Let’s start off with what role does a marriage play in one’s life and what is the need to marry !
For those geeky guys out there, here goes a formal definition – Marriage is a strong relationship, between two individuals, with well-defined rights and obligations. It forms the basic building block of human society.
I am pretty sure you are not interested in the boring definition, for those who are still want a little more, read this para or skip to the next for some views upon the topic in-focus – Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage !
Marriages fulfill the primary and essential humans needs of intimacy and emotional bonding. The partners live together and understand each others need helping out each other in every way possible – Be it financially, emotionally or in any other way for that matter. They share responsibilities for smooth functioning of the household and a better live. I assume that you are all set to marry and have no confusions as to Marry or Not to Marry ?
It is a common belief that compromises and adjustments is a major determining factor as to whether an average India marriage would work or not. It is an obvious fact that compromises would be low in case of love marriage, the reason being that the person is the one whom he/she has fallen in love with before marriage, so we naturally expect more on their end reducing chances of adjusting accordingly. In bright contrast, compromises and adjustments are prevalent and these are the foundation of arranged marriages, the reason being the lack of the married couple’s expectations from one another. It simply goes as such – You learn to compromise in accordance to your partner and end up with a long married life – But would it be satisfying to compromise just for the sake of having a long married life, is that all marriage is all about – What if the essential elements of love, happiness and understanding go on missing ?
Minus the drawbacks of the compromise factor, people prefer arranged marriages as it is more likely to end up longer than a love marriage. Keep reading on to conclude what works out for you and what generally leads to a better married life !
Our society is still going through a phase of changes in the choice and type of marriages. In contrast to the earlier scenario , the number of love marriages is increasing as parents, although a very small proportion of them, are beginning to accept their kids choice. There is nothing about aping the west when it comes to Love marriages, it is how choices are changing as people are developing their own tastes and parents are considering what their kids want to settle for. The present Youth is also practicing live in relationships to stay away from marriages, which in itself has its own pros and cons.
Types of Indian Marriages
Indian marriages can broadly be divided into three categories – Love Marriages, Arranged Ones, and the Love cum Arranged ones. The first one is when the partners make their own choice, arranged when the families are responsible for finding the match, the third one is a pseudo love marriage , although the partners know and love each other before marriage, the families are involved in arranging for the marriage.
Whenever there is a mention of a Indian wedding , we automatically associate and assume it to be an arranged marriage. This is what has been the tradition since ages, our social structure has long been in favor of Arranged marriages. Love marriages are still considered as a taboo among a large part of the society, although there are people with liberal views who do support love marriage and there certainly are a lot of people tying the knot with the partner they love, rather than having their parents to decide their life partner !
Nevertheless, love marriages are no more a rarity, you can easily find them in almost all societies and parts of India, but if the general opinion is to be considered they are still considered as inferior to arranged marriages, while the youth hardly advocates for the latter. In the Internet era, where everything seems to be compared in megapixels, the youth beliefs that it is important for them to get to know their partner before marrying him/her. On the other hand, there is a whole lot of people favoring the arranged marriage for the solemn reason that they think it to be longer lasting.
It has been a part of our tradition that the parents go on hunting for the perfect match and are the ones responsible for every bit relating to the marriage. The reason behind this tradition being dominant in our society is the obsolete practice of child marriage which has now been uprooted from our culture. Child marriage were obviously arranged ones, as the child wasn’t old enough to understand and procure the emotions of love and attraction towards the opposite sexes. Old customs die hard, and though child marriage is no more prevalent in our society, arranged marriage is as it has been intact since the ages.
Drastic changes came about in our society during the 1970s as education spread throughout the urban communities and people began realizing the need of independent thinking and individuality, this is when they started forming up their own opinions, needs and choices. This began the era of Love marriages which is still in it’s early stages. It was not only the change in people’s choice of marriage, but education gradually changed their mindset, people started to realize and took a stand against the caste system – They starting to favor inter-caste marriages and disapproved of marriages based upon caste, creed, social and economic statuses.
There has been a great transition in the last few decades and inter-caste and inter-religion marriages are increasing, which previously were taboo according to the Indian culture. The modernization of our society is a major determining factor of how marriages are taking up their shapes. However, the major Indian population is still part of the rural areas, wherein the old customs are common sight and people are yet to be modernized, lack of education is what prevents them from breaking out of the customs and realize the importance of independent thinking and need for one’s individuality. The rural conditions would improve gradually as education becomes widespread, which is yet a long way from now !
Love marriages are no more considered as a taboo, and the society is developing modern outlook of life. For them, two people should tie the wedding knot only with the consent of their parents and the blessings of their relatives.
Nonetheless, love marriages are prevalent in almost all the societies of India, given the fact that they are still considered inferior to the weddings arranged by parents in the country. People supporting the concept of a love marriage strongly believe that it is very important to know the partner before marrying him/her. On the other hand, the people, who believe in solemnizing the wedding with the permission of parents and relatives, think that arranged marriages are long lasting.
Love Marriage is simply the final level of a successful love story, it is when the two people have already known each other for long enough and decide to tie the knot. They are already aware of the good and bad factors of each other and have learnt to adjust accordingly. This facilitates a healthy future relationship and helps maintain a comfort level without much efforts.
