They say marriages are made in heaven! Well, this might not be so true from the Indian perspective. In India, arranged marriages are made by the family and society and unfortunately broken by their surmounting expectations. From societal pressure to do’s & don’ts and from conservative traditions to unrealistic expectations, the couple and their parents are the ones who face the brunt of the concept of arranged marriages in most parts of India. Some of the major factors that work as barriers to this already complex issue are:
Dowry: As per the law, dowry has been banned as a ritual but it is still very much prevalent in the country. Unfortunately, it exists among educated and privileged families too who term it as gifting rather than dowry.
Birth Of A Male Child: The preference of having a male heir is still preferred and the pressure of giving birth to a male child is extremely high on married women. In most parts, she is continued to be disgraced for giving birth to daughters and outcasted if she isn’t able to give birth at all!
Female Duties: There is a long list of the duties and expectations from a daughter-in-law in most households. With multiple, do’s and don’ts, the element of patriarchy continues to seep through the lives of Indian married couples.
Male Duties: With comparatively lesser restrictions, Indian men are still subjected to the norms of being the sole-earner, have to be the strong one out, has to head the family and is frowned upon if he takes care of the kids.
Humanitarian Rights: Basic rights post marriage like the right to a husband’s property, right to child custody, rights to your own money and gold, rights to fight against domestic violence or any other kind of torture and so on and basic requirements that the Indian society slides under the carpet.
With such age-old practices that are seeded and deep-rooted into daily lives, it is almost inescapable and impossible to win. The Indian culture is constructed in a social manner in which the society is respected for its presence and support. Each family considers how the family, extended family and society would think and judge them on a particular decision made. And thus, living life in an arranged marriage set-up is most difficult if your families believe in rigid traditions and most importantly if they seek permission from society in everything they do.
Adhering to Indian values and cultures isn’t wrong at all. However, thinking about how the society (people who aren’t family, aren’t close to you, doesn’t matter much and have little or no role to play in your life) thinks or feels about a particular decision that you take is where the problem arises.
So, always remember that everyone gets one shot at living their life. Thus, it is important that you choose a life in the way you want to live it, make your family and friends proud and be happy! Because that is what and only matters in the end.