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All you haters of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ only prove its point

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The part-documentary, part-reality TV show follows the efforts of Sima Taparia of Mumbai as she sets up clients around the world, often with families in tow, into arranged marriages. There’s Aparna, who needs her future husband to know Bolivia has salt flats; Vyasar, who carries a secret about his father trying to kill his third wife; and Pradhyuman, who concocts elaborate recipes such as peri-peri foxnuts with liquid nitrogen.

These Indian singles, they’re not just like us. But Sima Auntie, as she is known, is in the business of marrying them off anyway, guided by a “biodata” page of likes, dislikes, educational background and a photo.

That’s hardly the most offensive part. Despite trending on every social platform and the streaming service all week, the series has been criticized for perpetuating harmful stereotypes, colorism, sexism, elitism, heteronormativity, the caste system and the shallow, transactional nature of Indians looking for a life partner.
I’m ready to wade into the debate. (Hang on, muting my mentions on Twitter…) As someone who has spent her whole life as an Indian, much of her career chronicling the country and its diaspora, and written two books on global Indians, I think the criticism is misplaced.
Sima Auntie is not the problem. We are the problem.

Radhika and Akshay get engaged in episode 8 of "Indian Matchmaking." Akshay had said he was looking for a life partner similar to his mother.

I fear that the art of nuance and subtlety has been lost on critics. They want a deeper discussion of the rampant colorism on display here (the word “fair” to refer to skin tone is used over and over, without second thought.).

They want acknowledgment of entrenched and intentional endogamy that maintains Indian power structures, rooted in caste and wealth. They want mothers and mothers-in-law to stop meddling and enforcing impossible-to-meet standards.

But this is us. The critics are not wrong but their target is. That the show was filmed before George Floyd died but released after makes this reality even more poignant. Unilever announced last month that it is removing the word “fair” from its Fair & Lovely line of skin-whitening products. The company now says it chooses to emphasize “glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance.”
Fair & Lovely skin cream is now known as Glow & Lovely. Long controversial, skin-lightening products have come under renewed fire after global protests over racism.Fair & Lovely skin cream is now known as Glow & Lovely. Long controversial, skin-lightening products have come under renewed fire after global protests over racism.

As Americans know all too well, corporate policy is one matter; changing the hearts and minds of family and society is much harder. Herein lies the genius of “Indian Matchmaking.” Maybe Oscar-nominated director Smriti Mundhra and veteran showrunner J.C. Begley know exactly what they are doing; just look at the series’ narrative pacing, music selection and cutaway moments with adorable, elderly couples.

Their decisions are deliberate and calculated and intended to effect change. That’s the role and power of media. They’re not redeeming the cavalier manner in which families perpetuate inequality and outdated thinking. They’re exposing it.

The mirror is being held up and it’s impossible to look away.

Those who are offended by it often prove “Indian Matchmaking’s” point. We mock Aparna for her snobbish, exacting ways as she says not hating someone makes for a successful date. Yet even this criticism is loaded with the unattainable expectations we put on Indian women. Her reference to Bolivian salt flats, also chastised as elitist, is among the scant examples in the eight-part docuseries of a world view beyond, say, a Texas axe-throwing club or a Mumbai nightclub. What she seeks in a partner is intellectual compatibility. Don’t we have that right?
Aparna in Season 1, Episode 2 of "Indian Matchmaking." Everyone's got an opinion on this 34-year-old lawyer who wanted to settle down but not settle.Aparna in Season 1, Episode 2 of "Indian Matchmaking." Everyone's got an opinion on this 34-year-old lawyer who wanted to settle down but not settle.

The spotlight on the derivative manner and ancient customs of matchmaking in India — that far-off country where arranged marriage rivals snake charmers in Western cliched depictions — should force us to reconsider allegedly more modern practices. Like swiping right.

Among the revolutionary bits of advice from Sima Auntie: Focus on one match at a time. Don’t move on till you’ve ruled him or her out. I think of what a friend in New York City once called the “-er” problem in online dating. “There’s always someone hotter, better, taller, richer out there,” she told me, exasperated and single into her mid-30s. She left New York City and quickly found love in a smaller pond.

Pradhyuman (center), who runs a jewelry business, meets with Sima Auntie to spell out his demands. And he's demanding, having rejected more than 150 potential suitors.Pradhyuman (center), who runs a jewelry business, meets with Sima Auntie to spell out his demands. And he's demanding, having rejected more than 150 potential suitors.

It is too easy to look at Indian society as oppressive through the lens of arranged marriage and demand disruption — versus challenging the whole institution, East or West, love or arranged, IRL or online.

Indeed, there are quieter revolutions within “Indian Matchmaking,” such as the number of subjects who are divorced or the products of divorce. Once taboo among Indian families, divorce is explained away by Sima Auntie with the proclamation: “Marriages are breaking like biscuits.” She matter-of-factly assures the clients she will find them matches.

Why? Because Sima Auntie is the ultimate businesswoman and her ability to change is a revolution itself, representing the chameleon-like adaptation of Indians in a connected world. Confronted with nontraditional, challenging candidates to place, she does not give up, instead turning to life coaches, astrologers and fellow matchmakers who might have more modern networks.

Sima Auntie greets Rupam, a divorced mother, to help her try again.Sima Auntie greets Rupam, a divorced mother, to help her try again.
But why, critics rightfully ask, were all the matches heterosexual? India struck down sodomy laws and decriminalized homosexuality two years ago.

