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How Arranged Marriages Push Our ‘Great Indian Morals’ To The Backseat

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By Elisha Mittal:

The East is constantly looked upon by the rest of the world, particularly the west, for morals, value systems and religious beliefs. Hundreds and thousands of them travel to the East in search of peace or some sort of enlightenment. And, India has always been the favorite country when it comes to the hunt for morals.


One thing that has always been held high by India like a shining trophy is its institution of arrange marriage and customs that believe in tethering two people together for life. Hinduism alone describes eight types of marriages. Among them, arrange marriage is the most popular and favored way of deciding two human’s fate in India. Our ancestors probably chose to arrange their children’s weddings with the notion that if they marry them in good families (qualities of ‘good family’ largely remain unknown till date, so it’s basically based on hunch), since good families are expected to produce good sons which are  undoubtedly supposed to make good husbands. Same goes for girls. (I think that’s enough history for us.)

While I am more than glad to be born in the land of saints and sages and had my mind fully stuffed with all the morals and Hindu beliefs at a tender age just like every other Indian Hindu, I was caught by surprise when I recently learned about the hollowness of the whole so-praised-by-west value system of ours.

The ancient logic has clearly failed to live through modern times. Recently, one of my friends got interviewed by a prospective family. While the guy was shy and probably suffered from peachy-soft-voice syndrome, apart from that he was pretty decent and didn’t really seem to care much about what was happening around (or so, my friend gathered). In India, marriage is not just about gluing two people together, but more about gluing two families together. So, parents are the ones who lay all the ground rules of marriage. His mother did. His mother was really something. Sweet old woman and a teacher by profession but extremely trained at clearly spelling what she wanted.

Here’s her requirement sheet:

1. Girl should get up at 5 and cook, since she’s a teacher and of course will be needing lunch.

2. Girl should do everything on her own, without hiring help, because she is not a fan of not-doing-thing-on-your-own. (Neither I nor my friend are sure what it means exactly.)

3. Girl should bear a son. (Her son was her third kid after two girls, so it’s more than obvious. And people wonder how we became a nation of 1.237 billion people.)

4. Girl should welcome their relatives. (Well, another bizarre thing. We are still trying to figure out what it means).

5. Girl should bring shit load of money along as bonus. (Demands were obviously disguised in words like we don’t want anything but you should give enough to feel good about. Just one question: Who exactly feels good about giving their hard-earned-money away to someone else? Now, someone should make a movie called Scumbag-Wanna-Be-Millionaire-By-Marrying).

So, basically this was an opening for son-bearing-reproductive-machine cum maid cum shortcut-to-truckloads-of-money. Phew! I am so glad she rejected the job. (Well, in case there are any takers, she doesn’t mind passing on the number.)

Since the time she narrated me the whole experience, I have been searching for those damn morals and values that we, as Indians, choke upon right from the day we are born. Where are those much-talked-about-values in this whole business of marriage? On careful analysis, you would realize that arrange marriages are anything but a mere business transaction. Yes, you read it correctly! For one, there is commodity of value involved – the groom. Two, money exchanges hand; money is showered incessantly by the bride’s family (sometimes with more than eight zeros). Hence, derived. Arrange marriages are serious business. And, there are no real ethics in business. Are there?

No one knows exactly what they are buying. The groom seller obviously is busy painting the best picture the buyer has seen. The groom is busy acting like a product not reacting to dowry or anything else (It only makes sense, since that is what stationary things do). So, mostly someone is always getting scammed in this business.

No wonder domestic violence is an epidemic in India. What more can marriages based on printed numbers bring in a relationship otherwise considered so pious by Indians? Isn’t it time to put our modern education and ancient values to use by mending the flawed institution of arrange marriages? For starters, these are few new traditions we can encourage and practice without corrupting our shiny-invisible-morals:

1. Both sides split wedding expense in half.

2. Make the day more about bride and groom, instead of making it about uncles and aunt and their expensive gifts that leave holes in the bride’s father’s pocket.

3. Limit your guest list. For instance, chuck your neighbor’s neighbors. Just because someone else is paying for food, doesn’t mean you should invite every single person you know.

4. ‘Just Married’ car doesn’t always have to be extorted from bride’s family. No real pride in that. Its time your son bought one for himself, himself!

5. Groom’s parent should remind themselves every day, at least once, that their son did not get into a good college and took up a good job for someone else or so that someone could reimburse the cost with interest in future. Repeat more than once if needed.

This is not a write-up about lighting a torch up against dowry or arrange marriages. It is just a reminder of how we fail our value system everyday along with wise and old members of our society. It just explores the idea that maybe it’s time for us to act upon those morals that have been fed profusely and marry not based on money or requirement for maid. Try love for a change, or maybe compatibility if nothing else.

P.S.: Beware of the big Indian wedding scam!

You must be to comment.
  1. Ritu Yadav

    I am glad this mother opened her demands before marriage….some do it afterwards….

    1. ila

      True bro

    2. Kakaji

      Lol dude at least read the name of the commentator

  2. wasted time

    utter crap !!

  3. Atul

    The world looks to India for morals? One of the most corrupt and still a backward nation (from the perspective of human rights) will teach people how to live their lives? You’re kidding me, right?

    1. Bharat Singhal

      economic backwardness has nothing to do with morality. and Yes You should be proud of the fact that West looks to India for morals. For centuries, Indian scriptures have informed millions of people on the art of living. being critical of your country is good. but being over critical is not. I hope you understand that if this is a backward nation then it is your responsibility also to ensure that it progresses.

    2. Arunav Sanyal

      what scriptures? people just used that as jargon to confuse the inquisitive ones. Tell me the name of the scripture and where can I find it? Wikipedia articles have loads of citations so you can back their statements. The random indian asshole has none except “scriptures”.

    3. Kakaji

      What scriptures you ask? Heard of Bhagvad Gita?

    4. Atul

      India is not backward just economically. Wouldn’t you call it backward when folks get killed for inter-caste, faith, race marriages? Don’t you call it backward when every explanation is attributed to god?

    5. I feel safer outside India

      Who says west looks back towards India for morality? I live outside India, and, I can assure you, people don’t like Indians in every possible way. The glory of India is history now. No nation can move towards progress if the people don’t have the mentality to accept changes which are good and necessary.

    6. Wiseone

      Its a very subtle article. And you are drifting away from the main message of the article. There’s no need for you to get all jingoistic about Indian Culture and whatever Knowledge you possess about the same. So why don’t you get a beer(or a glass of cold juice), CALM down and Think about what the article says and what you are fighting about.

    7. Divyajah

      LOLOL! I was gonna say the same thing! Mother Teresa had to step in to fix the “morals” we hold so dearly. In case we forgot, Mother Teresa was from the West.

      What we do offer the rest of the world is Yoga and meditative methods. Not moral filled arranged marriages. And certainly not moral filled humanity. We still can’t even follow a law on not raping my friends, sisters, cousins, mothers, daughters and hell, even myself. You think west is looking at India to have this transferred over?

      If we were to claim that Hindu religion is somehow morally superior because some westerns are interested in it, here is a news flash – abrahamic religions gained far many more people that are interested in them. Check for the conversion rate on google.

      Arranged marriages are not moral, . Paying a human to have someone as their companion is not moral. Nowhere in the planet is anyone looking up to Indian morals for this. West sure as hell isn’t. And this is not just taking a backseat, this is driving off a cliff that we mask as a joy ride.

    8. herms

      WOW! If Mother Teresa was an Indian Hindu , No one would’ve noticed her let alone honour her with the coveted ‘NOBEL prize!’ Quantity doesn’t mean quality… have you ever read the bible , quran , talmud?? We know how they increase their numbers(Christians through stealth and by offering money to the poor [Joshua project] and telling the poor they will be given education etc but in reality they convert and dump them [My own servant lady is a recent convert like this], Muslim we know through force) All these Abramhic faith have been propagated through convert and DIE modus operandi. Whenever a westerner comes to an ASHRAM the first thing they tell him/her is to not convert from your old belief or religion. This shows not for profit morals , which you self-loathers might not understand. The stories are filled with incest, and daughters raping their father , violence, pedophilia justification etc! Any normal person would’ve been embarrassed to read it in front of their kids. So please save your self-loathing stupid Indian Hindu value bashing to yourself. It clearly shows your LOW IQ an dumbness. Please take a book and read so that you don’t embarrass yourself and all the women out there!

  4. Atul

    Also, let’s not forget that – at least in civilized, city dwelling families the girl’s family has the option to refuse to pay and not get their girls married in families that put a premium on masculinity. But to say that marriages aren’t about economics is to completely ignore our evolutionary past where marriages was the foundational economic institution. If you don’t want to be a part of that institution – if you want to maintain your economic freedom as a woman and not save money towards common goals like – purchasing car, house, kids education, retirement – then please don’t get married and whine about Indian men.

    1. Rahul

      Looks like you are still living in stone age since your perspective is very narrowed and obviously you have not realized the scenario that is changing slowly but surely…….Women or their families are not always the victim in such cases

    2. Atul

      Stone age? Look I’m not saying that the girl’s family should go bankrupt paying dowry to the groom. No one in their right mind will ever concede that dowry is necessary. All I’m saying is that Indian brides have gone too far to the other side – you can think of it as fanatical feminism or as they call it in other countries – feminazi. When you start hating men as a passion of your life – it’s better to just not get married. No one has a gun to your head forcing you to marry.

