Thursday, November 10, 2011

4 Making sense of society-approved marriages

Discriminations that percolate our lives are countless. Common ones when it comes to marriages are caste, religion, money, skin color and the Gender. These dividing factors hide behind the facade of religion, culture and even some scientific reasons like men are physically stronger than women. But such marriages are loved by our society - after all only because of their unabated approval do they thrive.

1.Forced marriage into wealthy family - with total parental approval 
Wealth makes this family highly-respected . You will realize that many of the conditions are dropped. Wealth overpowers caste and regional differences.

The girl(G) was in love with another guy for 6 years. The boy from this wealthy family notices her at some marriage and decides that she is the one. Goes back to his mom and the family decides to pock her as the DIL. Wait - it is more of a demand to the Girl's parents. But our G's parents are one with typical Indian values (Does Indian value tell you to ditch a person you love and get married to another?) Never mind. She is forced to give up on her love and agree to this marriage. She has a kid now and seems to be very happy. Recently when spotted in a wedding we couldn't differentiate between the gold and her:-).  

Is this a 'love at first sight' marriage? Atleast for the guy - physical love or maybe it was intuition or 'purva janma bandhan' at work.But lets dig a little deeper into the highly-respected family's relationships (conditions are totally relaxed.) The MIL has two husbands. So now, our G has 2 FILs. How lucky:). There is nothing wrong with polyandry- when men have so many wives and also mistresses at least the MIL has the audacity to legally marry both of them. But if this had been a love marriage scenario - can you even imagine the opposition that G would have faced. Here the only game-changer has been Money.

2. Arranged to finish parent's responsibilities
S got married at 23 not because she wanted to but her parent's wanted their duties to be done. Pakka arranged marriage. Now, she is 25 with a baby in hand. For the past 2 years, she has hardly spoken to any of her friends or family - even her own mom. She has restricted access to the outside world be it the internet or the telephone - her MIL is constantly monitoring. (Does't it sound like she has some health condition or is in Jail?). She confides to her friend last week that there are too many problems. Worst is her FIL misbehaving with her. And she has been strictly instructed by him that she should not share this with anyone. And who is going to believe her anyways - her MIL or her husband? They will be too concerned about preserving the family honor lest this issue leaks out. This is another kind of highly respected family.

3. Arranged but struggling to stay married
I have written about C in this post. She is pregnant now but with her husband having extra-marital affair and exchanging messages throughout the night. She will stay put there - the baby is due anytime. And its the rule that women have to adjust always.

Even in an choice marriages(Arranged/Love) these situations are possible but support sources are stronger. Either the lady has supportive parents (because they were in the right mind to let her choose) or best she has a supportive husband. Parents often say "If you marry according to our norms, we will always be there to support you" - what can parents do in these scenarios?
In these life snapshots, what is the Indian culture that we are upholding? What is it that irks people about a choice marriage? Why should elders decide everything - from the sex muhurtham to when to molest a DIL?

What is the use of family if women have to sacrifice everything - time, money, self-respect, love - to keep it in place?


  1. Just found your blog through your comment on nepali jiwan. Looking forward to reading through your thoughts.

  2. @pumbaandsimba
    Welcome pumbaandsumba:-) Do visit often.


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