India in the 19th century

Most of the Indian women I know who are around 30 years old are unmarried—and they’re happy that way. That is why I was somewhat bemused by this line in a Reuters report of Liz Hurley’s wedding:

Indian women are commonly married off in their teens to a man of their parents’ choosing, and are a cause of despair if they are still a spinster at 30.

Clearly the reporter in question, Jonathan Allen, had just flown down to India for the wedding, and obviously hadn’t spent any time here to get to know the place. Perhaps he even read Kipling for his research.

In tune with their coverage of India in the 19th century, another Reuters headline reads, “Horses, elephants to star in Hurley’s Hindu wedding.” I’m relieved that there is nothing in the text about how Indians worship the cow and consider it their mother. Joy.

(Link via Divisha Gupta via email from Gautam John.)