    3. rachnapriyanka

      What can I say Mr.Atul..I sincerely pity your wife and any woman in your life. People like you are hopelessly ignorant. You have no idea that people literally do kill women if they do not marry as per the whims and fancies of their society. Unfortunately people like you just refuse to see the real world.

    4. Atul

      I don’t understand why you think I’m a bad person. In my eyes men and women are created equal. It’s the societal and cultural norms in India that put a premium on masculinity. It’s the society that expects women to bear a son every time she gets pregnant. It’s the society that thinks women can’t work in some of the industries men work in. On the other hand, I recognize that this preference for male child leads to most of the problems India is facing: gangrapes because too many unmarried men and not many brides left to marry them; lack of resource allocation for women related issues because there aren’t a lot of women legislators – and those who are end up playing the same game the male legislators do.

      I would contend that I do see the real world – more so than anyone you’ve met. But I think people focus on the wrong aspect – instead of demeaning men, the focus should be on improving the lives of women in India through literacy and education. Do you honestly believe that someone who learns the theory of relativity will continue to believe in dowry, preference for girl child, or that men are superior to women.

    5. Mainak

      What about girls checking salary, house, groom’s dad’s finances? That’s fine is it? Moral? Good? And all of that?
      Please don’t be biased. The girls and their families are as self serving as those who ask for dowry.
      Don’t you have the courage to accept that?

    6. Aayushi

      Common goals? What common goals? Paying for common goals means equal amount of money is invested from both the parties. But in Indian marriages, its always the bride’s family. They have to do everything for the wedding. The car, the venue, the arrangement, the food, everything is managed by only one party, while the other side just keeps passing demands. Save money towards common goals? Isn’t marriage something common to both, the girl and the boy, including their families? So even the wedding expenses should be shared, then only it could really be called as a start towards fulfilling COMMON goals.
      Instead of defending Indian men, try to change your mindset and stop expecting to be treated like a king on your wedding day or in your marriage just because you are a male.

  5. Atul

    And quite honestly I don’t appreciate your use of the word “Hindu”. Having grown up in the country, I’m sure you are aware that India is made up of more than 1 religion, speak more than 850 languages, not to mention the different castes and sects and divisions within each religion (think Shiite vs sunni, protestant vs catholic, Mahayana vs Hinayana, etc.) It doesn’t matter which religion you belong to – every one is corrupt, every one is sexist, racist, casteist… If you want change – first go change the women – who are just as complicit as men when it comes to the question of a “girl child”. Men are @$$H0les there’s no denying that. But what’s the women’s excuse?

    1. Aayushi

      The writer never blamed the MEN, nor did he/she favored the women. He is just talking about the flaws in our religious ethics which have turned marriage into a business. But you assumed the attack to be on men, and the one who is guilty feels threatened, likewise, you too, went into defensive mode and started blaming women. This pretty much clears the issues and shows that you too know who is at fault.
      You tell me, if the wedding arrangement is not good, who is blamed? The bride’s family. If the food is not good, who is blamed? again, the bride’s family. The bride’s family is supposed to buy gifts for each and every member. They have to fulfill each and every demand of the groom’s side. While the Groom’s family simply enjoys the show and even gets rewards (dowry). Have you ever seen any wedding in which the bride’s family receives the same treatment? Why is always the bride’s dad paying every penny? The basic foundation of Indian marriages is flawed. You can deny it as much as you want. But at the end of the day, you also know what the situation is. The bride is supposed to be some domestic goddess, who HAS TO do everything in order to please her in-laws, then why can’t the groom’s in-laws get the same treatment from their daughter’s husband? And why is it considered to be the responsibility of the girl to bear a male child? Technically, its the man who is responsible for the sex of the child. Then why are the girls blamed for not being able to bear a male child? In the above article, the mother has a list, in which being able to bear a male child is one demand that the bride has to fulfill. Why doesn’t she say this to her son, because after all, he will be the real person as far as gender of the child is concerned? Once again, the foundation, the basic ethics are flawed. And they can’t be changed until we accept what the situation really is.
      P.S – I liked your comment just because I was amazed how can someone be so ignorant and biased.

    2. Dilip

      They are neither flaws nor ethics. No religion supports dowry or the demand of dowry. Earlier the brides parents used to gift her a few things just to be sure that their daughter is comfortable in their new home. But its turned to business nowadays.

  6. Shwetu

    If the Mother can put in demands list.. I guess the girl also should start listing her demands! Would be great to see the reactions!

  7. amitRadhaKrishnaNigam

    a poor article, waste of time.. dowry is no doubt a a crime, a problem we are still struggling with, but perspectives based on one problem and viewing social problems as the complete whole and judging marriage ideals based on that shows a poor writing ability and understanding of Indian Culture testified by the statement – qualities of ‘good family’ largely remain unknown till date….

  8. Abdul Wahid Khan (@wahid3111)

    Well, this arrange marriage problem is there in all religions in India and not just Hindu. Also, the way it is told, the tone of author is little biased. I mean if we talk about love marriage, then that time also, we see for some qualities in our partners so that we can sustain in life practically and marriage doesnt breaks. And if the mother also puts her conditions forward, then its good. Then later no one has to regret on the decision.

    I see many “arrange minded” girls too who “dont wanna go against their parents” (I dont know what going against actually means), and such girls have conditions like the boy should be working as software engineer in some IT MNC and should have prospects of onsite visit within 1-2 years of marriage. Also if such a girl is also working, then she puts one more condition that the boy’s salary should be atleast double her salary.

    Now what does the author think? I am also against arranged marriage evils but we should maintain a neutral view and should be able to criticize not only parents but ourselves as well.

    1. Vamsi Nerella

      Perfect Bhayya, you nailed it.. nobody talks about girls expectations…

    2. Harini

      Girls and their families expecting the guy should earn more than the girl is largely because the guy and his parents will not be able to handle it if the girl earns more than the guy !! They feel(and it mostly does too!) that down the line, this will affect the guy’s ego so much that this will be a problem in their marriage so much, that the guy asks the girl to leave her job or resorts to domestic violence too!!(in extreme cases!) So just to avoid all these problems the girl and the parents feel it is better if the guy just earns more than the girl and his beautiful fragile ego is best kept untouched!!

  9. Veena Bagree

    good stuff..!

  10. thecreativebent

    Elisha i duly appreciate what you are suggesting…. one thing I wish though is like your point #4 Why don’t the couple buy a car for themselves if they need it? Instead of the guy buying or the bride’s side gifting one. In all these debates around marriages I have noticed that we are always talking about two sides…. whereas sadly the “couple” should be one side… I wish it would be possible.

    And all the demands above make me angry… but I agree with Abdul here who says girls have weird demands too. What I believe in is, that if you’ll have to marry someone arranged.. what more can you judge upon than money, looks, family background and say a few hobbies.

    To look beyond those things you have to find love… compatibility can hardly be decided in few meetings I guess.

  11. Sia

    Tells children to not talk to stranger.
    Forces you to marry a stranger.
    – Indian Logic

    1. Dilip

      Dear Sia,
      I hope you know that there are many rituals before marriage. From the engagement to marriage there are so many rituals that dont leave them strangers by the time they are married.

  12. Ankit Anand

    And please encourage inter caste marriages. Its not a crime to love someone from the opposite caste. All are humans here. Live and let live.

  13. Abhi

    Waste article… There are pros and cons in every type of marriage. This is only one situation explained in arranged marriages. If we take other example I encountered the arranged marriage without dowry and they are living happily from 20 years and we can have problems in love marriage also and if u take statistics the percentage of divorced are more in love marriages than in arranged marriages. In love marriages we expect a lot but in arranged marriages the male and female understands each other and live accordingly. Sure waste of time . This article….

    1. Varun

      Sure there can be marriages without dowry as well where families live happily ever after. But when a majority of arranged marriages do end up in dowry being given, a generalization can be made. Moreover, number of divorces may not have much to do with arranged marriage or love marriage. It might simply be a question of how independent the woman is. Most of the times, if a woman is financially dependent on her husband, she will not take the route of divorce no matter how unhappy she is in the marriage. After all, you have to pay the lawyer’s fees as well when you fight a divorce case. And guess what in which families would you find higher instances of love marriage and less roadblocks from family in such a marriage ? A family which is well educated, liberal, treats a girl no less than a boy and have inculcated similar values in their children. Girls of such families and those who are financially independent are more likely to marry out of their choice and are more likely to divorce as well if they are not happy in their marriage. On the other hand, forced marriages(arranged marriages thrust upon the girl), which happens more often in India than arranged marriages without any force, happen in families which are conservative, where girl is grown up as a meek individual and somebody who should surrender herself to the wishes of her husband. Now girls from such families are ofcourse unlikely to be financially independent and unlikely to give divorce as well no matter how much they are suffering.

  14. Kiran Bindu

    I am a 40 yr old teacher from Bangalore and will throw some perspective on this . Firstly in all the marriages that have happened in my immediate family there is really no force as such, it’s a casual discussion and the final word is the boy or girl’s. It’s their life let them decide is the common opinion. Gifts are not even asked what ever is given is fine not given is also fine. I am married to a Dentist for 11 yrs now and don’t think it was some kind of a contract like u put it. Her 14 gold medals from Bangalore University was surely a lot of bling ! Pls don’t hold one or two examples and berate a reasonably workable solution in Indian circumstances . God bless.

