Mixed Marriages and our Heritage !

Ngangom Junior Luwang *

Some years back, a Manipuri Actress's personal views on mixed alliances seem to have touched some raw nerves. We already had a precedent in the Manipuri film industry and we all know what had exactly transpired ! Reasons could be varied – better economic platforms, increased mobility, social media etc., but we see increasing instances of mixed marriages involving minority community members (happening left and right)!

The issue, in my mind, has two dimensions – (a) an individual's personal choice and (b) community heritage. Technically speaking, marriage is fully and strictly a personal choice and it's nobody's business and I believe many of us or many of our relatives are in mixed marriages. It's my life; nobody is going to die my death and just as you do not feed me, nobody takes decisions for or on behalf of me.

But what if such personal choices are to be exercised on a mass scale (bereft of community sensibilities), given that such otherwise personal choices will surely shape our common future; heritage! For the antagonists, alarm bells have already rung in almost every household in Imphal; I do have my first cousins in mixed marriages and I could see one or two in the pipeline as well.

Somehow, many of us seem to be always caught-up in a dichotomy between our absolute freedom of choice and our inner conscience to pass on our undiluted heritage to the future generation.

This issue is not confined to the Manipuri society alone but global in nature. Objectively speaking, ban on mixed marriages or miscegenation is associated mostly with the bad part of history–Nazis in Germany, the American Civil War, Apartheid in South Arica, Ku Klux Klan in America etc.

Here, the following facts are relevant: a. In the US itself, mixed marriage was an issue for a long time till 1967 when the US Supreme Court declared a complete ban on it in 16 States unconstitutional. "Miscegenation" was the term used for the first time to describe a mixed marriage in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet printed in New York City in 1863 to target the Lincoln administration by exploiting the fears and racial biases common among whites so much so that Martin Luther had to make the famous statement -"I want the white man to be my brother, not my brother-in-law."

Maryland was apparently the first to pass an anti-miscegenation law in 1664, followed by many American States in the 18th, 19th and 20th Century. These laws prohibited marriage of persons of different races. In 1883, Constitutionality of anti-miscegenation laws was upheld by the US Supreme Court in Pace v. Alabama.

However, in 1948, the California Supreme Court in Perez v. Sharp effectively repealed the California anti-miscegenation statutes, thereby making California the first State in the 20th century to do so. In 1967, the remaining anti-miscegenation laws in 16 States were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. But the White Supremacy movement still seem to continue in the US, with strong views on mixed marriages.

Even South Africa had Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949 to prohibit marriages between Europeans and non-Europeans but the same was repealed in 1985.

The above jurisdictions apart, many other jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting not just interracial marriage but also interracial sexual relations, including Germany during the Nazi period.

Either it was the sense of supremacy (White Supremacy, Apartheid, Nazism etc.) or sense of insecurity of minorities (Ughers in China, Red Indians in US, Parsis in India), which has encouraged miscegenation in one form or other. Arguably it is the latter which seems to discourage mixed marriages in Manipur, more particularly marriages with non-Manipuris (in origin).

Somehow, we all have been brought up with the perception of being a minority with a distinct origin, culture and language, hugely outnumbered by majority communities settled across India. This may not be a misplaced perception since Manipur accounts for around 29 lakh out of India's more than a billion population, Meities numbering just around 13 lakh, not to talk of other smaller communities.

Technically speaking, it is not only politically incorrect but also legally unsustainable to oppose mixed marriages involving Manipuris and non-Manipuris. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 allow any Indian to marry any Indian or foreigner, bereft of any consideration of religion, caste, creed etc.

Such a position notwithstanding, I do ask myself – what if every minority community members like the Meiteis exercise such otherwise personal choice, without considering implications thereof on our heritage and racial lineage!! Studies have clearly indicated that should mixed marriages go on, it is only a matter of time that all races, castes and creed would become one – possibly with one common but mixed language.

Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi in 1925 in Practical Idealism predicted-"The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals."

The same scenario had been envisaged by Madison Grant in 1916 in "The Passing of the Great Race" and Lothrop Stoddard in "The Rising Tide of Color against White World- Supremacy". Thus, to me, it seems to be only a matter of time for minorities like the Meities to get extinguished if mixed marriages are to continue unabated.

Majority communities, in my opinion, may not have much to worry about mixed marriages since it would be predictably the minority communities which would be gradually subsumed by majority communities. Let us take the case of Parsis in India. Today, they number less than 1 lakh–thanks to increasing number of mixed marriages.

After the fall of the Sasanian empire, Parsis, to escape Arab persecution, reportedly moved to China, Central Asia, Punjab and even as far as Europe. Over time, they reportedly intermarried, lost their distinct religious and ethnic identity and faded into oblivion.

