India isn't unfamiliar with the weird concept of "background checks" before weddings. But we recently found out that there are detective agencies that earn their bread doing just that - background checks.
These agencies call themselves the "pre- matrimonial detective agency", which honestly couldn't embody the paranoia of Indian parents any better. India is big on the concept of checking into potential spouses' sexual lives, exes, and financial issues.
And we can imagine how hard it can be for one old uncle to collect all the dirt on someone, they obviously need some help and who better than a detective to do that?
These detectives also have websites where you can contact them - and we thought our friend Iqbal Shah (totally not real) could use some help with his future wife (also totally not real.)
We called two agencies to find out their process, charges and what entails as "background check."
Our Talk With The Agencies
We asked them to help us run a check on Iqbal's future wife, and asked them what the process was.
"We look into the family of the girl, her whereabouts, her office life and character. We do a family background check, her society reputation, affairs, exes and check if she has any mental or psychological disorders." the woman on call told us.
She asked us a few questions is return - Where does the girl live? Where does she work? Where is her family? Which college is she from? Does she have any secrets?
They also asked us to give them a biodata for the girl, and a photo. They suggested that they would keep an eye on her and dig into her old school or college boyfriends and give us a report in 15 to 20 days.
When we asked them if the process was legal, they assured us that it was as legal as it gets and that they were in the industry for a long time.
We also asked them for their prices and both agencies had very different ranges. On one end was 45,000 rupees with additional GST charges and on the other was 15,000 rupees with an additional 3,000 for looking into exes and affairs.
The fact that these services exist exclusively to spy on potential spouses shows the lack of trust and the extreme paranoia that India parents and families face. To go to the extent of hiring personal detectives and running checks on their son or daughter-in-law and kids is unbelievable.
Arranged marriages have been a tradition for a very long time, and usually, families knew each other well before marriage. But, now even arranged marriages are done through online matrimonial websites which is why the family may have some doubts about a to-be spouse.
Though it's fair for a family to have their doubts, the use of private detectives is a tad bit too far. Trust forms an important part of a new relationship, and maintaining that is essential for your child's future spouse.
These agencies breach the privacy of the person in question, investigating office spaces, taking pictures and interfere with their lives.
If you don't trust the person you or your child is going to marry - don't choose them maybe?