  15. Dheeraj

    Pretty biased article.
    Both families have certain expectations from groom and bride. It is more about how the couple meets the expectations.

  16. Shreyas

    Exactly what does being a Hindu have to do with the ills of the practice of arranged marriages. Its practiced across religions and sects, and the problems too occur across the spectrum. Also just because the idiots who ask for dowry use value system as an excuse, the author needn’t use the same to bash our history and legacy.

  17. Falak Dua

    There are a few truths in ur article…but you cannot generaluse the scenario…in addition…this dowry n expenses born by bride’s family is not pertainted to arrange marriages only…it happens in love marriages too. It just depends what kind of ppl u come across…arrange marriage or love

  18. Kakaji

    It’s a bit too biased I think. The author has stereotyped Arranged Marriages in a negative way. Not all arranged marriages are like that. Not all families shamelessly ask for dowry, I don’t think most mother-in-laws would force the daughter-in-law to wake up at 5 to cook for her (yeah she might have to wake up early to prepare lunch for her child and any mother would certainly do that). How can you take such an extreme example and paint it all over the society? Of course the guy’s and the girl’s family would have some expectations, isn’t that true for love marriages as well? And you can always reject the proposal if you don’t like the other party’s expectations.

    Nowadays, it’s the boy and the girl who decide whether or not they want to marry each other and the family’s interference has declined. If the guy’s family are looking for a working woman then they don’t demand such ridiculous qualities and dowry. That’s why it’s extremely important that the girl gets a good education and a job.

  19. Yukte

    I am sorry to burst your bubble. You conclude entire moral system basis one proposal for one of your friend! Well it would be like concluding all authors write poorly researched articles basis this one article. Anyways, we do not live in a picture perfect world, there are all sorts of people everywhere. And unfortunately people like you point finger at the entire cultural system basis zero research. Firstly I would like to ask you how many Vedas, Geeta, Mahabharat, Puranas have you read to be able to comment on Hinduism? Secondly dowry and demands have been built by society not Hindu culture. Its a sad fact the Indians have a mindset of not valuing what they have and following west when they ‘discover’ what is hidden here, Yoga and Sanskrit are fine examples of it. Please research enough before making such accusations.

  20. Sumit Soumya Ranjan

    Dear writer i have one question after reading through this one sided analysis that why u pissed of with an arranged marriage or why so much fuss about some rituals… u know whats dowry is at the first place ? if u did ur research at the first place then you would have discovered that’s its just the goods and things a father or the girls family gifts to the girl when she is embarking on a journey called marriage and venturing into an unknown family at large.. the things that constituted dowry are those essential for the bride to carry on her day today affair with ease…people over time have made it into a demand that the grooms family put forth the brides the traditions and culture is not wrong but the very mentality of humans…. u know why a girl goes to her paternal family before delivering… its not that the husband cannot pay mor the expences but the very fact that she will be much at ease with her family than the inlaws during the period…. i dun say everything is bad but i dare say traditions are tweeked to suit needs.. thats the culprit.. if u belive in doing good pledge for no dowry in an arranged marriage…charity begins at home u see.. i pledged it as my family never was in support of it, so its just food for thought
    1 min · Like

  21. Aditya Veluri (@adiveluri)

    Just a couple of things I wanted to add to this conversation here. Firstly, this is a very specific case obviously, but its surely a very commonly seen case in India. In Andhra (Where I am from) dowry demands are outrageous and cruel on the poor parents of the bride.

    One question I wish to ask is, why are the two people that should start speaking up staying silent? Why are you writing this blog instead of your friend? Why isnt your friend putting her foot down with her parents and insist that she marries someone who puts values, love and relationships ahead of money, work or cars?
    Why isnt the groom putting down his foot with his parents` demands? Why cant he ask his mom not to “demand” (directly or indirectly) money, cars or other crap that him (and his bride) can work and earn to make sure they keep their parents (and in-laws) in comfort and happiness? Why is it that two able bodied, educated, sane, decent and responsible people stay silent with the people that they should be free and open with (their respective parents i.e.)

    I am not against arranged marriage…I am however against this harassment, dowry, forcing people into marriage sort of activities. It can only be curbed when we speak up to our parents. I am lucky enough to be born to parents that value character, values and education. I will not be taking a dowry (even if im offered crores) nor will i allow my parents to pay a single rupee for my sisters marriage as dowry, however “great” the match may be. When we speak up, these evils are automatically eradicated.

  22. Abhiram Edara

    You must be very careful when you are writing these articles in Web as the entire world is going to read, and unfortunately if most of the readers are also judgemental like you…one can imagine what they are going to think about our culture and traditions. You should not find fault with the system, rather you should find fault on how it is implemented. Arranged marriages have been highly successful tradition in India and will be for centuries to come.

  23. AP Mund

    I have been married for 35 years through arranged marriage and have led a good married life attested to by my wife. We got our son married to a girl from a known family and their marriage has been successful for the last 6 years.They two sweet little kids. Many of my friends have had similar experiences. How can we generalise the situation?

  24. Abhishek Mitra

    Maybe there has been a high success rate for arranged marriages in India.. But I fail to understand one thing.. How can thing like marriage, which is a deep life long relation between two human beings be “arranged”? Isn’t it supposed to happen on its own rather than someone making it happen?How can you know a person in 6 weeks of courtship when you fail to understand a person throughout your life? Yes, you might have a successful marriage and I wish you that it remains that way. But doesn’t sound like a huge gamble you are playing? It’s like playing all-in when you are playing blinds at poker. Either you win all or lose all and you do not know this until you open the cards. The logical choice would be to see your cards before you bet. But then comes the problem about parents and society. Throughout our lives, most Indian parents (luckily I don’t have such parents) will ask us not to talk to strangers or just simply hit the roof if they got to know that you are dating someone. And suddenly, one fine day they ask you to sleep with a stranger? Isn’t that hypocrisy? People may say that things have changed and it’s a modern society now. But modern society does not mean just the society in the metros and the cities. It has to go deeper than that. In the rural, not so developed/educated strata of the society. Unless the whole country is educated, this concept of arranged marriage and dowries and domestic violence shall prevail.

  25. Diksha

    Nice write up…. N so true!!

  26. Karan Vashishat

    Here’s an add on to this write up, how the system of arranged marriage goes way against the teachings that we have been given since our childhood.

  27. Pranita

    Though your intent is good, your content falters… Why do you keep referring to Hindus again and again? Do you mean such things don’t happen in other communities? When you are writing something on a platform open for all… be careful what you do…
    You can’t just bash the entire nation because of the ill doings of some scumbags… 🙁

  28. Hina Chowdhari

    This is.quite articulate as far as the weddings go. However, I’ll have to strongly disagree with the “arranged” marriage tag to it. I have seen a LOT of “love” marriages going through the same. This hardly has anything to do with the type of marriage. It just has to do with, how proud you are of xy baby you produced, and how low do you feel of the xx baby you produced, 2-3 decades ago. Till this changes, there will hardly be a change in the demands and the weddings!

  29. Sweta D

    Well it is easier to bash up traditions and all. What I would like to know is why are we not sharing positive stories so that others get inspired too. I am from AP and dowry system is rampant there. In fact it is also considered as a matter of pride by the bride’s family to give dowry. Meanwhile in Orissa where I attended a friend’s marriage, it is customary in some communities for the groom’s side to pay for all the expenses incurred during the marriage. I believe the same thing happens in Assam too. This was a huge eye opener for me. It would just be better if people share stories of their families and communities not taking and giving dowry and inspiring others in the process

  30. Sanraj

    Ms Mittal it is great that you have understood how the system works but you fail to explain the historical and cultural context to it. It is very evident from the article that it is biased and has vested intentions. Please exercise your writings before you publish them on a public domain.

    1. alekhya

      can u please stop speaking in rhetoric and start making sense..

    2. alekhya

      the above was a reply to Sanraj..

  31. rucha

    were u in abroad for 20-30 yrs…coz scene over here is much better now….sooo stop promoting sad thing about arrange marriage. plus it last longer then your soo called fancy western culture…

    1. baba

      You are living in a dream world. The condition is actually worse.

    2. Manish

      So you are saying that what ever is said in the article is NOT TRUE ?

    3. pranavpmanangath

      Sorry But you cannot generalize your statement. ANd explain how exactly “the things are much better now” ?

    4. rambo

      No, things might have changed a bit in big cities like mumbai but in most parts it is still the same. And I think everyone in our society condemns such practices only as a third party but when it comes to them they act like an ass and follow the same shit.

  32. Dilip

    Looks like you haven’t done enough research before writing the article. Your entire article is based on the dowry system. So please don’t give it the name of arranged marriage. It does apply to the group of people who ask for dowry. Even I have had an arranged marriage but neither me nor my family asked for dowry. And please stop pointing towards any religion or community. Its a disease in the heads of a bunch of idiots. And also not to mention, its not only the grooms parents asking for dowry, but the brides parents also offer dowry to marry their daughter away. You write well, but please don’t forget to view all the aspects before writing.

  33. Harsh Vardhan

    It mostly sounded like auto-biography of author not a general problem… all the arranged marriages are not same…. It is better to refer to whole community not alone to Hinduism because problem exists in every community in India.

  34. Di

    Ms Mittal do more research before you belch on the Internet regarding your articles and stop stereotyping and bashing Hinduism and Indian culture.. It’s a very easy thing to do. Both arranged and love marriages can face the dowry issues, the couple and families in general need to be more aware, accommodating and sensitive towards each other to make any marriage work.

