Match made in office

The Asian Age.  | Suridhi Sharma

Life, Relationship

Caste and religion already divide the marriage market, With Linkedin playing matchmaker, would it become harder to cross the class divide?

Not many are lucky enough to be supported by their families in their quest for love or are rebellious enough to fight back and escape the rigid system. 

In a country grappling with countless matrimonial advertisements that seek matches from similar caste and religion, love is a hard thing to come by. Not many are lucky enough to be supported by their families in their quest for love or are rebellious enough to fight back and escape the rigid system. 

Class also plays a huge role in arranged marriages and what India probably doesn’t need is another socially divisive matchmaking platform. However, the popular business and employment oriented social networking service, LinkedIn, will now help one select a potential partner as well.

The app, Promatch, boasts of  helping one “discover people from the same profession, same income group or even the same company for a meaningful relationship.” But does that mean that meaningful relationships are more easy to come by if both the partners belong to the same profession or income group? Or is this class based discrimination masquerading as match-making?

Manan Rathore from Myolo, an app that helps bring together like-minded people, says, “I don’t think that like-minded people tend to be in similar professions. Professions, income groups and same companies are not really the parameters that one should look for while selecting a partner. It is really not too different from the traditional ways of finding matches, where you look for people within your caste and class. But of course now there is also a slow shift from selecting matches based on caste to class.”

Shankar Srinivasan, founder of Incolv — a match-making app that helps people with disabilities find partners, says, “Even with this app, marriage doesn’t happen right off the bat. First you build the connection, you meet the other person and then you find out if you are emotionally and mentally compatible with them. So apps like these are just there  to provide a platform for you to meet like-minded people who come from similar professional backgrounds. Their thoughts and ideas may or may not match. There’s no thing wrong about it. It is also a good way to get a conversation started. I think it is natural to have an app of this sort.”

It is not debatable that both parties will eventually have to consent to the match to take it ahead but the subset that is being created in the very beginning is too huge to be ignored and Manan agrees, “Such match-making always happened. However, an app like this is a public acknowledgement of that fact that this class divide is playing a huge role in matrimonial alliances.”

The app also boasts that it will save people from fake profiles and match them with genuine people and it cannot be denied that on many generic match making sites, people do have to struggle with a lot of fake profiles.

Photographer Sana (name changed), who is very active on LinkedIn, agrees, “Yes of course it will be far more genuine and I understand that if you have a partner from the same profession and income group, it helps in many ways. It is a very practical approach. Your partner would be able to understand exactly what your professional problems are and there will probably be less ego conflicts  related to who earns more. But there is a downside to this as well. You could get competitive with your partner because you belong to the same profession.”

She adds, “Personally, I would choose a partner who belongs to a different profession. It will be interesting to get to know about a new profession and I believe if you are understanding and if there is love, there is nothing that your partner won’t understand — be it work pressure, income differences or long working hours. People need to match on an ideological level not on a professional level. The matters of the heart can’t be so practical.”