A matrimonial ad is always a matter of interest to the people of India where arranged matches still dominate the marriage scene. From 4 cm x 4 cm newspaper placements to top banners on popular websites, you would have seen many kinds of matrimonial ads — some stressing on caste, some on age, some on gotra and some even on the prospective bride or groom’s height and the colour of skin.
Going a step further, one company in matrimony business now plans to make heavenly matches of young achievers and brides and grooms from high net worth families. A 25-cm deep advertisement spread over four columns (bottom left) on the front page of The Hindu newspaper’s Bengaluru edition left a lot of people surprised and shocked on Wednesday morning. The Young Achievers Matrimony (YAM), through the ad, is calling for registrations for ‘The Grand National Young Achievers Matrimony Meet’ on August 12 at a five star hotel in the city.
Age (considering youth is a state of mind) no bar, caste no bar — going by the ad, the organisers and the community they are targeting seem to be progressive enough. However, the ad has sexism and elitism written all over it.
The matrimonial ad makes it clear in the opening lines itself who they are targetting: “The ideal clientele would be highly successful young achievers and are specialists in their own respective fields or from ultra rich families.”
It goes on to define ‘young achievers’. Young achievers are those who are “successful entrepreneurs”, “eminent professionals (IAS/IPS/IRS/Scientiests etc)”, “Youngsters graduated from top universities (IIM/IIT/CA etc)”, “Highly recognized young achievers” and “Beautiful girls”.
Yes, you read that right! Girls who are “beautiful” are achievers in their own right, according to the ad, and need not present any other proof.
The other category of clients is “High Net Worth Families” who must be “ultra rich” or “celebrities or VVIP families”. Of course, family wealth is equal to professional or academic achievement.
The candidates will be further divided into two categories of “Direct Participants” and “Indirect participants”.
There is a registration fee too, though it is not specified if the “beautiful girls” too need to pay it.
The amount is flat Rs 5,000 for “Indirect Participants”, while “Direct Participants” will have to pay up a fatter bill that further separates the “Young Achievers” from “High Net Worth Families”.
The “Young Achievers” need to pay up Rs 10,000 each, while the “High Net Worth Families” will have to dish out Rs 25,000 per candidate.
Each “Direct Participant” gets to bring a maximum of two people along, and they will be received with a welcome drink. They also qualify for a “veg lunch and high tea”.
From the ad, it seems the paltry Rs 5,000 does not cover the cost of drink and meal as “Indirect Participants” won’t be getting it. The ad mentions it clearly that their profiles will be displayed at the event and matching profiles will be sent via mail or courier.
The unique matrimonial ad, on expected lines, invited a barrage of attack on social media as users slammed it left, right and centre.
Take a look at some of the comments.
Young achievers matrimony meet.
Achievements include successful entrepreneurship, entry into elite universities… or for women, just being beautiful.
— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) July 25, 2018
The grand National meet of young achievers’ Matrimony. Young achieves are Successful Entrepreneurs, IAS officers etc and Beautiful Girls pic.twitter.com/zcTpCAlYQX
— Veena Venugopal (@veenavenugopal) July 25, 2018
It’s 2018 and there’s a young achievers matrimony meet that promises beautiful girls. This whole thing is regressive on so many counts. pic.twitter.com/qgp8qAXMsZ
— Nandita Iyer (@saffrontrail) July 25, 2018
The last date for registration for the matrimonial meet is 30 July. The ad gives out the WhatsApp number where candidates are supposed to send in their profiles and photos.
However, the organisers are not sure now whether the event would take place or not. The criticism reached Sreeram N of YAM soon, and has left him worried. He is apologetic too, and admits it was a “mistake”.
“We have made the mistake of putting beautiful girls under achievers category. Now, all of India is criticising us. Who will come to the event now?” Sreeram told The News Minute.
According to the man from Andhra Pradesh, says the TNM report, YAM was founded five months ago and has already held one matrimony meetup for doctors in Bengaluru earlier this month. The meet apparently “went very well”.
The TNM report quotes Sreeram as saying that he intends to publish an apology letter in the same newspaper for his “error”.
“It is not as though girls who are not beautiful are not allowed. The YAM matrimony meet was for young achievers and actually that is the only criteria,” he says.
The ad was supposed to be published in another newspaper on Thursday but Sreeram has got it cancelled.