The only group that survived was the one that came to Div and later moved to Sanjan on the Gujarat coast. They survived because they decided to lay down some ground rules and not compromise on any one of them, such as wearing Sudreh Kusti, Atash Parasti, dokhmenashini, marrying only within the fold and not converting others to the Faith, Manthravani etc. But today, Parsis are on the edge of extinction largely thanks to mixed marriages and the trend continues.

If mixed marriage is the trend as it is today, it is a matter of time that minority communities like the Meiteis will get subsumed by majority communities. We can at the most delay such a possible extinction and certainly, mixed marriages will expedite it.

Marriage is strictly a personal choice, but your personal choice and my personal choice will shape our common future. Nonetheless, nothing on earth can or should interfere with such personal choice and it is only our own conscience which should guide us !

* Ngangom Junior Luwang wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an Advocate in the Supreme Court and a Corporate Lawyer
This article was webcasted on May 10 2022 .

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Menstrual Hygiene Management
  • Chives cultivation in Manipur
  • Churchill for Whisky and 'Yu' for Us
  • Add cucumber to summer skincare routine
  • Trekking to Shirui Peak, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Job @ AITC Computer Centre, Dewlahland
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Poppy Economy: Belling a 1000-pound Gorilla
  • Soibam Bindeshori: Book of Records
  • Odisha shows the way in waste management
  • Commendable to rekindle interest in cycling
  • Piling pressure on the NSCN (IM)
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #2
  • COVID-19 Status 26 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Contractual Jobs at NIELIT Assam
  • I the Earth :: Poem
  • Training on mushroom at Nagamapal
  • PM-Kisan in Manipur
  • Iih - The lone foot traveller from Nepal
  • Education proposal merits consideration
  • Emergence of key board villains
  • Phuba Thapham, Senapati #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 May : Govt of Manipur
  • War on Drugs and Alcohol (Ju)
  • CubeTen: Awarded at British Parliament
  • Advancements in TB science in spotlight
  • Why should people join politics ?
  • Fisheries development in NE Region #2
  • Poor roadways denting prospect of tourism
  • From district level to State level
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Lam Thokpa #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2022: Program Detail
  • The fruition of mass communication
  • Grow drumstick for good health
  • Political Stand of Naga People's Front
  • Medicinal Plants for Rural Livelihood in NE
  • Thangjing pact: Test ahead for signatories
  • From 2013 to charge hearing in 2022
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar border) #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • NDPP's biggest challenge & opportunity
  • Languages soul of India & Hindi up to Ten
  • How Market Innovations made America great
  • Kahulong Primary School renovated
  • Conservation of wildlife need of the hour
  • Disturbing street brawl: Reflecting society
  • Licypriya speech at East Timor :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya delivers Speech at East Timor
  • Tobacco epidemic continues...
  • Dry Manipur still Wet and 'High'
  • Insects as feed for aquaculture
  • Inflation worries real but a passing phase
  • Dealing with suspected forest encroachers
  • Morphine to heroin to WY
  • English phonetic sounds :: Book download
  • COVID-19 Status 21 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Rs 2,80,000 assistance to 6 Journalists
  • Manipur Roads: A rainy season Nightmare
  • Workshop on "Research Ethics" at MU
  • Tacitly tacit
  • Gleanings from Buddhism
  • Thaopai Shithaine @ Phuba #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 May : Govt of Manipur
  • North-East Research (NER) Conclave
  • Fisheries development in NE Region #1
  • North East LSN Partners Meet 2022
  • Cold facial during Summer
  • Check gate closure: Boon or bane for driver
  • Covid free after 26 months: A brief look back
  • Wakhom Leikai Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Shija celebrates 26 years of surgery
  • International Webinar: Computing Trend in AI
  • New MAHUD for a new Imphal City
  • R&D initiatives of Ministry of Info Tech
  • PMFBY - Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Banking on Modi to eradicate plastic malaise
  • One step down from Greater Lim ?
  • Flood Watch: Nambul Turel [18 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Ambassadors for Christ
  • "... where women are not respected"
  • Nursing as a career choice
  • Conquest of the last frontier
  • Dry Manipur among top 5 liquor states!
  • Scoring high on liquor consumption
  • Flood Watch: Imphal Turel [17 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 May : Govt of Manipur
  • World hypertension day : 17th May 2022
  • Taking advantage of dying sedition law
  • Market innovations & vertical integration
  • Soram Oscar: Mr India Intl Tourism 2022
  • Cyber Security Lecture at Tamenglong
  • Involve village chief in Save Singda Movement
  • Reaching out to SC Jamir
  • Jalakeli Offering @ Govindajiu :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 May : Govt of Manipur
  • On 200th Anniversary of MK Binodini Devi
  • East Timor : Licypriya Kangujam invited
