Marriage is a gamble, so is this trap of traditional matchmaking! From Swayamvara to Gandharva marriage system, arranged marriage has been a vital part of the Indian culture. Do you ever wonder how this concept came into practice in the country? How we gave away control of our marriage to parents?
With time, the significance and prevalence of these marriages changed, especially among the youth. The moment they hear the word ‘arranged marriage,’ they feel annoyed! This term gets on their nerve. Doesn’t it?
Back in the Vedic period!
Historically, the concept of arranged marriage is deeply rooted in our culture. The Indian subcontinent has had a wide variety of wedding systems. It traces its origin back in the 500 BC during the Vedic era. Manu Smriti, a religious text which formulates the do’s and don’ts about the code of conduct and virtues, includes marriage. The set of rules resonate patriarchal tones and deprive women of their fundamental independence.
What’re the criteria to choose a suitable match?
Taking into account the success rates of arranged marriages and how divorce rates are high in love marriages, it seems parents fear to let their children opt for the latter. Concerned about their failure of modern relationships, parents are afraid to imagine their kids falling for the wrong partners. Therefore, they resort to sticking to the tradition. Undoubtedly, nobody can think more about our well-being and happiness other than our parents. But can parents really find the potential soulmate for you?
The procedure of carrying out arranged marriage has always remained the same. Parents never ‘ask for consent’. Instead, they give the ultimatum that they are looking for a prospective bride or groom in their social circle. And the next step is a grand wedding ceremony, where you take the vow of spending the rest of your life with a stranger. The only thing that has changed over the years is that matrimonial sites and apps like Shaadi.com, MatrimonialsIndia.com and Jeevansathi have taken over the job of matchmaking.
Back in those days, discarding a marriage proposal laid out by parents was not an option, as it was taught that if done so, it would be a disgrace to their family. They feared that their parents might disown them. Things are no as rigid as they used to be. Thank God!
Is arranged marriage being misinterpreted as forced marriage?
For centuries, people have had this mindset that arranged marriage proposal is the cornerstone of a holy union between two people, and the ‘seed of love’ can only bloom after marriage. Say what!? Who buys such ‘rubbish’ these days? Come on. Nobody longs for wedded bliss nowadays. People are practical, and they don’t have time to make things work out and are reluctant to believe in the notion of ‘happily ever after!’ Nobody needs a label of marriage to consummate a budding relationship!
You never know when the arranged marriage will turn into lifelong imprisonment. Arranged marriage is often portrayed as a forced marriage. But there is a thin line between the two, and that is ‘consent.’
Whether it is the central fabric of Indian culture or if it is fabricating the freedom of people – that is the question. Do you think it is fair to let anyone decide your fate? How does it feel when you’re ‘being forced into marriage?’ Give some thought to it, and you would understand the dynamics of traditional matchmaking, forceful marriage and domestic abuse.