Here, I have faith in the undercurrent of capitalism and globalization that runs through “Indian Matchmaking.” After all this hype, there surely will be a second season. And surely Sima Auntie will find someone to help her arrange same-sex couples — as long as she gets her cut.

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Delhi government will prepare 5,000 health assistants in view of the third wave of corona

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen shortage of medical and paramedical staff.

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Arvind Kejriwal speaking with media in his office in Delhi

In an important announcement today, the Delhi government said that it will prepare 5,000 health assistants as a precaution in the wake of the third wave of corona. Under this ambitious project of Delhi Government, Indraprastha University will start training the youth gradually.

Talking about this project, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen a shortage of medical and paramedical staff. So the government has an ambitious plan, under which 5000 health assistants will be prepared.”

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Describing the outline of the project, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Indraprastha (IP) University will train 5000 youth sequentially for every 2 weeks. After that they will be given basic training in 9 premier medical institutes of Delhi.

Clearing doubts about the usefulness of health assistants prepared after just two weeks of training and training, Kejriwal said that these health assistants will work as assistants to doctor-nurse. They will be given basic training in nursing, paramedics, life saving, first aid and home care. Online applications for this can be filled from tomorrow, Thursday, June 17. The training will start from June 28. For this the qualification is 12th pass and age limit is more than 18 years.

This plan of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is prima facie looking very futuristic, but the reality will be known only after its implementation. It is to be known that with this announcement of Kejriwal, his critics have started to satire on this plan.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop.

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

The Crime Branch of Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police has arrested a gang of ‘Ghodasahans’ alias Chadar who have been dodging the police in different states of the country for the past several years. The gang used to be able to break the shutters of the shop with the sheets horizontally, the gang has more than a hundred crime cases registered in different states.

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop. Other members break the shutters of the shop and burn the goods inside within a few minutes. They mainly stole watches, mobiles, and electronic items. They used to leave after stealing in the night. They used to sell stolen goods in Nepal. The gang had no means of communication, which made it difficult for the police to nab them. Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate Crime Branch had received information about the gang. The police had received information that some gang members would come to rob the petrol pump. Under this, the police have arrested 10 members of the gang by laying a trap. Various weapons brought for loot and goods worth 1.5 lakh were seized from them.

Also Read: China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Big success for MBVV Police:

With the help of Crime Branch Unit 2 officers and a team of police personnel, the Unit 3 team disguised as the petrol pump and laid a trap on Tuesday morning. Seven accused, who came to carry out the robbery, were caught by the gang, while three accused were caught running towards the Tulinj police station area in shorts and vests. One accused is still absconding in this case. Police arrested 10 accused 1) Naeem Hadith Devan 48 years old, 2) Vikram Kumar Premchand Prasad 25 years old, 3) Naeem Munna Dewan 25 years old, Suheb Ahmed 45 years old, Vijaykumar Mahato 25 years old, Aslam Sai 27 years old, Dharmendra Shahani 29 years old, Vikeshkumar Paswan 19-year-old, Rohikumar Paswan 19-year-old, Omnath Kumar Saha 24-year-old have recovered Rs 70,000 in cash and two knives. The 10 accused have been sent to 11-day police custody after being produced in the Vasai Court under police protection.

Recovered from:

After disclosing the case of Virar, Nalasopara, Dindoshi 3 police stations, mobile phone and cash amount of Rs 1 lakh 64 thousand 810 recovered. The gang had registered more than 100 cases of robbery and theft in various states of the country including Vasai Virar. He used to rake theft in the dark of night, and after some time he used to steal away. Crime Branch Police Inspector Pramod Badakh told that he used to sell stolen goods in Nepal as well. Arresting this gang was a big challenge. However, after a thorough investigation by our police, the gang has been caught red-handed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mahesh Patil said.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

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China

China launched a spacecraft on Thursday carrying three astronauts to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national.

A Long March 2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-12, or “Divine Vessel”, bound for the space station module Tianhe blasted off at 9:22 a.m. Beijing time (0122 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu province.

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

The astronauts Nie Haisheng, 56, Liu Boming, 54, and Tang Hongbo, 45, are to work and stay on Tianhe, the living quarters of the future space station, for three months. The men will also be monitored for how they fare in space physically and psychologically for an extended period of time. An upcoming mission to the space station will last six months.

“This will be the first crewed flight in the space station (construction) phase, and I’m lucky to be able to have the ‘first baton’,” Nie told reporters in Jiuquan a day before the launch.

The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming speak before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The veteran astronaut has been hailed by his team as a bastion of stability and a teacher figure who constantly challenges others with tough questions. “As long as we have him in our hearts, we have nothing to fear,” fellow astronaut Wang Yaping, who is part of the Shenzhou-12 backup team, told state media previously.

“In our crew, elder brother Nie is like the needle that stills the sea,” she said.

Liu Boming, like Nie, was from the first batch of astronauts selected in the 1990s for China’s space programme. Known for his intellect, Liu is often addressed by his colleagues as “Little Zhuge”, the renowned military strategist who lived in China two millennia ago.

On the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, Liu famously used a crowbar to pry open the hatch after it refused to open.

Former air force pilot Tang Hongbo, 45, was from a later batch of astronauts, and trained for more than a decade before being selected for his first spaceflight on Shenzhou-12.

“I’ve waited for 11 years, and finally I’m ready, and I can contribute my strength,” Tang told reporters on Wednesday.

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