An open letter to the Founder of IITIIMshaadi.com

Dear Dr. Ajay Gupta, Founder of IITIIMshaadi.com

Dr., eh? That too from Delhi School of Economics? Pretty impressive! Just a quick question, did they also teach you something called mutual respect and equality? Oh wait..

I just stumbled upon a Facebook post which said now men from IIT and IIM have a place to find their “soul mates”. I clicked on it and whoa, was I fumbled? Your extremely fresh idea to build a matrimonial website based on educational qualifications than evils like caste, class, race etc is damn progressive, I must say. Even trivialities like common interests and hobbies and compatibility didn’t find a meager mention because as the tagline of your website goes Alma Mater Matters. Well, I must congratulate you, Sir. You have solved that mystery which even Chetan Bhagat with 6 books down couldn’t.

You see, Sir, I have recently turned 25 and your website has come like a blessing in disguise to me. Like every dutiful, middle-class, educated Indian girl, it’s time for me to stop and smell the rose in my journey called marriage. After all, what good is my education when I can’t garner a good husband? You see, Sir, just like you, even I’m a PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru University. And after three degrees down and on the way to the fourth one, I think I have realized the true meaning of my education, all thanks to you! However, Sir, when I with utter joy tried to log in to your site to search for that true soul mate, I found out to my dismay that I do not “qualify” to register on your prestigious site iitiimshaadi.com. Why, Sir if I may ask, why? Am I not good enough? Is it my qualifications, double major in German Studies that didn’t find any parent group it could attach to?  Is it because Humanities is as it is a disrespected field? Or is it because my university is largely a leftist one? Even the poor university couldn’t get enlisted in your élite group of institutions.

Or is it so because your pretty boys from the IITs and the IIMs might get intimidated by a highly educated woman like me? Is it why the eligibility criteria for women on your website and I quote is “Country-wide reputed graduation institutions on wards“. If I may ask, why Sir, would you need women from even “country-wide reputed graduation institutions“? If I’m not mistaken didn’t you mention the site has lower entry requirements for women to give “a larger pool of choice to the men“. I mean, as you rightly mentioned “some highly educated men, in terms of practicality, like women who also consider taking care of the home a task as good as a job.” Weren’t you the one who said, “They were looking for intellectual compatibility, but at the same time wanted women who would understand their hectic lives and dedicate more time to the house—while doing some part-time work, someone with a half-day job would have also worked.” After all, that is the true meaning of a woman’s life to serve as a maid and a fuck-buddy for her man, isn’t it, Sir? To be highly educated and intellectually compatible but dissolve herself in-house and part-time work. My parents would be so proud of me today, after all, this is why they brought me up and provided me the best education. They owe you, Sir, they owe you.

But I haven’t even come to the best part of your excellent website, Sir, if you may allow. The homepage of your site has a slide show of a few images with the header “Preview of things to come“. What a stroke of brilliance, Sir, what a stroke! The image starts from a marriage ceremony being culminated to a fancy car with the tag “IITIIM shaadi“. The message behind the images is loud and clear: Enroll in IIT or IIM and get a bride and a car FREE FREE FREE! Voila! After all, this is a “gift” and not dowry. You Sir, win hands down.

I’m grateful to you for making me realize the true meaning of my existence. Now, I’m just waiting for some IIT/IIM boy of yours to pity on me with my useless humanities degrees from an even useless university, marry me and end my misery. However, if you or any of your pretty boys somehow didn’t like my earnest appreciation of your venture, they are welcome to shoot questions at me. I do hope your pretty boys will come up with some quality arguments. The whole point is to have a dialogue, right Sir?

Enroll into IIT/IIM and get a bride and a car FREE FREE FREE!

Enroll into IIT/IIM and get a bride and a car FREE FREE FREE!

 

Update (as on 29.08.2014): I emailed the above letter to the Founder, Dr. Ajay Gupta on 26.08.2014 and received a response within less than an hour. Like the website, Mr. Gupta’s words were big and hollow. He mentioned he “respects”others’ opinions and expects the same. Very politely and smartly he has tried to explain his “philosophy” behind the site and conveniently ignored all my questions. However, fearing such angry letters, I assume, a few changes has been made to the website. The changes are following:

  • The image with the car has been removed and replaced with an image showing the wedding venue. Mr Gupta surely feared dowry accusations, but how much his mentality has changed, if he or his relatives will demand dowry for future weddings can only be speculated.
  • The introduction of the site has been changed. It no longer says that women must be from “reputed institutions” while men from “élite”. The current introduction is a more general one without any gender bias. However, if this bias is carried out in further steps, one can’t be assured.
  • More options have been added to the “Am I eligible” list including PhD and Masters, however Humanities still didn’t find a mention. According to the site, the list of institutions are also being updated.

The post will be updated if any other changes occur. Although, Mr. Gupta is trying to cover up his sexist remarks and patriarchal attitude towards women, how much will be put into practice cannot be said. Let there be hope!

Update on 12.09.2014: I and the open letter were recently quoted in an article in Deccan Chronicle, Banglore. Check out below:

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Disclaimer: This article has been previously published on Feminism in India here.

