The young and single of Bengaluru were in for a shock on Wednesday when they woke up to a blatantly regressive advertisement. On the front page of a newspaper, the ad titled ‘Young Achievers Matrimony’, was calling applicants for a matrimony meet. The ad was politically incorrect and listed beauty as an achievement for the meet hosted for eminent professionals from IAS, IPS, IRS or scientist, youngsters graduated from top universities like IIM, IIT, etc. The minimum registration fee for these ‘young achievers’ from ultra-rich families ranged from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000. It soon went viral on social media with many sharing the image and calling out the advertisement for being sexist, casteist and elitist.
An insulting concept
Successful entrepreneurs, eminent professionals, scientists and young graduates from top institutes being compared with economic status and physical appearance, is a reflection of the worst aspects of typical Indian society. I wonder why handsome men are not welcome; a handsome man should get as much opportunity as a beautiful girl. Also, what is the definition of beauty?
This ad exposes the mentality of society wherein men are expected to be hardworking and women to be beautiful homemakers. The men must earn well and be hardworking, irrespective of their wishes or aspirations. For a woman, however, in spite of being successful, the expectation is always to be a good wife ultimately. I find this matrimony concept insulting to entrepreneurs, scientists, graduates or eminent people — for their years of struggle and hard work put in. The value of human relationships is falling steeply. Love and marriages are becoming like a business, dependent on economic and physical aspects. The organisers have now got huge publicity for free, more than what they expected.
Geethu Sivakumar, CEO, Pace Hitech
This is match-fixing
This is all about commercially driven motives. It sounds more like match-fixing rather than matchmaking. This sounds so materialistic and lacks human values. It really spoils the sheer essence and beauty of pairing. Relationships are built not bought. I can’t imagine that environment fill ed with people who wear a halo of ego and social status. What about the less privileged and ones who are not pretty enough? Don’t they have a life? Such events can hurt the sentiments of the less privileged as they may not have the capability to be a part of these. We must have courage and faith in our family values. Everything need not be commercialised!
Shahid Haq, Entrepreneur
A clickbait advertisement
The advertisement was foolish, crude and superficial. They say any kind of publicity is fine, whether it’s good or bad. It also reflects the society we live in, based on certain judgments that are ‘skin deep’. It’s also a smokescreen in terms of shock value, which is designed to turn people off and get people inquisitive about what the advertisement is offering. In today’s day and age, it’s a clickbait advertisement the main purpose of which is to attract attention and encourage unsuspecting Bengalureans to get more inquisitive. This advertisement has managed a feat of being sexist, casteist and offensive to literally everyone at the same time.
Shekhar Vijayan, Stand-up comedian, Entrepreneur and Emcee
A reflection of society
It’s weird. First of all, you can’t discriminate on the basis of financial strength, skin colour, caste and class but unfortunately, that’s an integral part of society. Surprisingly, even today women are perceived just as bodies or objects in a large part of the world. We are still not free from the stereotypical definition of beauty for women. The problem is not only with the advertisements. These ads are a reflection of society itself.
So the bigger issue here is the way society perceives women. Women still face the glass ceiling in their workplace, families and society at large. Even if she is a successful entrepreneur or corporate manager, she is expected to take care of the family primarily. Her success and failure depend on her effectiveness and efficiency in managing a family. Women are like birds that can fly but not out of the cage. We only like the idea of strong women.
Garima Rawat, Young entrepreneur
Need for introspection
This advertisement reflects the unpleasant reality of our times. It highlights the social divide and expectations from matrimony. If one is rich and influential or is an accomplished suitor, there is the natural expectation to mingle with suitable singles who are beautiful and talented. No doubt it can be a political blunder to say what you mean in this context, but isn’t this exactly what ‘high profile’ suitors are seeking? It’s easy to critique such blatant and outrageous segmentation but unfortunately, that is the bitter truth. Everyone wants a good looking mate in an arranged marriage. Few, if any, look for attitudinal characteristics or virtues such as patience, compassion, empathy, tolerance or spiritual depth in girls or boys. Instead, the brownie points are good looks, foreign education, a well-paying job and status in society. Add to that a dash of branded confidence and you have a good catch. I guess rather than creating a hue and cry over social media platforms, we should be asking ourselves why we are enraged with this advertisement and what can we do in our personal capacity to be agents of change.
Suzy Singh, Entrepreneur
A flawed approach
I find this advertisement to be absurd and illogical. Firstly, being ‘beautiful’ is definitely not a achievement and who is to measure the physical beauty of any person. Secondly, choosing a life partner should depend on his/her qualities as a person, like compatibility and maturity and not ‘net worth’. Thirdly, the registration fee was equally ridiculous.
Rahul Priya, Event Manager