Demonizing Love Marriages In India: Whose ‘Honor’ Is It Anyway?

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By Atisha Srivastava:

India, being a secular nation, is still surrounded by orthodoxies, conservatism and patriarchy. Even after 66 years of independence, right to choose our own partner is considered sinful. Today, most of Indian families expect their children to marry the suitor which they have chosen for them otherwise the child is blamed of dishonoring the family and society. Why so? Why we are not allowed to choose?

forced marriage

Today, when women are the ones being blamed for most of the wrong doings in a family, such restrictions prevail when it comes to marrying a girl child. Girls, meant to carry forth the tradition and honor of the family, are not allowed to choose their own partners.

The first issue opening up here is that the degree of freedom given to girls and boys are different. Secondly, no one realizes the fact that it is very difficult for a girl to adjust with someone whom she has not even known for a day. Going into a new family, a new place, a different environment becomes all together a different world for her. How can someone expect adjustment in such a short span of time?

In a society where a girl is not even allowed to meet her husband to-be just a day before their marriage, is made to sleep with the same person the other night. Has anyone ever realized the psychological pressure on that girl? Do you really know how she feels about the sudden increase in the level of responsibilities on her? The pleasure which someone is deriving from her, does she really enjoy that?

No. She has been made to learn that she is meant to satisfy her husband and family. It makes me feel very sad to imagine the condition of such girls who are deprived of all of their rights just for the sake of family honor. Why is she not allowed to choose that one person with whom she wants to spend her life with?

Honor killing is a burning issue right now. Just because she has chosen someone for herself, she along with her husband is forced to take the road to heaven. Is family honor and respect more important than a child’s life?

Even today marriages are considered a burden, a job which is to be finished as soon as possible. But this is considered to be the most beautiful relationship and in order to sustain its beauty, it should be showered with blessings, happiness, peace, care, respect and lot more things. Such things require compatibility between two people, which is only possible when those two people are at least aware of each other. Parents feel that their obedient child is happy with whatever they have chosen. But when it comes to understanding the psychology, they step back and expect the child to compromise. Again I want to point out, this is especially with females. They are made to compromise everywhere. They are made to be the subordinate to their brothers before marriage and to husbands after marriage. Where are their own dreams? Why are they shattered before they even think of working on it. Girls do dream about their future partners and this is very natural. But very few could make their dream come true. All because of long flourishing tradition of arrange marriages.

My voice is not against arranging marriages but I strongly feel the right to choose their partner should be given to each and every individual. Indian constitution has given legal right to adults but when it comes to family, only parents’ respect and honor is taken into consideration.

I strongly raise my voice over this issue which really need to be looked after. Hope this will at least make our conservative families ponder once over this issue.

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8 comments

  1. Shilpi

    Raj …do you think this misguided man nissant has not done that!!!!! He must have..the only thing that distinguishes us from him is that..he is hypocrite..he will do everything but give moral lectures …and we are honest in what we belive and do!!!!! ..weather a woman or man gets intimate with one or 10000…its his/her choice..no one in the world has the right to judge that….piousness is NOT BEING VIRGIN…a woman’s character does not lies in her vagina!!! For all who think so…. you were born out of it…!!!! If you cant respect that…you cant respect yourself!!!!..He feels suffocated coz he cant digest the fact that youth are claiming thier sexuality and choice in the society ….and he cannot!!!! People like these will alwys pull you down,try to break you ,shake you..remain unaffected and awesome :)

  2. vidhi

    in my opinion arranged marriages are not a bad idea unless they are forced…
    there is no harm in trying to know the person your family has chosen for u..and later if u don’t find him/her apt. for yourself you can justify yourself before the family.
    families obviously wont like a person who’ll not be able to fit in the family culture in the near future..what matters is just your approach and how good u are at convincing and understanding the human behavior..
    for those who find only men as the saviors of the family culture must know women and men both act as the wheels of a chariot and if even one is hampered..the situation is same as that of “Karna” in the battlefield of “Mahabharata” you are a dead man.