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38 thoughts on “An open letter to the Founder of IITIIMshaadi.com

  1. I am from both an IIT and an IIM and I find this website equally disturbing, appalling and ridiculous. Seriously Gupta ji, what were you smoking?

      • First time I came across this website, I was like WTF is this shit? I mean, now they are selling us online literally, based on our qualifications. Who gives a damn about interests, likes/dislikes etc. Are you from IIT? Congratulations, I am marrying you!

  2. There is a website such as this? Omg! Loved your take and totally agree. So lowly have our thoughts become to showcase the so called “prestigious” students at one place. How convenient! I would really like to see some interesting discussion on the topic from these intelligent student but alas they would be so effing busy working under the noses of their bosses!

  3. May be we should just clap and laugh till it hurts. This is a case of education gone wrong, or probably mind jumping out of body, entirely, completely, absolutely abandoning Mr. Gupta of any sense. I wonder, how will I ever get married now since I left college right after a simple graduation from a nondescript college. Oh man, I’m doomed. :p

    • Hey, have a look at the website, the founder has changed a few things after I emailed him this letter to which he also responded. 😛 The above picture has been replaced and the intro has been edited.

    • Me too, although I m not from a bad institute, but unfortunatly that’s not listed in men’s category. I m gonna die a loner, thanks to this website.

      • Me 2 bro, a pass out from a good institute not listed in the men’s category, we are doomed. My dream of marrying an equally qualified girl is shattered.

  4. Hello Japleen,

    I don’t understand why people are making so much sound about it. I personally do not find anything wrong in this website. Its just giving a platform to people who graduated from some pioneer institutes and who were having a hard time in finding a soul mate.

    • Hi,

      Did you just see the website now? And did you also read my update? The site has gone under considerable changes. All the things written above were on the site unless I emailed this letter to the Founder, who then responded to me and made these changes.

    • Are you kidding me? What kind of an idiot would marry based on degree. I’m neither from IIT or IIM but I have a MD PhD from an Ivy League institute.. Will I join this shit..? Hell no!

  5. Hi Japleen, I just came across your site today and read this post. So absurd! Some time ago, a female author in the US (where I am from/live) wrote “Marry Smart” on how college is now a place for young women to find their partners, and should spend 75% of their time looking for a man, not to focus on studying! Susan Patton (the author) is a graduate of Princeton. Princeton! Granted she is an older women, I believe in her late 50s, and a self-proclaimed feminist, she still believes in maintaining the traditional roles of women “needing” men to take care of them. Oh! And get this: She’s divorced! She’s also made some pretty outlandish comments like girls should get plastic surgery in high school to make them look more attractive. Ridiculous! Perhaps her and Mr. Gupta should meet? 🙂 I would definitely recommend watching one of her live interviews. All the best to you!

  6. Mr Gupta has started something really really good.
    PlZ stop criticising.

    Getting into IIMs and IITs is really difficult , a graduate from these colleges can get into any College in the world.

    Since you are a feminist start asking the girls who join this site for a IIT IIM groom not the guy who founded the website…

    • Hi Srikanth, I was about to write you a long response, but then I saw the next comment by a fellow IITian, Subhajit. I hope you learn something from it and sense prevails over you soon. Till then, have a good day.

  7. As an IITian I find the notion of such websites offensive. However this is also a product of the larger society we live in. Sad.

    • I don’t understand why you guys are so offended by this website..

      The picture of the car as dowry was terrible and I don’t agree with it

      If you his are criticising this website then you must criticise shaadi.com

      Bharathmatrimony and all the matrimony websites in India

      This is a niche website and when I checked the website there were more girls than guys registered in this website

      So Infact it’s more girls who are looking for a IIT IIM groom …

      If we look at Bharath matrimony there is an option on searching for IIT IIM grooms and brides

      If there are special job sites for IITians and IIM student just like naukri premium why not a special matrimony site …
      But terming it as a sexist website is wrong …

      • I don’t have a lot of time to reply u in detail. I’ll be short

        1. Marriages are based on compatibility and mutual trust. Are there any special courses on these taught at IITs or IIMs? I don’t object to matrimonial websites in general, but to creating such artificial divisions so blatantly and openly.

        2. Jobs are based on technical expertise (in which ppl from IIT are typically the best around). That is why a company wants to look at IIT or IIM grads 1st.

        3. Sexist? Where did I ever mention sex or gender in my little 2 line comment?

      • I think these websites are a step to replace the basis of caste in marriage by the basis of educational qualification. Which in turn is an important milestone. But it is not the justified end. Hence there is criticism. But still i agree that it is better than caste based marriage. Be careful i don’t say that it is the ultimate criteria for marriage.

        Ultimately the character and virtues of spouse would be the basis of marriage and not educational qualification, job, caste, money, reputation etc. Here i throw a startup idea to create a platform which can judge people on basis of virtues, character etc. It might be done by a detailed quiz etc. Rest of the criteria is secondary to this but plays its own part.

        In short i see this as a milestone which is not the ultimate end in the evolution of Indian society. There will be criticism and taking them constructively is the way to go forward.

