Inter-caste marriages in India, though legal, are often met with hatred and violence. Emily Wax reports on this clash of traditional and modern India and on the marriage of Anita Pharti and Rajeev Singh, an inter-caste couple, in The Washington Post:

Even though India legalized inter-caste marriage more than 50 years ago, newlyweds are still threatened by violence, most often from their families. As more young urban and small-town Indians start to rebel and choose mates outside of arranged marriages and caste commandments, killings of inter-caste couples have increased, according to a recent study by the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

In the past month, seven so-called honor killings have targeted inter-caste couples. In the latest incident, a Hindu youth in Bihar was beaten by villagers this week and thrown under an oncoming train because he sent a love letter to a girl of a different caste. The attacks continue despite decades of government decrees intended to dismantle the bulwark of caste, which is widely seen as the glue of traditional Indian society but is considered among the most corrosive features of the emerging new India.

…”To me, caste is Hindu terrorism,” said Singh, looking over at the couple’s two young sons playing nearby. “We just wish for a better future for India. And that can’t include such obvious discrimination.”

Read the full article here.