On the contrary, arranged marriage involves two complete strangers who have no idea about their life partner. They need more time to understand each other and develop their comfort level. Well, obviously this is one area where the love marriage wins the game. Then there is the compromise factor which has already been discussed earlier, this is where the Arranged marriage scores. Another factor could be the “Family Backup” factor.
The Family backup means the support of the family in case of an arranged marriage, because it is the parents who were responsible for choosing the partner, they are always ready to help when required. Take an example of a couple going through financial crises or maybe some other problem for that matter, the couple can always resort to the parents or relatives for help, while the Ego parts kills this from happening in case of a love marriage. Moreover, Love marriages are carried out against the general wish of the parents and acquaintances, thereby killing the chances of their help in problematic times. Even if a arranged marriage fails, you can always blame or seek help from the people who arranged it. The parents are more experienced and are ready to solve problems between the couple, but that too would be a case when the marriage has been done with their consent. This is the biggest reason why Arranged marriages are considered better in India.
On the contrary, a love marriage involves a lifelong fight against the crises and problems faced on their own, the parents or relatives are reluctant not to help and they do not, and they do have their reasons for it. It is a common problem in an Indian love marriage that the couples are eventually cut off from their family ties and have to deal with problems on their own.
When it comes to love marriage, the two people tie the nuptial knot only after falling in love with each other and probably, after knowing each other for a long time. They get ample time to explore both the good and the bad things about each other, well before marriage. This helps them to develop a good comfort level after marriage, very effortlessly. On the other hand, if two people do not know much about each other, when their marriage is arranged by their parents, then they might take some more time to develop a level of comfort, understanding after marriage. Here, love marriage scores more than arranged marriage in this case.
It is said that compromise is a factor that decides whether the marriage would work out or not. In case of love marriage, people might expect more from their partner, largely because they have fallen in love before marriage. This leads to lesser compromises, as the person expects more from his/her partner. On the other hand, compromise and adjustments form the foundation of arranged marriage, largely because the married couple does not have any preconceived notions or expectations from one another. The compromise factor might work wonders in case of most of the arranged marriages, while in love marriages, that might prove to be yet another cause for altercation. Due to this factor, people consider arranged marriage as long lasting and better than love marriage.
In case of arranged marriage, the married couple could resort to their parents or acquaintance at the time of financial crises or other problems. In addition, if the marriage proves to be a failure, they have a number of people around them to put seek support or to put the blame on. Their parents would come forward to solve the problems between the couple, if they have married with the elder’s consent. This is the reason why arranged marriages are considered secure for the people in India.
An arranged marriage can be compared to a democracy decision, it involves the vote of various people, that include the family members, acquaintances and relatives. All of them analyze the match and choosing the most suitable match is a collective decision of the family. The families inquire about the match from various people, they go thorough numerous matrimonial and discuss the issue of their child’s marriage with relatives so that they can come across a match. Parents even give ads in the matrimonial columns of the newspapers. The goal is find a suitable match analyzing their status in the society, financial background, education attained and similar culture and lifestyle. All of it is done to make sure the marriage lasts long.
In an ideal approach, the partners have the final say in an arranged marriage. Although it is not always the case, it is what happens in an ideal case. There are instances when the parents try to force their child into a relationship, this is one of the biggest drawbacks of a arranged marriage. This is completely against the spirit of an arranged marriage, the forced relationship doesn’t last long or the partners are compelled to continue it even against their own will. The females are oppressed and suffer this issue, this is what can be curbed with Empowerment of women in India.
Love marriages promote the principle of individual freedom, it refrains from forcibly making the child tie the knot. Love marriages are a blood chemistry between two individuals. Such marriages have a fairly good chances of success, the reason being that the relationship is based on mutual attraction. This is not a union created under pressure as in the case of an arranged marriage.
But there is a darker side to it, Love marriag
es can only be successful if the person has chosen the partner wisely. This is rarely the case because the present youth rarely makes a wise decision in choosing a partner. The end result being that the so called love dies of in a few years and the partners lose their interest in each other, this leads to problems arising in their married life. Love marriages are rarely done between people of similar status in the society, similar educational qualifications, financial resources, life’s goals and aspirations of the two individuals, which gives rise to ego and eventually leads to divorce between them. Love marriages occur between old friends from college of school, colleagues at the workplace, and acquaintances.
Let us now draw comparison between divorce rates in Love vs Arranged Marriages
Divorce Rate in Love and Arranged Marriages
The divorce rate in a love marriage is quite high as compared to arranged marriages. The reason behind it being that the divorce rate is much lower in societies where arranged marriages prevail, while the divorce rate in western culture can go as high as 50% .
Another reason behind this can be attributed to the problems faced by a divorced couple, the society considers it as socially unacceptable, this also drastically reduces the chances of second marriage. This is the actual reason behind the low divorce rate as the married couple are compelled to stay with each other even when not satisfied with their relationship. They fear the society when and stay away from divorce.
Considering all the arguments in and against both kinds of marriages, the concluding thought is it is not possible to predict as to which kind of marriage should be preferred. The decision completely rests in the favor of the individual marrying. It depends upon what they expect from this life long relationship and what is their cultural scenario. One should consider all factors beforehand and then make a final decision.
Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage was an Indian serial that aired on Sony Entertainment Television India.