  • Carbon Sequestration in Dailong Site #2
  • Semiotic interpretations of traffic policing
  • Citrus Marcoptera: Rare Citrus species in NE
  • Same old healthcare issues for new minister
  • Rain : Bringing out the dirt of Imphalites
  • Art Exhibition @Imphal Art #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #2: Gallery
  • Soil rejuvenation through plants
  • Harrowing memories of a blast victim
  • Pristine Death :: Poem
  • Odisha File
  • Anti-poppy vows: Govt shouldnt be taken...
  • After more than 2 decades of talks
  • River & River Based Communities
  • COVID-19 Status 14 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Second National Lok Adalat
  • Manipur Cabinet: Blurry representation
  • Tips for summer party make up
  • Harvesting Fest of Tarao #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 May : Govt of Manipur
  • The USP of Churachandpur
  • Pranks unloaded: From fiction to mundanity
  • Radio comes to our rescue in pandemic
  • 3rd North-East Foodtech begins
  • Irreparable damage done to environment
  • Promotion of nurseries for plantation crop #2
  • Issues staring at the face of Manipur
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 May : Govt of Manipur
  • International Nurses Day 2022
  • Carbon Sequestration in Dailong Site #1
  • Various voices on reduced areas of AFSPA
  • IBSD, Imphal signed MoU with CSIR
  • Stay on sedition case smack on political elite
  • Identifying a district with one group ?
  • Kakwa Lairembi Haraoba #1 :: Gallery
  • Understanding Environmental Problem
  • Pre Recruitment Training at Keithelmanbi
  • Three rain catchers feted
  • How India is empowering women...
  • War-era bridges amid development rhetoric
  • Aerial route over heart of Imphal ?
  • SN Chand: The father of Manipuri cinema #1
  • COVID-19 Status 10 May : Govt of Manipur
  • NPF Kohima consultative meeting
  • Market creating innovation & business model
  • The element of surprise
  • 3rd North-East Foodtech at Guwahati
  • Growing support to 'war on drugs' mission
  • Backing the War on Drugs call
  • Mao-Imphal Market @ Kabo Leikai :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 May : Govt of Manipur
  • We live in the best of times to preach
  • Mixed Marriages & our Heritage !
  • Review Meeting on National Lok Adalat
  • Road blocking for everything
  • Promotion of nurseries for fruits & crop
  • Cong vigil essential to expose Govt
  • Thangjing Hill : Mischievous restrictions
  • Student appearing HSLC Exam #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Workshop with Vice-Chancellors of NE
  • BJP's major challenge in Nagaland - Church
  • Motherhood : A symbol of Love
  • Song of spring :: Poem
  • Mother's Day at Tamenglong
  • Stringent only means to deter poppy grower
  • Congress : Uncharacteristically quiet
  • 4th Documentor Imphal [7 May] :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Being a scapegoat for ages in this disaster
  • Entrepreneurs invest 8 lakhs to documentary
  • 12th Mahousa Ima Ningsing Tha
  • Float Festival of Tamil Nadu Temples
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 May : Govt of Manipur
  • On custodial death of Arambam Nanao
  • Placating Sharmila : The Iron Lady
  • Service Engineer @Info Trade, Imphal
  • Integrated farming- 2x farmers' income #3
  • Tree Plantation Programme at Kangla
  • Greed blinding rogue police elements
  • War on Drugs : Give it more teeth
  • Artisan Lourembam Bino Devi :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 May : Govt of Manipur
  • The Truth Alone Must Triumph
  • ICU bed facility launched in Tamenglong
  • World Hand Hygiene Day 2022
  • Workshop on Climate Change at Lilong
  • Water education for food security
  • Torpid tourism sector
  • Separate flag & constitution
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta Golapati :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Lavish event management gone wrong
  • World Veterinary Day 2022
  • Condemnation on the killing of Nanao
  • Summer skin care tips for a natural glow
  • Centre's push for NSU commendable
  • Powerless power
  • Ole Wangkheimayum : Making a difference
  • COVID-19 Status 03 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Last surviving Naga regionalist- Shurhozelie
  • DoNER Minister visited NSU, Khuman Lampak
  • Market creating innovations & economic
  • Kuzholuzo takes charges as NPF Leader
  • Swachhata Pakhwada at IBSD Imphal
  • Jiribam Keithel #2 :: Gallery
  • Cheirao-chingkaba #2 :: Gallery
  • May Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Alangtakhou waterfall @Tml #1 : Gallery
  • Blood Donation camp @Keisampat : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal @Mongshangei #4 : Gallery
  • Lunghar in Ukhrul district #2 :: Gallery
  • Student appearing HSLC Exam #2 :: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #3 :: Gallery
  • Tributes on Khongjom Day :: Gallery
  • Tongjei Maril (Old Cachar Road) :: Gallery
  • Painting Competition on 'Tribal' #2 :: Gallery
  • Floral tributes @ Cheiraoching #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Bamon Leikai :: Gallery
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Apr 14] :: Gallery
  • Shajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang @Bengaluru #2 :: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Shopping :: Gallery
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download
  • Learn English pronunciation: Book Download
  • Learning calculating skills : Download Book