    1. Di

      Dowry any all the other issues mentioned in your article

  35. Nishit Ladha

    HI Elisha,
    Its seems justified at times to convert one experience into an article and sell it as a general norm. I felt happy to read, you friend did not married that scum, but I don’t agree with your article completely. Do you mean to say that dowry and all the glam expenses are just part of arrange marriage. You would be surprised to see the stats. Trust me, the arrange or love marriage has got nothing to do with all the demands and supply business that you just put up. More than half of the love relationship breaks because the either the girl or boy was just trying to gain benefits of the other’s privileges. Half of such relationships ends in divorce post marriage (late realizations.. you see).

    Mine is a love marriage, and even being a bride, i could not convince my spouse and in laws to keep marriage a simple affair – as it was important for them for their own reason.

    Arrange or Love marriage has nothing to do with this experience that your friend faced. You might want to see 2 States to see how a family can be demanding even in love marriages. Actually its the mentality of those people (surprise to see a school teacher above with that mentality) and such people should be immunized, not a system which has its own pros also.

    Some pros of Arrange Marriages :
    1. Ego is less
    2. More time to judge people without being biased
    3. an opportunity to discuss about life and aspirations etc.

    Hope you might get my point.

    1. Brenda Garcia

      Your “pros” make absolutely NO sense.
      Ego is less?more time to judge people?! An opportunity to discuss life goals??? Discuss life goals with a stranger whom you’re marrying for the sake of marrying someone?? Your response was good until you mentioned the nonsense points.

  36. vishalbheeroo

    Brilliant article on the new face of capitalism and so called sanctity of arranged marriages that many prefer to hide. Such kind of marriage is business where groom and bride are paraded for money and what a shame that our culture condone such crap.

  37. Taarika

    I think this article is based on just one experience and it is stupid to tag it as this is what happens in arrange marriages. Its your friends bad luck that she couldnt find the right guy.

    I have had an arranged marriage too but my marriage expenses was split between the girl and the guy. Before i could even enter the house the family kept a cook for me as i didnt know how to cook. I have seen love marriages where the girls family spends for everything, so where did the love go from here.

    I think you need to do some research before going around writing something that you dont even know well enough.

    this is not at all the mouthpiece for the youth.

  38. Naresh

    Ms. Mittal,

    It is unfortunate that your friend had to go through this experience, but i do not understand how this is a reflection on the custom of arranged marriage or morality of our society. How can you not view this as the errors of certain individuals? Why is this Mother representing our morality according to you? You seem like a good writer, smart enough to understand things.. so why would you take a micro incident and present it as a macro scenario?

    I have 4 sisters who have had arranged marriages and they live a very happy and healthy life. We have faced the problems of the in-laws in only one of the case, but the other families are gems and are now an extension of our own family. It is unfair to make a generalised statement as you have. Please understand the power you wield when you write such articles questioning customs which have lived through the centuries.

  39. Meenakshi

    I agree with you Ms. Mittal entirely… Each and every single point you’ve made is the whole and complete truth. You have used your own personal experience as an example to highlight the larger problem.
    What scared me immensely was the comments below. To me it seems as though Indians, even if educated, seem to wear horses blinds. They don’t appear to understand the larger picture. What a pity!
    If people do believe in the concept of ‘karma’, how can they not realise that unequal treatment of human beings is bad karma…

  40. ladysns

    My dad always reffered to it is the market…
    the worst dialogue ever ” par market bahut kharab hai, ladle hi nahi hai”
    Are we commodities you are selling off… or getting rid of your responsibilities?

    1. vibhor

      I guess he is referring to ladke as commodities … give gifts and buy a handsome\, well earning ladka 🙂 who can feed his daughter .. loving or not loving is a secondary thing

  41. sai

    It’s not right to say arranged marriage is good and only love marriage wins.
    Both has its own disadvantages and advantages.
    Marriage needs to be defined: all over the world why marriage name came in. First thing there is no belief on each parties. Second social security. Third dependency of parents at each side.

    It’s all this give and take policy started due to selfish dreams and dependency. Bride parents think if I take care of groom well he will take care of their daughter and them well when they get old.

    All for the sake of show off and prestige all types. Gifts exchange happens. Which turns to big expenditure at both ends.

    Their is no point in shouting or helling on arranged marriage.

    Please stop spreading wrong views and assumption on Hindu culture.

    Hinduism back bone is its family and culture. Due to this only the Hindu culture exist after its been attacked by all religions and different cultures.

    Each religions structure have this advantages.

    The word divorce which got birth from West. Which is spreading like virus all over the world and spoiling all cultures and happiness.

    Selfish and ego gives birth to divorce.

    1. Soham

      Religions have advantages. Surely you are jesting. Half of the wars have been fought in the name of religion.
      As for divorce, irrespective of the origin of the word, is it not better to live separate lives instead of staying in an unfulfilling marriage or are you of the opinion that every married person is happy because he/she is married?

    2. alekhya

      @ sai ru kidding me!!

  42. pramod Sharma.

    Hm, hmara hubby hmare kid/kids & our bank balance., That’s what such girl’s seek. Well India still remains a free country.

  43. Anuj

    An apt analysis of what arranged marriages used to be years ago. I think and have seen the transition happening from a materialistic relationship building to a more appropriate domain. Though there would always be parts of society that would tend to be rigid in their mindsets but then again we cannot control the outliers. As for the article, I also feel that it has only picked up a women/bride’s perspective. There is always the other side to the story too. Now by other side i do not mean that the other side is the reasoning behind taking gifts in the name of dowry but stating the point of view a groom’s side that goes through distress of a similar nature. That would make a complete unbiased point of view or thought process.

  44. alekhya

    i totally agree..all hypocrites.. have been seeing people with sons who earn barely 15,000 and they are ok with it because they think their daughter-in-laws will come with bags full of dowry

    1. alekhya

      and the ones with shit ugly sons, still wishing that the girl they get for him should look like aishwarya rai..

    2. SumneNeeve

      Let me guess. You are married to one “shit ugly sons” and hence cant stand the frustration. But then, you could have refused which you obviously didnt do because you didnt have the values or the courage to stand up. Err, you are ranting against whom exactly?

  45. Deva

    Hello Ms.Mittal,

    You certainly can write well. However, I find it quite ironical that you are bashing up an entire community for being hollow and narrow minded while your write up itself looks very narrow minded to me!

    Lets see how.. “While I am more than glad to be born in the land of saints and sages and had my mind fully stuffed with all the morals and Hindu beliefs at a tender age just like every other Indian Hindu, I was caught by surprise when I recently learned about the hollowness of the whole so-praised-by-west value system of ours.”
    Could you explain what this purported value system of Indian Hindus that you refer to, is? How many of us take the pains to read our scriptures? Do we even ponder over what is written, think critically, reason or pose our arguments over what is written (and no, listening to somebody else’s version passively does not count). Sadly, neither have I. It is our misfortune that we use a language for communication that is different from what is written in our scriptures.
    Now I doubt if it is the language barrier that prevents us from reading scriptures. Do we know what is written in our constitution? Yet we say ” had my mind fully stuffed with all the morals and Hindu beliefs at a tender age just like every other Indian Hindu” just like we have been fed with civics, social sciences and what not, from a tender age!

    Simple analogy: Politicians like mulayam yadav belittle heinousness of rape by saying mistakes happen sometimes. Hell, even some Supreme Court judges have allegations of rape upon them. Does that mean our constitution consider rape to be an innocent mistake or allows rape? Hell no. Now if someone blames our constitution for belittling / allowing rape then they are being idiotic. Yet this is how we are collectively. Does it mean we have to read the constitution to avoid committing crimes? No! That is not what I am saying. Even people who know the law have committed crimes and surely there exist people who have not read the constitution and yet are not criminals. Then is it not

    It is cowardly of us as a society to shift the blame on “our culture/values being this way” for our own lack of knowledge of what our culture/values are. The teacher is using tradition as a facade for her greed, without knowledge of actual value system and ironically you are bashing Hindu values without knowing of what actual culture is. I am sorry but you are two sides of the same coin! And this coin, it makes up most of our population in one way or other. I have observed simple inexpensive Hindu marriages and obnoxiously pompous Hindu marriages. I have seen failed arranged marriages, failed love marriages, successful love marriages, successful arranged marriages (not that I have not used the word Hindu before marriage). It is people who make the relationship work. Blaming an entire value system based on people who do not follow it, is misguided narrow thinking.

    You are absolutely correct in finding the shortcomings and justified in your frustrations with our attitudes as a society. I identify with your frustrations too. However, I feel it is misdirected on Hindu value system.

    1. Shubhi Sharma

      Hello Deva,
      Just so you know,
      a) Constitution of India does not have any provisions related to crime. You have Indian Penal Code for that. Constitution of India gives you the rights and duties. Hence, it is imperative for every other law be it criminal or civil, to lie in consonance with Constitution of India or it stands repealed.
      b) You spoke about how rape stands by law. Well, for that you should know that one- we do not have marital rape recognized by law yet and two- that the punishment for a normal rape is not stringent enough to act as deterrence to the said crime. Hence, in other words, law provides room for the commission of the same.
      c) Regarding the values, well that is subjective but scriptures do support these crimes in a way. Read Manusmriti for reference before you go on being positive about the Hindu Value system. When done with this, you can move on to other religions.(Kindly)
      Lastly, a word of advice, do read the Constitution during your lifetime for if one does not know the law of the land, I do not know how they survive!

