Marriage is a silken tie of love between 2 people usually not related by blood. It is the oldest way of getting a man & woman live together for life in a society and have the closest relations with each other, bound by love and confidence which has on limit and cannot be broken unless there is loss of mutual trust and understanding. It is a common belief that marriages are settled in heaven and as such a matter of chance which settles it here and brings 2 souls together in an eternal knot. Such strong has been belief in the sanctity of the institution that even gods & goddesses in heaven are believed to be tied with the knot of marriage.
It is a priceless possession of a man and woman to have a life partner of his/her choice, corresponding to their mutual aspirations. In olden days there was child marriage. Very small children were married by their parents before they had any notion about the ramifications of adult life. Normally these marriages proved successful as there were large families living together under one roof and there was no concept of individuality and all obeyed the word of the eldest in the family in matters of life, work and others allied to it. Woman was considered to be a thing for ornament and to be confined within the four walls of the house. Education was limited to a few and awareness about things around was negligible. The things have changed enormously. Ignorance has given place to awareness. Large joint families are a thing of past now.
The youth today are much more pampered than the previous days. TV culture has changed the mind set of the youth. Differences in lifestyles between the east and the west have reduced. Respect for old morals have been replaced by modernity. Recent years have shown a rapid change in the behavior of the youth in the selection of their life partners. The concept of arranged marriage is very rare now. The free access of boys and girls to the modern culture through movies and TV has changed their concept of marriage. The coeducational schools & colleges have encouraged the free meetings of boys and girls. The modern woman is no more a thing to be preserved within 4walls of the house. She is an active partner of her male counterpart. She has her own individuality. She now thinks twice before taking decision to take someone has her life partner. It is solely her own decision. The old tradition of going to the house of inlaws after marriage and living there as a daughter in law doesn’t fascinate her anymore.
Things have not changed to this extent in this country as yet, but we are heading towards it. The strong cultural values of this society has not given way to deterioration to the extent as found in west. The marriages in india are still a big fanfare and events. Exchange of dowry is still prevalent here which is considered a big evil. Many young brides are sacrificed on the alter of this menace. Indian society is deeply rooted in various age-old customs & the occasion of marriage is a big event to perform rites and ceremonies which have continued inspite of liberty of woman to a great extent. The rural women are still unhappy as they face a lot of harassment at the hands of inlaws and their basic rights are denied. The institution of marriage among these unhappy rural women is still a big revolution in their lives and a virtual start of a new life to them. The domination of male in these areas is very strong and the woman has to live under its impact all her life. The condition is still worse with women belonging to lower society as they consider them to be legally owned possessions and treat them as they like.
In urban areas though marriages are celebrated with much fanfare, but the modern woman is no more a slave to the wishes of her male counterparts. With her being capable of taking professions individually & working alongside with men, she considers herself to be free from the bondage of male domination. This has a direct impact of institution of marriage. It is now a well thought over decision between the two. Usually they prefer to live separately away from their parents after their marriage. There are frequent divorces between couples as there are occasions when they are not able to respect each other’s sensibilities. The divorces definitely have a negative impact on their lives especially children but it is not considered a catastrophe as it used to be in the past as remarriages of widow and divorcee women ceased to be a taboo & if the arrangement of marriage doesn’t work or is not able to bring happiness to both the partners, it can be broken without a second thought.
As such the concept of marriage is attaining renewed dimensions between the man and woman according to the changing social values. The old order is changing and the new orders are gaining grounds. Let us hope the future generations respect the sanctity of the institution of marriage & not be lured by the west culture of baseless values.