Marriage – Love and Arranged
December 24, 2008 § 13 Comments
[This is something I wrote for my cousin sis in Mangalore to submit for her school magazine]
Somebody introduced me to a new concept the other day, of knowing beforehand(literally) whether my marriage would be an arranged one or a love marriage. Some of the people who tried it for the first time seemed to be a little disappointed at the results, either arranged or love. It is a silly game, one that was perhaps invented by bored teenagers to while away some time, but it did get one thinking. About marriage, and the way our society interprets it.
Marriage, people say is the cornerstone of a successful society. Long lasting ones more so. It is a common perception here in India that arranged marriages are more long lasting and hence have a better bet at being more successful. This however does not hold true for societies around the world. For instance, in the western world, marriages themselves are optional, and in most cases are love marriages. It is not frowned upon there as it is here in India.
Marriages in India are not about two people, they are about two families. Because the way of life here is so family oriented, families become involved in any couple’s life sooner or later. More often than not, arranged marriages are fixed only after knowing that the families themselves are compatible with each other, as also the couple. Families are instrumental in holding together a couple, during the good times and also when things get difficult in a marriage. It is this system that is the primary reason for the success of arranged marriages.
Love marriages, on the other hand, hardly have family or societal sanction. The couple has to, mostly, be on its own with hardly any support structure. Most of such marriages are done with haste, with the headiness or belligerence of youth. If any differences between the couple do crop up (as in most marriages), it becomes difficult to resolve these in the absence of sane voices in the support structure of the family. This perhaps is the biggest reason for all the failures in love marriage.
This is not to say that arranged marriages are better or love marriages are bad. There are many instances of bad matchmaking in arranged marriages and there are many successful love marriages too. As in life, what may be good for one person may not be as good for the next. Maybe, as we move to a more nuclear family oriented society, love marriages will become the norm, maybe we’ll see more family and societal sanction for love marriages. Or maybe we’ll see the good old tradition of arranged marriages hold fort and continue to be the dominating force in building and sustaining our strong family oriented society.
[Update: I read a very good piece of analysis on the same topic the other day. Its titled Stockholm Syndrome a.k.a Arranged marriage ]
[Update2: Looks like marriage season’s on in full swing, this is a file I got via email…Read it(arrangedmarriage), I will ask girls to ignore this though. And one more thing, all views are of the author.]