    2. Deva

      Well Ms Sharma,

      You prove my point! I have not read the constitution, yet I am surviving (without being a criminal), just like billions of other people on this planet who have not read their constitution!

      And you have pointed out a very relevant text.
      Manu smriti is by definition, a smriti and thus the interpretation of sage Manu. This is again what I said: do not take interpretations for granted. For all I know, a lawyer may interpret a section of law in one way for a particular client and may interpret the same exact words in completely different way for another client.

      We may end up using mortar and pestle to grind our wheat, no one would stop us. But in this age it is rather out dated, isn’t it? Similarly, smritis by definition, are relevant to particular age (now long gone).

      I cannot discuss points a and b with you as I am not a qualified lawyer, my intention was not to discuss our constitution. As I understand you intended to dispense my misconceptions on law but I just provided an analogy: If I blame the constitution (or Indian penal code) for belittling rape just because certain politicians belittle rape, then I am grossly wrong. What I have seen is a rapist getting away with a light sentence if he is powerful and connected, but the same law has sentenced a rapist to death (a simple google search would give evidence).

      Does this not mean it is our enforcement that needs correction? Certainly, some sections of our law may be irrelevant not stringent enough.


    3. Shubhi Sharma

      Committing a crime and having knowledge of what your Constitution is about, has no direct relation. Moreover, it is common knowledge that Constitution lays down provisions regarding the rights and duties. You can live without having ‘common knowledge’ definitely but it is like saying that I do not know the PM of my country and yet I survive like million other people on this planet. You chose where do you want to fall in. (Just stating my point, nothing personal with you)

      By mentioning Manu Smriti I wanted to divert your attention to the mindset which is yet prevalent in India. I read Manu Smriti recently but I have witnessed the same mindset since I could decipher it. So, relevance of its governance over human race is gone, yes, but the mindset has not yet met the exit door. That was my point.

      Although I could not understand what you meant by the last para, but I would just point that the ratio of death penalty to the number of rape convictions is quite less or almost negligible and every time the rapist does not have any political contact. Hence, the law is not yet sufficient enough.
      As far as enforcement is concerned, it is a very complex structure and there are plethora of valid reasons why enforcement lacks in this country where major reason being that people do not have much knowledge about the rights and duties that they have.

    4. Kailash

      The article very well highlights some of the problems but this cannot be represented as the mainstream,these days am seeing , it is the girls who have upper hand and boys pray to get selected and to blame the entire Indian morals for that is a bit overstretched.

      Very valid points have been debated in the comments and i want to add only one note –

      WE CAN FIND SOLUTIONS TO OUR PROBLEMS AND COPYING THE WESTERN IDEOLOGY IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY.Often it becomes the default option as by proving Indian ways wrong.

      Sadly western ideology revolves mainly around Kaama (history is a proof) and freedom of women etc are well camouflaged.It is us who see women in different forms and respect n pray them.Sadly this is not recognized.

  46. Priya

    Makes extreme sense.. Perfectly written. Hope we future generations are enough educated to change things that are happening now in the name of custom and tradition..

  47. Pritish

    all i feel, and Im pro to an arranged marriage, is that its not the institute and custom of arranged marriages, but the nature of people that has ruined the sanctity of the value system. no offense to anyone, but I agree with the fact be it arranged or love, the bride and the groom are the only 2 ppl who really need to plan and take the decisions. After all, its there day and the life onwards.

  48. Dipti

    omg I couldn’t agree more with each n every thing! especially the part – Demands were obviously disguised in words like we don’t want anything but you should give enough to feel good about. Just one question: Who exactly feels good about giving their hard-earned-money away to someone else?

  49. Anon

    Wow the ignorance in these comments is so stark. I appreciate that some of you recognize the state of today’s society but just to set the record straight

    A) Any anology to scriptures and the Constitution is moot by the fact that there is plenty of bs in the Indian constitution, lets not get started on the same

    B) Indian culture makes it perfectly normal for a woman to be expected to do certain tasks and makes a strong case for subservience and submission, even in scriptures although women have extreme respect there is demarcation of duty and implicit refrence to a good wife giving in to every whim of her swami. You freegin want tea in the morning get up make it, let your lady sleep be a man.

    C) There is a clear and very obvious bias to the male child in most scriptures again it doesn’t discriminate against women but sets the undertone for the psyche of the society.

    D) Many Hindu epics are very overtly racist (esp on skin color) classist and sexist.

    Side note for the points above : most of these scriptures were written in a different era and a different context and hence have those undertones which were perhaps even valid at that point. IMHO they like most scriptures and religions have by far outlived their usefulness and relevance. Yet people cling onto them in fervour and use that as a reference to our culture, even the so called moderate ones.

    He’ll yes she’s right half this nonsense is stuffed down your throat. Did you choose a religious belief and all the baggage that came with it. No. Nor did your parents or theirs. It’s forced down at an young age in all its concoted forms by everyone. Just like social ‘norms’ are.

    A classic “be proud of your culture city religion or country”. Why? Are you proud of your disability or small endowments or short height or lack of smartness? No. You are born with it, be proud of what you make of yourself not what came your way.
    One more classic ‘respect your elders for they are wiser? What? Parents perhaps, the rest they getting if they deserve it or earn it.

    One more thing a lot of people are tied into a marriage that’s practically over but how that would damage your image in society. Loog kya kahenge?

    Please tell me I’m wrong on any of these counts. Face the facts it’ll be a lot easier. Half the stuff you support you haven’t experienced or questioned you just follow it and don’t even know why! Again blame society.

    P.S : yes I’m a Indian guy born Hindu (until I just gave up on the idea of all the religious fluff) and read quite a few of these ‘scriptures’ as a brahmin kid.

    1. sirisha

      so, what are you now? An Athiest?

    2. TF

      shut up. Read again what he wrote idiot.

    3. TF

      I agree with every word you say. Really well put. the only person in the whole list of comments who made sense.

  50. Not Rahul Gandhi

    Apologize if this hurts anyone’s feeling but just my 2 cents on this :

    For the author I have following simple questions if he/she can introspect :
    1) Why is it that women majority of the times in arranged marriage marry a guy who is more qualified(read ‘earning more’) than themselves.
    2) Why do parents of bride look for a family that has good financial background ?

    The answer to above questions will lead you to “first step towards making arranged marriages a business deal”. Rest all “business transactions” are just a follow up.
    And the above are solely decided by bride and her family, so I request not to demonize only groom and his family.

    Looking at the bigger question here : why do we have dowry and such malpractices in India???
    I guess from the day a girl is born the parents are thinking about the day of her marriage. When the day comes for the bride and as she doesn’t exercise inheritance rights ,she is given goods/money to start new life with the groom. The married couple has kids and repeat the loop if it is a girl
    As long as brides are dependent and not share the financial responsibilities with the groom, these kinda business deals will keep on happening where someone would pay another to keep their “products” happy and safe, which is not possible as the caretakers want to be paid in regular intervals failing which domestic violence arises.

    The above in no way justifies the demand for dowry but demands a change in thought process of our society & culture (which we are arrogantly very proud of).
    Infact I do completely agree with the author on the issues raised in the article but the solution is where I disagree.
    All the points are very valid but some I want to modify :
    1) Groom and Bride should pay for wedding themselves (with little help from their parents )
    2) Groom and Bride should select the people that should be invited to their wedding.
    3) Completely agree .
    4) the car the newly wed should go in should be bought by the groom and bride themselves …..
    5) The finances from the day after marriage should be handled only by the newly wed.

    Bottomline: women should be empowered (No I am not Rahul Gandhi)

    1. theOne

      Cannot agree more… it’s a problem at from both sides… bride’s family looks for a financially sound family which is used by groom’s family to justify their demands… this sometimes is also the reason why young people hesitate to take up the entrepreneurship path, because their parent’s response is “are you mad? Who will marry you!!”
      The points you have made are perfectly valid… In fact I would say all the decisions related to marriage arrangements should be left to the bride and groom. This does not mean that we don’t follow our rituals and all (we should follow them and allow our parents to have their way as far as rituals are concerned) but their is no point in showering the gifts on all the relatives and pampering them for few days to give our ego and pride a little massage…
      More than morals it is the problem of our venerated culture (or shall I say the culture which has been twisted over centuries) where parents (both groom’s and bride’s) showcase their children as trophies in front of the world… a big, pompous wedding gives them bragging right… bride’s parents brag about the education, salary and amazing family of the groom and groom’s parents brag about the beauty, (sometimes) education, and rich family of bride…
      if the wedding is not pompous then parents have to bear the verbal barbs of their relatives that they couldn’t even arrange for a decent wedding!!!
      If only we can change our thinking and realize that it is not the grand show put up on wedding day that matters but what matters is the happy life that the couple leads and the respect and happiness they shower upon their parents and relatives later on…

      Solution: we the Gen Y can bring the change only if we voice our opinions during our marriage. Merely writing blogs and comments won’t help. When time for our marriage comes we should voice our opinions. We should tell our parents flatly (but with respect) that we want to organize our marriage our way, we should tell them that we would bear all the expenses, we should tell them that cutting down on flab and grand show is our wish and we would own up to it in front of our friends and relatives also…
      Society and culture keeps on changing… if we try to shape it our way then we may very well get rid of problems which we face today

  51. Rituraj Bajaj

    What ever written in this article is to most extent a truth. Let me remind u barring 1-2 pts what u have mentioned are expectations of all Mother in Laws from their daughter in laws post marriage be it arranged or love. So u cant blame this on arranged vs love. Its the notion of a woman which needs to change against another one. 99% domestic violence or harassment against women will get resolved if women at home have more broader and matured thinking. Despite of the fact that our society is becoming more n more educated, few old ills are still prevalent and passing on generation after another as a virus.

