The Bollywood cinema has created a fairy tale image of love and weddings within us. They taught us that marriages are made in heaven. Two people madly in love with each other face obstruction but are finally together at the end. But oops the mirror of our dreamy world breaks in this real world. Marriage is not between two individuals but between two families, which should pass through the checklist or societal norms. One of them being, that bride and groom should not be of same Gotras.
Gotra refers to the root person in an individual’s male lineage. The list of Brahmin Gotras is:
Thus a custom was established that a girl and boy belonging to the same Gotra could not marry. The main reason to avoid marriage between blood relatives was to prevent the abnormal offspring due to genetic mismatch. The marriage outside the same Gotra reduces the chances of eliminating the defective allele. But it does not mean every couple of the same Gotra will give birth to a baby with the Recessive Gene Disorder.
Moreover the females consist of XX chromosomes and the males of XY chromosomes. So the Y chromosome is passed on from the father to the son and has no role in female anatomy. Hence Y chromosome plays a crucial role in modern genetics in identifying the Genealogy i.e. male ancestry of a person. And the Gotra system was designed to detect the root Y chromosome of a person easily.
This Y chromosome has no matching pair in the human body and doesn’t take part in the normal processes. Thus this rule depicts the patriarchal society approach which wanted to maintain healthy Y chromosome i.e. fair chance of males to exist.
So whatever it may be, the Gotra system came during Vedic period and with the scientific development various counter arguments are also available. It may hold reasonable relevance in the past but today it also acts as a hurdle between two loved ones. Hence we need to decide our own take.