Forget Tinder. When an Indian mother wants her son to get married, she doesn't hesitate to take matters into her own hands.
In Mumbai, Harish Iyer's mother asked her son whether he was single. When he said yes, what followed was what thousands of parents in India do: post a matrimonial ad. But the one by his mother was a bit different from the many printed in Indian newspapers: It seeks a groom — for a groom.
Because his mother was "Internet illiterate," Iyer said, he helped her get the matrimonial listing published in a newspaper. He detailed his attempts in a column for NDTV, a popular news channel and Web site in India.
Iyer went to several newspapers to get the ad published. Major publications such as Times of India demurred, saying there were legal issues to consider, while others didn't get back to him, according to Iyer. Finally, Mid Day, a Mumbai tabloid, accepted the listing and ran it on Tuesday.
The ad reads:
"Seeking, 25-40, well-placed, animal-loving, vegetarian groom for my son (36, 5'11), who works with an NGO. Caste no bar (Though Iyer Preferred)."
In a country where homosexuality was decriminalized in 2009, only to be recriminalized in 2013, the posting was celebrated on social media by many, suggesting growing support for gay rights. Just last year, the transgender population was counted in the Indian census for the first time, and a transgender woman was elected mayor this year.
Although the matrimonial posting attracted fanfare on social media, one line did draw criticism: Iyer's mother, who had an arranged marriage, said in the ad that she would prefer an "Iyer" groom for her son, referring to the family's upper caste.
He addressed the issue on Twitter, stating that caste isn't an issue for him or his mother.
Iyer said he has received six inquiries in response to the ad — "2 Iyers, two Muslims and a couple of others. Let's see!"