There are cer­tain stereo­types as­so­ci­ated with Mar­waris that tend to type­cast the com­mu­nity and build a per­cep­tion that may not al­ways be true. MAR­WAR asks em­i­nent mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to pick one stereo­type that they feel must be bro­ken at the ear­lies

Marwar - - Marwar Perspectives - Com­piled by Sneha Ma­hale

RISHAV CHOWD­HARY Part­ner, Pour House

My brother and I thought of open­ing a lounge in Kolkata in Au­gust 2015. We faced fam­ily re­sis­tance at the time. How­ever, I was se­ri­ous about open­ing my own place. So, af­ter some time, I pro­posed the idea again to my par­ents. There was re­sis­tance again, mostly be­cause the lounge would serve al­co­hol, which is a no-no among Mar­waris. How­ever, I per­sisted in my ef­forts to con­vince my par­ents. They re­mained scep­ti­cal about how peo­ple would re­act to the ven­ture. It took me quite some time to make them look at it from a busi­ness per­spec­tive. Even­tu­ally, I con­vinced them and opened my resto-bar called Pour House in June 2016. Over time, my fam­ily with its progress. Nowa­days, Mar­wari par­ents are let­ting their chil­dren make their own de­ci­sions. This never hap­pened ear­lier, when par­ents in­sisted that their chil­dren join the fam­ily busi­ness. My pub is do­ing well. It is the sup­port of my fam­ily and friends that has got me here.


The Mar­wari com­mu­nity is pre­dom­i­nantly a busi­ness com­mu­nity. It is also stereo­typed as a con­ser­va­tive com­mu­nity. Even now, there is an im­pres­sion among those who are not Mar­waris that girls from the com­mu­nity do not work af­ter mar­riage, and even if they do, they are in­volved in the fam­ily busi­ness. This isn’t the case. The sce­nario is chang­ing. To­day, we see many Mar­wari women don­ning var­i­ous cre­ative hats— de­signer, au­thor, singer or or­a­tor. My hus­band and fam­ily have al­ways been ex­tremely sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing of my pas­sion for singing. It’s be­cause of their sup­port that I have come so far. One of the rea­sons why the Mar­wari com­mu­nity has been suc­cess­ful is be­cause of their abil­ity to adapt to dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. With chang­ing times, the Mar­wari com­mu­nity has gra­ciously adapted and blended their cul­ture with moder­nity. As a re­sult, to­day, Mar­waris too are al­low­ing their daugh­ters and daugh­ters- in- law to pur­sue their dreams.

ALKA DALMIA Co-founder, Dil Se

There re­mains this as­sump­tion till date that all Mar­wari women are mar­ried off at an early age, and the few who are in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing a ca­reer, join their hus­bands’ busi­nesses. This stereo­typ­ing of Mar­wari women is in­cor­rect. I have seen way too many Mar­wari women go­ing be­yond these busi­ness points. They are pro­gres­sive, in­tel­lec­tual and fol­low their pas­sions ag­gres­sively. I am a com­merce grad­u­ate from Sy­den­ham Col­lege, Mum­bai. I have been mar­ried for 27 years. Af­ter hit­ting 50, I re­booted my expectations and re­drew my bound­aries. I have al­ways wanted to do some­thing through which I would be able to make a dif­fer­ence. So I came up with a unique con­cept store called Dil Se, to give back to so­ci­ety. We take new and just-like­new clothes from de­sign­ers and donors, re­fresh them and put them up for sale. The can fol­low my dreams at this stage, then Gen X and Gen Y women are way smarter. They could do so much more.

RISHAV AGARRWAL Spir­i­tual Seeker

Typ­i­cally, the one topic that both­ers ev­ery­one in a Mar­wari house­hold is the mar­riage of their daugh­ters. And if they do not have a daugh­ter, they are con­cerned about a dis­tant rel­a­tive, whose daugh­ter is still un­mar­ried at the age of 22 or 23. I am even more amused when I see a bright, young woman re­turn­ing to In­dia with in­ter­na­tional de­grees and in­stead of ask­ing what her fu­ture plans are, rel­a­tives of­ten goad her to get mar­ried. I am not against mar­riage, but I do feel it is a de­ci­sion that should pri­mar­ily re­main in the girl’s hand. She should not be forced by peo­ple who don’t even know what her true pas­sion or po­ten­tial is. Women are of­ten taught how to talk, sit or cook in In­dia. In my opin­ion, they should be taught how to op­ti­mally use the strength they pos­sess to take their legacy for­ward. Af­ter all, we men can never match up to a woman’s strength. Ear­lier, the men would earn while the women would take care of the home. But times have changed. The Mar­wari com­mu­nity too is be­gin­ning to un­der­stand that get­ting their daugh­ters mar­ried should not be the only fo­cus of their lives. Let them grow, pros­per, en­joy and choose.

TANSHI AGAR­WAL Cou­turière Styliste, Manoj Agarrwal Bridal Cou­ture

We Mar­waris call our­selves pro­gres­sive be­cause in our minds, we have over­come be­liefs of the past that are of lit­tle use to­day. We have trav­elled the world, had the best of education and are brought up in fam­i­lies that cher­ish values. To­day, un­like the older gen­er­a­tions, we give our daugh­ters good education and al­low them to pros­per. But if daugh­ters are al­lowed to work wher­ever they want to, then why not the daugh­ters-in-law? A lot changes when a girl gets mar­ried. She is ex­pected to home. The per­cep­tion is that if she has a ‘salar­ied job’, then she will fail as a wife and daugh­ter-in-law. So, they are usu­ally told, “We have our fam­ily busi­ness. Work in our com­pany if you want.” No mat­ter how much we try, we can never ex­plain that it is not the same. That’s the stereo­type I would like to take a stand against. It should be a woman’s pre­rog­a­tive to work where she wants to. We must mould con­ser­vatism to suit the modern frame of mind.

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