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

Posted on July 1, 2013 in Society

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.