meltdown is seeping under the doors of BPOs and techies and yesterday’s Grooms of Choice have now been left to their own hands-free or otherwise devices. Also, the non-resident Indian, such a big draw for aspirational parents of even more aspirational daughters, are fast losing their sheen and perhaps their accents.
The cribbing about moving back in the marriage line has already started. Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian
Affairs, has not exactly helped matters by telling people not to marry Indians living in America. “Complaints about non-resident Indians deserting their wives are skyrocketing. In Punjab alone at least 20,000 cases are pending against NRI husbands,” said the minister. Naturally, ‘pre-marriage queries’ are also getting longer and more intricate. The recent spate of murders of NRI boys in America has also dampened their USP as grooms.
The rapidly shifting fortunes of the marriage market have now changed in favour of professions that have a modicum of job security, even if they are less paying. True to form, babudom has staged a huge comeback with dowries skyrocketing from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore. Doctors have always enjoyed a steady custom. But professions looked down by socially mobile parents in the past are now getting a dekko: notably, those in research and teaching. Absent-minded professors who till now were offered at huge discounts are suddenly commanding a premium. Which makes us come to the question: any takers for the pundit?