‘Love is Blind’ is one of the most commonly asserted claims about love. It usually has a negative connotation as it is claimed to be mean that the lovers do not make a rational decision when they fall for each other. On the contrary, this article argues that love is blind, not because lovers do not make a rational decision; instead, they do not care about social conventions. Questioning social norms is very important for social reform. Therefore, it is asserted here that love should be blind. But, blind about what? A lover must be blind about gender, class, caste, religion, etc. of his/her partner. The blindness might bring various social reforms.
Social norms and institutions are made to maintain the rigidity of society. It somehow benefits some groups of people, whereas marginalizes and suppresses the other. Ambedkar, in his The Annihilation of Caste, argues that the caste system privileges upper caste groups and suppresses the lower castes. The same caste marriage aims to strengthen the caste system by not letting people of different caste intermingling. He maintained that the remedy of the caste system is inter-caste marriage as it allows to merge the different castes.
Thus, intermingling through marriage may lead to social reforms. If lovers go beyond what society wants them to do, they might help in changing society. Love is said to be blind because it does not care about social norms and social conventions. It does not depend on social institutions like marriage, family, etc., for its legitimization. But if it gets linked with these social institutions, it brings a considerable reform in society.
Love does not coerce, dominate, or suppress. It is an expression of freedom and equality in its real sense because no one is superior or inferior here. This is what reformers also want to achieve within the social realm that there might be no coercion and no inequality in society.
If the lovers who belong to different castes or different religions marry each other, they are filling the gaps of social division. The social divisions are the foundations on which coercion takes place. Thus, lovers, by being blind about the rules and norms of society, help in making a more equal and free society.
Ambedkar, B.R., “The Annihilation of Caste” The Essential Writings of B.R. Ambedkar, edited by Rodrigues Valerian, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 193-204.