Indian culture is set to invade the English way of life in an ironic reversal of roles. The former British colony is launching attack after attack at the UK on the socio-cultural front. Chicken tikka has replaced fish and chips as the national food. Many Indian nationals are doing brisk business operating Indian restaurants. Yoga has invaded fitness centres as the latest fad for losing weight and keeping a healthy lifestyle. Indian personalities have also appeared on TV and newspaper columns as prominent trendsetters and commentators.

In the latest cross-cultural influence, TV presenter Aneela Rahman wants to teach white Britons the principles of arranged marriage so that they can enjoy longer-lasting marriage and family life. But will these watered down cultural exports from India work in the UK? Arranged marriage may not work without the pressure of society such as in India where divorce is frowned upon and women have to toe the line. Without faith in Hinduism, astrology or other cultural beliefs that bind the society’s disparate elements, butchering and publicising segments of Indian culture in foreign countries only serve to pollute the culture. While Aneela Rahman may hope to gain personal fame and excellent ratings through her TV show, selling arranged marriage as choosing the right partner according to class and money is absurdity. Just as chicken tikka without its spiciness to suit British palates is insulting to authentic Indian cuisine, arranged marriage to gain publicity will only serve to create more misunderstanding and hostility towards Indian culture.