Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Rama Srinivasan — Between Kinship and Courts: Legal Tales of Love Marriages in North India

Thursday, March 9, 2017

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Room B9, Churchill House, 155 Angell St

Rama Srinivasan is a PhD candidate in Anthropology. Srinivasan's dissertation Courting Desire: Litigating for Love in Post-Agrarian North India explores the organically evolving definitions of sexual consent and the potential for social change within legal and state spaces in North India. She tracks the trend of elopements and choice-based marriages – that stand in opposition to family-arranged matches – in the North Indian state of Haryana to explore this issue. Through ethnographic narratives, Srinivasan traces the emergence of a new form of civil union called ‘court marriage’, which encompasses ideas of both a normative, ‘respectable’ union reserved for marriages based on kinship rules, and non-normative, choice-based ones popularly known as ‘love marriages’. In particular, she examines how the Indian state, through its courts, has come to play a role in mediating such relationships of consent. 

Graduate Student Seminar