Indian Matchmaking aired on Netflix in mid-July, and every South Asian person I knew binge watched the show which follows Indian matchmaker "Sima from Mumbai" Taparia between India and the United States while she attempts to match clients with their future spouses. Everyone I spoke to had their opinions about this show - some found it entertaining, others found it offensive and cringe-worthy, some found it boring; most found it a combination of all of these. But, more notably, each South Asian person I spoke with noticed how it highlighted upper-caste Hindus with some Sikh representation. The colorism and casteism in the show was hard to miss, at least for someone who identifies as South Asian. For those who don't, it can be hard to see.
There have been essays, opinions, and podcasts about this show already, but I figured I'd chime in as well by chatting with some of my closest friends about it with the help of an amazing guide created by Viraj Patel, who is donating proceeds to organizations that "[fight] anti-caste oppression, survivors of domestic violence, prison abolition, supporting queer communities, and more" - please check this guide out, especially if you identify as South Asian. It provides pointed reflection and asks questions that you may not know the answer to, demonstrating how vast the Indian diaspora is and how privilege contributes to this lack of knowledge.
I spoke to my college friend Dr. Nazia Kazi, author of Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics, a book that explores Islamophobia through the lens of U.S. Empire, and is lauded by Deepa Kumar, Moustafa Bayoumi, and Arun Kundnani. I also spoke to my high school friend and actor, Mouzam Makkar, who has starred in The Vampire Diaries, Mindy Kaling's Champions, and The Exorcist on Fox. And I also spoke to my college friend, working mom, and writer Iva Shah, who penned her own essay about Indian Matchmaking and her parent's love marriage. Listen up and hear what we have to say :)
I mentioned the following within this episode:
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