  52. Ravikiran Upadya

    The day, the requirement to be fulfilled by bride/groom becomes “to be a good human being” and nothing else, all the above said follies will be eliminated. Till then nothing is going to change.

    And please don’t call it “Hindu/Indian culture”. It is a version of the culture that has been understood/accepted by the those who are force-feeding it to you. You are at the liberty to accept/reject it (provided you are strong enough emotionally because the force-feeder usually uses emotional blackmail as the only weapon).

  53. RBK

    Hey, can I have number please? Just comment back I will share my email id …

  54. Anshu

    Article was awesome….but want to chip in my views: The business can be “Ethical” but not “Moral”. You can always debate about ethicality but not on morality. No doubt ‘WE’ fails in both.

  55. Rai

    Well..This seems to be a war room. Anyways…everybody has their own assumptions or visibility towards arranged marriage. Somebody spoke about ‘India being a backward country…’??? In terms of what?? Leaving parents n live a sole life after 18?? Free sex?? Our politicians are not letting the money market to grow so that they still have control towards our economy.

    Why every father wants his daughter to get married to a guy who earns more than her and to a family who has a better financial background? Though the groom’s family has well enough money, why he still wants to give away some money (dowry) to them?

    If we have 180,000 Rs with us which we want to invest somewhere we would think about the rest 20,000 which is the deficient part of 200,000. And if money (dowry) is given, is it for their luxuries?? No. It is for their emergencies.

    And why a mother-in-law shouldn’t expect her daughter-in-law to do all the work at home? And after 25-30 yrs, the same daughter-in-law will be a mother-in-law for another girl. Will she able to manage her home even at that age? No.

    Anyways. I earn 25k per month and Iam getting married to a girl who is earning 16k per month and we are sharing the wedding expenses and no dowry.

  56. sirisha

    “This is not a write-up about lighting a torch up against dowry or arrange marriages”
    Are you trying to say that you are not against Dowry or Arranged marriages? Its ok if you are against Arranged marriages in its present form, Change is necessary, but a lot of the Evils of the present system of arranged marriage is because of dowry and the Idea that the woman is somehow inferior to the man.
    Unless that attitude goes, the system will not change.
    So, if you are saying that women should be considered equal (Both sides split wedding expense in half.), dont you think giving a dowry will be an oxymoron?

  57. check this out

    typical description on mittal(Baniya) family.

    1. TF

      haaaaahahahahaha so TRUE!!!

  58. Vrinda Acharya

    Well written! I agree with the views expressed in this article.

  59. Sagar

    The writer kindly get a reality check. Even if a sound like a male-chauvinist, the guy hasn’t even gone to good college and earning good salary to ‘fulfill extravagant desires’ of the girls. The one who doesn’t get up till 10, can’t do household work, treats parent-ally advises of in-laws as taunts, they cant bear your younger brother as they are too open, They can’t be asked to earn, not to shop, not to ask to eat out 3 out of 7 days, not to talk to her mother for 2 hours everyday and tell entire event update of another house; as it will be ‘un-manly’.
    In the name of exploitation the reverse is happening, the women from lower class, who are and were always the most exploited stay as it is, whereas urban middle class women is reaping all the benefits. How bout asking girls once to earn equal to men, for a change, before boasting about equality or say marrying a man who doesn’t earn but is ready to take care of the home (to equalize the age old tradition, as men are marrying non-working women), fact is they can never tolerate any guy earning little less than them,leave alone not earning.
    Besides people senselessly arguing against dowry are the biggest Hippocrates, dowry is the biggest example of equality, as it says equality between brother and sister between in the division of paternal property which goes to the girl (50%). Here in India, only 5-6% is given to girls then how can equality be expected. That too taken by in-laws(only for the weaker section as I mentioned). So basically its all honeymoon for Indian Urban Middle Class Girls.

  60. Gaurav Kamat

    I liked the improvements suggested by you to be brought into the marriage system. However, would like to express my views. I think you have generalized things as Indian system. India has tremendous diversity in everything and marriages are no exception. Malayali’s, Maharashtrians and others follow systems which are different from each other. The corrupt attitude of the above mentioned mother and her family, although frequently seen isn’t the line of thought professed in the scriptures. While you suggest that a marriage is and should be a girl & boy thing you ignore that India is a collectivist society. All the decisions are taken after considering the wider implications on the persons involved, the family, the neighborhood and the community ( not in equal measure) which I think is not a bad thing. Love marriages haven’t been spectacularly successful in our part of the world. Haven’t we seen and heard enough about the quality and nature of family life that exists in the western world ? I think its an easy approach to just criticize how we have been doing things for ages and adopt the ‘glamorous & simple’ western outlook but not necessarily the right approach. A critical evaluation of our customs and ideas followed by modifications based on changing times will instead help us more while retaining our identity of a morally and ethically matured society.

  61. Abhi

    This is clearly a one sided article. Yes, agreed there are douche bag parents whose only reason to have a son was to sell his penis in premium price. Agreed that what she said is a common occurrence in some families. But, we should also give credit to other boys and girls who get married in an Arranged way and maintain that relationship with their family. I can sight out example of Girls and Girls family who hunt for NRI groom so that the good for nothing girl can get a green card for free. The greed that comes out from arranged marriage is common in both girls and boys side. You can relate greed of inhumane people to morals of India.

  62. Fams

    I am more with Sagar on this – while this scenario may be true of a certain section of the population, the author needs to have a reality check of today’s urban marriages of an educated populace. The girl calls the shots as much as, if not more in the marriage , so much so even the in laws are hardly given their due respect. If you analyse the adage -” A son is a son till he gets a wife “, how did it come about? Does it not imply somehow the wife is responsible for breaking up the ties of a son with his parents? How do u justify that?
    It’s all a case by case scenario – there are no generalizations

  63. nim

    The article seems stereotype.. and biased towards one side… every side has 2 coins and so this is.. also I dont feel there is a need to mock hindu culture… I am not saying we are the best… but we are certainly not that worst..

  64. viti99

    What I want to ask is this: If the couple have a love-marriage, are expectations of mother-in-law going to be any different?
    I possibly cannot fathom a reason. Please help me out.
    She will still expect the daughter-in-law to wake up at 5 am(as she has been doing since last 25 years).
    Will expect her to bear a grandson.
    How would the things be even a bit different, if the couple marries out of love.
    I am assuming, that by love marriage you are automatically drawing the conclusion that the girl had already shown the defiance once, and if need be, she can do it once more. So, the mother-in-law can’t force it down her throat. But then, doesn’t she want it.

    1. Sagar

      whats with all the girls and getting up at 5 AM. Marriage is more than that I believe. Seeing the level of fertility in urban india, Mothers can only wish to have a grand child and not expect.

  65. Sagar

    Probably getting the most unlikes on my last post, motivated me to add something more, no opinion but just the legal point of view. Legally speaking as soon as the girl gets married to a guy she is entitled to half of his net worth and anything between one third to half of all the money the guy is going to earn in future (going my the latest alimony decisions by the courts of India). Ironically, the ‘the dowry seeking guy and his family’ doesn’t get any share on the assets of the girls family and the ‘cultured’ Indian girls can’t even ask their parents equal rights and shares as given to their brothers (attention all the female ‘male-female’ equal rights protagonists) but its not vice-versa post marriage a girl is equal to have a equal share (which isn’t wrong) guys family net-worth. What mistake guys family did, can anyone tell me, getting their son educated? marrying him? what did the guy do wrong? studying little more than the girl? Earning little more than the girl? Buying household stuff to be prepared to have a girl in the family (car, furniture, fancy honeymoon package, dresses, gold and then comes the unlimited female routine expenditure) The females who feel so bad as the money is being extracted out of their parents pocket, should once be bold enough n surrender the right to this networth, right to have alimony…try to take care of your own expenses once…try just once thinking about it.
    (Please note that none of my comments is to the women in general, as i do understand that women who have been exploited in the name of dowry and other evils and still at the same levels as they can’t speak, talk, blog…that’s the exploited section who have not tasted a bit of women rights, which are being eaten by out socialites, urban smart women)

  66. Aditya Chavali

    I have just read the article and the comments following it.
    I have observed that many people are using hefty words such as “CULTURE” etc., my point is how can you read about culture when there is no space for the Indian culture in the History text books??
    so, if there is anyone to be blamed it is the one who designed the school syllabus.
    I completely agree with the points mentioned by the author, but it is not because of Culture it is because of lack of knowledge about our CULTURE.

    P.S. My intention was not to hurt anyone

  67. Jimmy

    The author seems to have a jaundiced view on Indian culture based on only one experience of a friend of hers. Seems quite ridiculous and judgmental to begin with. Unfortunately, today is an age where everyone with an access to the internet and a blog becomes a writer, writing opinions without backing it up with research and facts.

    But, this is an issue on which certain myths need to be busted and truth should be seen as it is, without drama and crocodile tears.