  8. The website is private and anybody can create anything with their ideas. Seriously , If you are unable to register there, you come up with these comments? don’t forget you also jumped to register finding it intriguing 😛

    • I ‘jumped’ to register to find the exact loopholes. Duh! In case you did not read the updates, the founder Mr. Ajay Gupta did a number of changes after reading my letter and also responding to it.

    • I don’t see how is being an IIT/IIM grad linked to marital success. I was good at Maths and Science in school so I got into an IIT. That’s it. Being a pretentious prick and taking jibes at someone not being able to register for an absurd site like this goes to show how mature you are! I personally would never want to be with someone who wants to marry me just because I am an IIT passout.

  9. Dear Mister Shrikanth,

    You are right, IIT’s and IIM’s do open the doors of the world for you, but as per your implicit admission, apparently do not equip you with the sense of security to be in a relationship with an intellectual equal. I see no reason otherwise to want your future wife to amount to nothing more than a nursemaid, or at the best, someone who will always be relegated to the background.

    And apparently, the hallowed IIT’s and IIM’s also do not teach the Art of Rhetoric or Writing. You are right, that other sites and people do exist that revere a certain educational standard, and both parties are deluded, the one that expects a nursemaid wife, and the one that equates IIT’s/IIM’s to marital happiness.

    However, the author is but one person (and not the controller of the internet) and by exemplifying one site, hopes to show people the absurdity of their thought processes.

    P.S.: Japleen! Lovely article!! I just too caught up in replying to the comment but let that not undermine my appreciation, for both your article and the reaction it got from Mr. Gupta. 🙂

  10. This website is pure blasphemy!
    I was bored over the weekend and tried registering to have some quality fun time. It was one of those days when you want to watch a movie like Buddha Mar Gaya and laugh at the absurdity of it. Homepage of the website itself looked dated. On top of it, when I scrolledl down, I noticed-‘ Venture of ruralnukri.com’. Hilarious to say the least. I decided to still go ahead. To my surprise, they automatically uploaded my pic to my profile without my consent! I thought of searching the profiles to see if it is legit at all with registered users. Then I realized that it requires you to answer a barrage of questions, which includes your full current address! They auto filled my current hotel address in that form as well! That was the tipping point and I closed the tab and decided to do a google search on reviews. That’s how I landed at your blog.

  11. People who can register on it, register. People who can’t, let it be. There is no need to become overly serious about these things.
    Google Glass was launched as a developer only project by Google, that didn’t mean that people started complaining to Sergey Brin or Larry Page that they couldn’t get a Google glass. If IIT/IIM/ISB people want to find people with similar education, what’s the big deal? I feel the letter is just an opinion, which is fair in this country but complaining about the idea of the website makes no sense to me.

  12. A very nice article Japleen. I myself just passed out from IIM and found this concept brazenly absurd. If people for once had got real education once in life, they would know that nothing extraordinary is taught in IIM. (can’t say about IIT, haven’t been in one, but I bet it would be similar case there). It’s teachers who teach that matter. We had one of the greatest Prof. A.F. Mathew (you might know him being a humanities student). But even after his excellent teaching on society and sociology, I still know people in very same batch as mine having most regressive attitudes just as the founders of this website and many similar people out there.
    Let’s at least try on our part to not fall into caste, creed, sex and color. It’s such a small life: Let’s enjoy. 🙂

  13. Personally I find the very idea of arranged marriage repulsive. And if the site was really what it was before the changes made due to this letter, then that is even more repulsive. Having said that, there are a lot of men from IITs and IIMs who have a difficult time finding a wife, myself included. So if this site does help such people I don’t see much of a problem. This point can’t be understood by girls, most of whom don’t have any trouble finding love and such men who are able to find love that reciprocates.

    Oh BTW whatever the site mentions or whatever the site intends, very few are so sexist as to prefer a stay at home wife.

  14. Ok….I agree that marriages are based on trust and love.So does that mean you don’t ask for the educational qualifications of your prospective bride/groom? I am a girl pursuing my bachelor’s degree from IIT Kharagpur and frankly speaking I do not find anything offensive about the site.

  15. Marriage is not about having a partner who is intellectually capable.More of its the meeting of two heart where both of them will have positive sides as well as flaws.
    I think such websites is made just for those who need people with qualifications and maybe not good life partner.

  16. Despite being from both an IIT and an IIM, I find the website a bit unsettling and seemingly elitist.
    But, the site can be justified on the grounds that people have the right to search for their preferred soulmate. People have their preferences, a doctor might want to marry a doctor, an engineer with an engineer, an artist with an artist and so on. There is nothing wrong with that. Neither does it imply that they are considering their respective professions to be superior to others.
    Moreover, it might even increase the chances of compatibility.
    The site is just catering to a niche in the matrimony market.

  17. I am a PhD student, and seriously when out of that curious scholar hormones i tried to explore this website. And the findings were totally shocking and brought astounding findings that i have to upload my certificates and mark sheets to match a perfect and compatible sexually active and perfectly performing man on the basis of my scored marks………….. Voila!! kudos Gupta Ji!!! I am still single … coz i have not uploaded my marksheets…

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