  3. nisshant

    A few months or year back i read in news paper dat an IIM girl committed suicide cuz her boyfriend shoved her ,n dere r so many cases , now can u imagine d plight of parents of deceased girl,u r saying dat girls r supposed to b subordinate of boys, when some guy teases u who goes to save u ?its ur brother , who takes d risk of his life to save u ,? its ur brother ,who cooperates u in ur studies , who guides u in ur career , father invests his hard earned money on u send u to iims n u commit suicide for d person who u know for not more dan at most five years , if u have right to choose ,a boy have also right to choose , if he doesn’t like u ,u ll commit suicide!a boy is not ur chattel dat u order him n he ll squat on her knees offering u the wedding ring. Today we see no. of spinsters r increasing lips n bounds cuz girls r searching her husband she tries different boys but boys only play wd dem no body is ready cuz boys r obedient he has to protect d honor of his family by tying d knot wd right woman .U women r so selfish dat u dont think about others life u can sacrifice whole family’s life for ur happiness ,i have seen women sleeping wd her brother’s friend n there by making her brother a laughing stock in society, n d person with whom she is sleeping is telling d whole world look ! i sleep wd her sister ,her sister is a whore ! slut ! how honored her brother must b feeling ,mind it every body has right to live wd dignity n its constitutional right once a person’s dignity is bruised his progress is jeopardized,n no body has right to stifle someones progress, so in d process of getting a perfect groom she has to become a slut ,ya some women may b lucky to get one shot fire but mostly it proves to b many shot game leading dem to make a slut!n during this period whole family suffers ! ,These days women become 30 in quest of dere perfect groom ,do u know what is d meaning of 30 for a women ? she is now redundant! because of dese unfortunate circumstances marriage has to b arranged. I m telling u a story as u women r megalomaniacs ;a few years back a girl proposed me for friendship ,i didnt pay heed den again she insisted me to b her friend ,i thought whats bad in being a friend its ok! i didnt know her future plan,she slowly started her manipulation so she can make me her boy friend , n she did everything but i was not a child i cd understand her stratagem , but any way i had to get rid of her ,n i was amazed at her confidence she was sure dat she can ensnare any one n she had already a boy friend still she used to proclaim her piousness wow!so in getting a familiar groom a woman has to b intimate wd so many persons ,do u think such kind of women deserve marriage ? i dont think so!

    • Raj

      You are blaming all women for being selfish and thinking all men protect women’s and family’s honor. Therefore you need to masturbate since you are clearly spasming with tension and anger. Go to youtube, search “Sunny Leone” and calm yourself down.

  4. reetusrivastava

    i think your aproch is very good but its imposible for you and your youth society. ““““““““`ceremonies for a hindu marriage“““`WHERE SUCH RITES AND CEREMONIES INCLUDE the““““““““`saptapadi““`that is the taking of seven steps by the ““bridegroom and the ““bride jointly before the sacred fire.““““`the marriage becomes complete and ““`binding“““““when the ““““““SEVENTH STEP IS TAKEN““““`I THINK“YOU FOCUS,CONCENTRATION AND INDEPTH READING OF THE SUBJECT REGULARY, CONSISTENTLY AND PERSISTENTLY.“““““““` ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`.“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““ REETU ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

  5. Vishakha

    I think even if it is an arranged marriage, the girl should be allowed to date the person in advance. Then decide further whether to marry him or not. This way even the family wont feel that the girl disrespected them and the girl would also be little more comfortable in marrying the person. Why is the concept of ‘dating’ still looked as a taboo.

    • Raj

      In the olden days, marriage was a pact of blood-relations between two clans, not a bond of love between two individuals. It meant that both the parties gave consent to a child being born with a mixture of their bloods. That regressive mindset is still in play today and that is why dating is forbidden since both the man and woman now could find partners that their clans wouldn’t approve of.

  6. Raj

    Hang on, since when did men start choosing partners in arranged/forced marriages? Do men have a say if they don’t want to get married at all? Do men like having to support a strange woman and the kids for the rest of their lives when they would be happy doing something else? Aren’t men forced to give up their passions to take up jobs which pay them more since now they have to think about the comfort of their wives and kids? Don’t most arranged/forced marriages have the man as the sole earning member of the family, but on whom the least amount of money is spent (given that he has earned all of it)? This gynocentric view of societal problems is very unhealthy as it distorts the true picture.

    I am firmly against arranged marriages since they devalue the individual. I believe that children who are being forced into arranged marriages should abandon their parents and break free from their tribal mindset.

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