    (1) Why do girls always want to marry (be it arranged or love) a boy who is richer than her or earning more than her? Is it not a commercial transaction? Does it not have a profit motive? Why do womenfolk defend it in the name of ‘security’ etc., while the plain truth is that all you want is the boy’s money.

    (2) In today’s world, if someone asks for dowry, the best response that a girl can say is a plain “No” to such a marriage. After all, there is no shortage of decent, qualified & eligible bachelors in today’s world. That is, of course, if one is willing to look beyond the barriers of caste-creed-religion. .

    (3) Also, for a modern urban woman, there are a zillion options to find a partner in the city they live in, workplaces, social gatherings, etc. But then, if you think that you have to only listen to your parents all the time and toe their line, then, one is saddled with arranged marriage that limits one’s choices, sad.

    (4) Today’s legal system is entirely pro-female and anti-male. There are thousands of cases every year in which unscrupulous wives file false cases against their husbands and their families which is totally supported by girls’ families. Under biased laws such as 498A, DV, etc., innocent people are put into custody to fulfill the ego of the woman. Wait, it doesn’t end there. Lakhs of rupees are involved as ‘settlement’ for those false cases; which is nothing but extortion. Even the supreme court, in a judgment has termed this law as ‘legal terrorism’. Looks like you had no idea about this or are pretending not to know.

    (5) Every 9 minutes, a married man commits suicide in India. Most of the times, the reason is that they are unable to take the torture of the women in their lives and they can’t even express their anguish, lest they get termed as not being ‘man enough’. Unlike women, men do not have an emotional outlet and they end up committing suicide. Just take a look at the stats of the helplines run for assistance of such men and you will be shocked.

    There are many more things that are worth a mention, but it is better that you digest this small capsule of information first. Henceforth, before writing such nonsensical articles, please make an effort to do some genuine research and not to vent frustrations on the basis of one experience of your friend.

  68. saiswaroopa

    Let me begin by appreciating the article. Can’t agree more.
    (Lots of comments, dunno if anyone has put this through) My view is that we as a society need to revisit the fundamentals rather than react to the surfacial evils. If the parents of the girls stop viewing that the marriage of their girl is their salvation, if every girl gets financially independent and forms an independent perspective of her (prospective) marital life, if the roles and responsibilities of a marital relationship are debated and discussed and finally if we rethink about viewing marriage as one compulsory inescapable thing in life, things like dowry will fall into place by themselves.

  69. Japanessyy

    I should have killed myself for reading this article .. all words and no brains and too many generalised thoughts. I am sure writer never googled about the beginning about the practice of dowry system or how the Indian culture has treated men and women equally in the past. I am sure the writer is a victim or a cynic .. In either case I am sorry for her/him .

  70. deb

    I just noticed lot of comments about this being a one sides article, maybe its true, yes it is definitely not always like this. also at the same time it can be like this irrespective the marriage being arranged or love-eventually-arranged. but given the situation of this country and the history this is definitely the larger scenario. and when it comes to one sided laws then yes it is required here in this country specially when you see countless cases of women being burned to death and definitely the bride’s parents shelling out the last penny of their entire life’s savings. it is annoying. and if someone is saying that why women want to marry a richer guy than hers? in that case please also go out and talk to millions of those men who wants to marry a working girl, but she should not be earning more than him. how do you justify that ‘ego’? why is it than when a girl takes care of her in-laws she is the perfect woman in the family, but when a guy does the same towards his in-laws (which is still very rare) then he becomes a spineless man? yes there is always both sides, yes there are women who do exploit the laws, but given all these years, it is a necessity to imply these laws. And yes these dowry thing is definitely present specially on certain parts of this country be it arranged or love-cum-eventually-arranged

  71. sandy

    What a load of crap. The article started out why the west looks towards the east for spiritual guidance and went tangentially into the dowry evils of our society. The two are completely different things. Every society has evils and so does ours which is far from perfect. You want to ape the west in arranging a wedding then be my guest, but please don’t be of the opinion that all goes well in the weddings out here. They are far from it. Most of the wedding expenses are bore by the brides’ family and if they can’t then the bride and groom arrange for their own with their own savings. The guest list is sorted out very carefully, because each plate at the wedding costs $50-$100 and the bride and groom make sure they invite only ppl who can chuck that kind of expense. You want to make an indian wedding into that kind of business, then it is your choice. I would say, you are a fool who doesn’t even understand the meaning of marriage. Please try answering the following questions, before getting married :

    1. Why do you want your elders at your wedding? Is it their wishes or gifts that you covet?
    2. Why expensive weddings at all? who are you trying to show off with the extra debt you carry after the wedding? Instead, the girl and boy like each other, just elope or opt for a civil wedding.
    3. Do you believe that you are marrying into the family OR that the boy or girl came into existence without any support from their families? If you know the answer to this question, then 50% of your marriage issues will be resolved very quickly.
    4. You want independent life without girls/boys family visiting then have the courage to marry independently also without expecting any gifts/dowry/expensive weddings.

    Remember, when you ape the west blindly, you follow their lifetime of a wedding too. I’m sure you are aware of the divorce rates here. BTW, it is increasing becoming popular here to not get married at all. When the boy/girl can get everything without the hassle of getting married, why the hell would anyone want to get married. Have a live in relationship where you have the liberty to leave at your free will. Why hassle family/parents/aunts/uncles with all this dhakosla of a wedding. Good luck with that and let me know how it works out for you in another 30 years.

    1. Suji Gokul

      Its your brain which is a load of shit! You have misunderstood the article completely,. Well some of us never learn to look at things objectively. The article is not suggesting couples to abandon the elders. It is merely reflecting the hard truth about Indian marriages.
      In an Indian marriage, do the bride’s parents have a choice? They are poor victims who succumb to the groom’s family and the society. This is the bitter truth. As a girl, I know what many of us go through. Arranged marriages have their advantages and disadvantages. We should try to make them better. I can only feel sorry for the women in your family.

    2. AK

      No actually your brain is full of shit. She/He is just talking logic. Why do you feel sorry for his/her family, you never know they can be happier than your mother can ever be after giving you birth. Stop being idiot.

  72. Atul (@atulimmortal)

    An one off example does not represent 1.37 whatever billion people mentioned here in the article. It is worth also looking at the longevity of non arranged marriages . look at the film stars they are in glaring lime light and the things that they do is utter absurdity. So many divorcees promiscuity domestic violence . people have lost their morals even while doing a simple thing as crossing a road let alone marriage. Not in favor of dowry … Never took and will not give but the article is written in poor taste . in a country where we don’t even thank a bus driver while alighting from a bus all this hollow talk n articles are useless.
    Instead write on learning to respect fellow humans.

  73. jammy2423

    Come on, are we talking about longevity of the marriage. Today our youth, specially those who working in private firms are not loyal to the company where they are working. It is all about better opportunity. It has became the character of Indian youth. Fairly accepted new age marriages, specifically love marriages are considered will not last long. Who the hell gives a guarantee (well guarantee also remains for certain time period and applies on manufacturing defect, not on physical damage or damage caused by surrounding conditions) card for any of the marriage. Change your attitude towards your life, and everything will last as long as you want. We dream for a big house, big car, big status, beautiful wife/handsome groom. Dream for happy married life, and chase that dream to achieve. It is all about, what we want and the way we want. No need to agree with me, but agree what you believe in. Rest nobody cares…

  74. adya00

    Crisply written. We are too blinded by our pseudo good and morality. Marriage is indeed a transaction and nothing more.

  75. sharma

    what the hell??

  76. Swapna Reddy

    From a 17 year old third cultured kid born in America, raised in India and educated in Singapore here are my two cents:

    1. Arranged marriage is a socioeconomic problem: The poorer you are the worse it gets so maybe money does run the world..

    2. Marriage doesn’t have to be a union of two people “in love” it’s a union between two people ( let it be strangers) who are willing to struggle together, grow together and reap the benefits together whether it involves loving each other or not.

    3. This world we live in is infinitely large, let alone this universe and we are just tiny tiny meaningless specks in this colossal of endless space.. what I’m trying to get at here is these things that we face these “problems” are they really problems, go outside look at the sky feel your feet on the ground take a deep breath of air and just be grateful for everything you are and everything that is.


  77. Rhea

    For some reason, I completely fail to see the author’s point in writing a biased article like this one.
    They seem to be highlighting ancient Indian marriage customs. Modern arranged marriages serve to propagate and cement a relationship based on similarities. He seems to be confusing arranged marriages as always being forced marriages.
    The former could most definitely be the latter but it isn’t always necessary the latter is the former. It’s absolutely ridiculous that domestic violence could be attributed to this; is the implication that non-arranged marriages don’t witness cases of domestic violence?

    1. TF

      you’re kidding right..what part of the universe are you living in dude? educated indians come up with this bullshit. Very well EARNING men in 6 figures come up with this shit. I hv seen Delhi guys do this.

  78. Vibhor

    I guess this would have been more appropriate 10 years back

    1. Sankalpana

      For urban India. For lower middle class and rural India, it’s the same, if not worse.

  79. Ananya

    I just love this. Sarcastic and to the point. Beware!! The blind believers of the business of marriage will not like it.
    We live a century behind our time

    1. rahul

      The things is no one is trying to change it, we Indians are looser by our mind, we don’t want to get up and fight, we just want a simple life and for this simplicity we are ready to make other’s life complex.

