A couple of days ago I happened to stumble upon an article in yahoo that spoke about the different factors that form the foundations of the high success rate enjoyed by the institution of arranged marriages. Even though the factors mentioned in the theory were quite acceptable, I believe it only spoke the fair part of it, leaving behind the shaded part untouched. A few examples of the factors it mentioned were like right age, decent expectations, economic compatibility, advised choice, commitment etc. Like the well-known quote, there’s more to it than meets the eye lets dig deeper into this to know better.
Some of the factors which I would point out in my theory here is as follows,
We live in a country where girls are always supposed to be a housewife who makes food for her husband, takes care of the children, does the household chores and also care for the in-laws. This is a social problem where we completely fail to realise the betrayal that we are doing to this country in locking up these wives potentials at home and shield them off to an isolated world which is surrounded only by her husband, children, in-laws and their family. What is more ironic is the fact that most of the Indians teach their daughters how to behave at the in-laws house even before the girls realise or visualise what they can aspire and achieve in their life and channelise their efforts to their passion. This leaves little room for the girl to even realise that they are individuals capable of doing wonders. All that is filled in their minds is that the work of a girl is to be a classic Indian maid, nothing more.
Another compelling reason for the unusual success rate is the economic dependence that girls face after getting married. The in-laws and her husband normally don’t allow her to take up a career. My own mother tells that girls are not supposed to take a career. Its men who are supposed to take up a career so that they can provide for the family and girls are supposed to take care of their husband. Sometimes I can’t really understand if I am in the 19 century or in the 21st after hearing to this old school of thought. Well the reason she gives is rather more ironic. It goes like this: Only a mother can give her child pure love and for that it is essential for her to be with her children and take care of them. Now I also happen to come across the article by the well-known author Mr Chaten Bhagat on the movie Cocktail which spoke on the benefits of having career wives. One of the benefits it spoke about is, the children of a working woman learn to be more independent and will do better than mollycoddled children. I have come across many children who are so afraid of mingling with other children and are much like budding out of a cocoon. It’s an immediate spot on that this child has no siblings and the parents have pampered them so much that they feel like they don’t belong to the outside society.
After the perusal, one of the reasons for holding a high success rate of arranged marriages is that in a country like India only a hand full of girls will be courageous enough to break the marriage believing in herself that she can economically support herself and move on in life with support that she deserves from her beloved family. But again it’s a distant dream to be achieved in a society feared country like India.
Divorcee……. Ohhhh my!!!!! What happened????????? Yes India is such a country where the term divorce or divorcee is a taboo. Western countries may have a high fall out rate in their institution of marriage, but one of the reasons towards it is the rationale that prevails over divorcees. No one is seen as a person inferior in terms of personal relationships. This is not the case in the country like India where girls are taught that your husband is to be seen as your God and you should never even think to be equal to him. I have myself seen families having fights and both husband and wife saying ‘I don’t love you. I made a big mistake by marring you. Now I have to face the consequences.’ But none of them consider the possibilities of divorce. Obviously in a country like India the society would be stringent on divorcees and remarriage would be even more denial towards you in the society.
Another cancer to the Indian society is the concept of dowry. I have never ever understood what this dowry is. The bride’s family gives money to the bridegroom’s family. I can only see this as the bridegroom’s family selling of their son to the bride’s family. What is ironic is that I have always felt love is more precious than anything else and you can never buy it. But here marriage happens as a business except the fact that mostly it’s a onetime business, where the bride’s family gives money to buy a bridegroom for the bride. Even more ironic is that the girl never realises that she has bought her husband. She has more rights over him. She can command him and dictate terms to him as he has sold himself to her. Why can’t we treat this as a union of two people and not as a business by ignoring dowry and sharing the expenses for the marriage? Is a question which will most probably remain unanswered. Even though dowry is a punishable offence the growing import of gold is a proof that it is almost impossible to eradicate it. It has been noted that most of the dowry takes place through gold and we can see the impact on the falling rupee value against the dollar.
I also feel all this has a far wider impact than we all realise. Why is it that America always bags more Olympic medals than any other country? India having a population of more than 124 crores always struggles to get even a single gold. Is this a question on our ability or our attitude towards our comfort? I leave you to answer it yourself. Another interesting fact that I would like to disturb you with is ‘Looking at the education system and the cultural system, Do you think that our teacher or our society really motivates us to take risk and rise in our life in our own feet? All I see is teachers who teach so that everyone in the class could pass the exam and every parent tells their sons to study hard and find a good job. No one actually motivates us to take up sports as a career, no one motivates us to take up performing arts as a career in the fear that we would fail and will not succeed in life. This attitude itself has made us immune to taking risks and caused us to crave for a carefree life where we have family support and economic support with least efforts. This is one of the reasons we all say that we have large number of doctors, engineers, scientists but we never make large number of entrepreneurs or leaders who can exploit these people’s talents. Compare the population India has with the time it takes for an American company to grow and the number of companies in America along with its founder’s history. You will understand where I am getting at.
So to sum up I would like to point out that though it is true that arranged marriages in India enjoy a high success rate, but it is not due to its own calibre to hold a marriage together but the socio -cultural aspects that make it a success. Please evaluate both sides of the coin before you jump to a conclusion, who knows it may not be a coin similar to the one Harvey Dent uses in the movie The Dark Knight.