  80. Krishna

    this happens only in movies not in real life.. there is no hope that this situation changes

    1. Sankalpana

      Of course there is hope. You can start by keeping these things in mind when you get married.

  81. Swarna

    This is my personal opinion. This conversation doesn’t throw good light and looks biased. This article is not mature enough. This is not our value either. In our vedic system, it is clearly described the pious duties of male and female. As the author said, this is the time the son should buy a car. By the way, why the son should buy? Why not the daughter? Why only a boy is responsible for buying all house hold items? Let both of them earn and buy, not only the son. Personally, I work for MNC in foreign but still take care of in-laws and feel good about it.

  82. Shirisha

    You are true sometimes, but i think this not universal law for every one.One side there are people who are still feeling great if they are from groom’s side and showing authority on bride and her parents but on the other side there are people who treats their daughter-in-law like their daughter, So what i want to say is it depends upon people’s mind set not on Culture.

  83. Anirudh

    This, for most of it’s part is undoubtedly true, but there’s always exceptions but that is a story for another time. I still believe the Indian marriage system is really respect worthy. It’s the ones who implement that system that are at fault. If the groom’s parents are pushy and do not respect the bride and her family appropriately, try talking it out or just say no. It’s not like in the movies where if you say no to the groom’s offer you’re going to be facing a mob of ruffians outside, is it? Do not mete out unto others what you wouldn’t want meted out unto you. Love, respect, reciprocation, and the will to accept another person into you life wholeheartedly is what are necessary for a marriage to work.

  84. TF

    a very CORRECTLY put article. i have seen this shit and experienced it myself. Guy wanted SX4, SOFA SET, TV, FRIDGE, BEDS, ALRMIRAHS, HEATERS. bacha kya phir? and i said NO. this is true. every word. every single word. Indian guys are brought up by their parents to be blood and money suckers without a spine.

  85. Surbhi

    Excellent write-up, Elisha Mittal..More power to you!! About time that Indians broke out of the shackles of the things that hold us back from progressing! The mindset needs to change and hopefully it will, someday!

  86. Satyajit Singh

    Such article written by a responsible one that mislead the total concept indicating Boy family as anti-human is bad. One example can not be the face of everyone. Men/Boys are not so bad as shown in the article and Women/Girls are no longer so decent as having tried to project.

  87. PS

    The points put up in the article, about how it is more of a transaction than forging a relationship, are very true. But please do not target arranged marriages alone. Many a times a Love marriage too gets tainted by these tantrums and demands, just to gain approval from the parents. The problem lies at what has been made of this concept of marriage. There are those present who, even today, treat marriage as sacrosanct and leave it to be only a union of two souls and THEN, their families, be it arranged or love marriage. But such people are few and many a times, they are frowned upon.
    What I really hate the most about weddings is that there’s a race to outdo each other in spending money, even if it breaks the financial backbone of the family. And the food that gets wasted, that’s another painful issue. Its time we make this more of a rejoicing moment than a grand celebration.
    Arranged marriages were institutionalized so that the parents are fully aware, rather responsible for their wards till they raise their own families. Instead, it became more of a prestige issue and money-minting business. Deeply grieved.

  88. Rita Banerji

    Elisha, I am glad your friend decided to decline the “job.” And I’m really glad you wrote this and in the tone that you did. But there ma-in-law is no “sweet old” lady, but often a woman who tolerated abuse when she was a young bride, and learnt to “adjust” to it, determined that same day she was going to get it out of her system by taking it out on her bahu. That’s why I always that a cowardly response to oppression, intimation, and violence makes us worse human beings. What I really wish is your friend had said to this woman and her son, what you are saying here. It’s amazing how women are expected to take this kind of talk and attitude on the face. Don’t take it! The kind of talk you do here needs to be thrown on their face, till such time they learn this backlash from women becomes and expected norm in India, and men and their doting mothers learn that there’s no place for that kind of attitude towards women. But’s not going to happen till women learn to give it back to them, on the spot, ON THEIR FACE! So next time please do it!

  89. Abhishek

    Elisha, It is a nice article and practically tell the truth about Indian marriage mantra but the only point you missed is that India is also changing so do the upcoming generation. Earlier only 1 or 2 % family were there who were in favor of love marriage or lets say were not one of the ” Scumbag-Wanna-Be-Millionaire-By-Marrying “. Now the ration has drastically increased it’s just the matter of time now.

  90. Ganwaar (@dehati_aadmi)

    Example of hasty generalization fallacy.
    1)Because my friend had bad experience with prospective boy’s mother in arrange marriage situation So arrange marriage is flawed institution.
    2) Because I had bad experience with my first date So dating is a flawed institution.

    I am not saying what you are saying is wrong or right but your reasoning is flawed.

    Now let’s come to your suggestions:

    1. Both sides split wedding expense in half.
    –> If both sides are not financially equal; then they shouldn’t split expense in half. A better suggestion will be that no side should pressure other side on how much to spend. Or the best idea would be not to spend too much.

    2. Make the day more about bride and groom, instead of making it about uncles and aunt and their expensive gifts that leave holes in the bride’s father’s pocket.
    –> The day is about bride and groom; they are treated like king and queen. They are the center of attention during all wedding ceremonies. It would be better if they are left alone for some time. Bride’s father should be discouraged to give expensive gifts to uncles and aunts of the groom.

    3. Limit your guest list. For instance, chuck your neighbor’s neighbors. Just because someone else is paying for food, doesn’t mean you should invite every single person you know.
    –> Groom family should ask bride’s family and vice versa about the number of guests they will be comfortable with; and give them the estimated number of guests.
    Or if you are splitting wedding expenses in half then you can your share of guests anyway. There will be lots of people as you mentioned it earlier that it’s about union of families not just individuals.

    4. ‘Just Married’ car doesn’t always have to be extorted from bride’s family. No real pride in that. Its time your son bought one for himself, himself!
    –> No to dowry complete agreement there.

    5. Groom’s parent should remind themselves every day, at least once, that their son did not get into a good college and took up a good job for someone else or so that someone could reimburse the cost with interest in future. Repeat more than once if needed.
    –> Why should they remind themselves; if they are not thinking like that in first place. Bride’s parents also should remind themselves and the bride that she is not a “paraya dhan”.

    There are couple of hidden assumption in your article. Again I am not talking about whether they are correct or not; I just making them clear.
    1. Most of the wedding expenses are borne by Bride’s family
    2. Indian wedding = lots of people + lots of expenses + dowry.

    You can say this article is not against arrange marriages or dowry but it’s.

    When are write in condescending manner you might get support from the people on your side but other side will not even engage into conversation. Even if you are being condescending you could be more condescending on entire system in all fairness not only on groom’s family.

    I salute your passion and understand your frustration. Keep it up.

  91. Eeshita Mittal

    Arrange marriages are strange marriages. Marriage is a bond between husband and wife and not a means to get quick money through dowry or bring a woman into the house to do all the household chores or bring a baby boy making machine.

    And if someone can’t take the decisions relating to marriage himself/herself, I doubt what other decisions the person would make himself/herself in the life ahead.

    Well, love marriage is also a very complex thing , and all love relationships don’t go ahead to marriage, but meeting someone for a few hrs on a day with all the family members around, then talking on phone for a couple of days and giving a yes/no on the prospective groom/bride with an extreme pressure from families seems totally bizarre. How can someone take such an important decision of life in such mad rush ?

    The concept of love in arrange marriages seems like love at first sight or just infatuation. But it takes time to know anyone. A lot of time. For some lucky folks, their arranged relationships become heavenly match, but for some unlucky ones , they turn out to be disasters. And then sometimes, since a baby has already been born out of disastrous arranged marriage, couple has no option but to go on with their unhappy non-charming lives. It no more remains a happy bond between husband and wife but a bond between Mumma and child , and Papa and child. Its like child is the only thing that binds them together. But all the in-laws of both sides are happy, because , the couple is together and has made a baby to progress the family tree.

    I believe even if we let our parents also find a match for us, we should take good time to know the person and then take the final call. Obviously, not any random person would be happily compatible with us.

    1. Atul

      Here is another take on arranged marriages. Does this completely negate your position?

  92. Atul

    Here is another take on arranged marriages. Does this completely negate your position?

  93. Suraj

    I have already decided….I dont demand any dowry….if bride’s parent wana give its their wish….and i definitely will split the wedding expenses in half……least number of guests are enough…….i just expect my wife to be not as gorgoues as film stars…but good lukng….. and being polite with me and my mother nothing else…..i will have all the maids to work for us…..hope i get a bride like i want…..but these days the above said list of brides is not happening girls… dont worry…these days girls are the deciding factor…..previously boys were dominating regarding their marraige… a days girls are dominating in the marraige factor……no one shd dominate is my opinion…..

  94. Suraj

    For me the idea of arranged marriage shd stop… shd be like in the west…..boy/girl they must decide their own partner… can parents know what the bride and groom wants…..when groom comes to bride’s house to see her…..both the bride and groom will show their best behavior…..and they will confirm the marraige….how will they know about their negetive shades…..this is completely a wrong concept…..hope it fades of soon from india……

  95. Varada

    Love can never be arranged.! To think love can be arranged is nothing but foolishness..

  96. Varada

    Even considering a 90% success rate, if arranged marriages are seen to be successful it’s merely an accident and the system is to blame more than the people. If love marriages fail even @ a higher rate these days, it’s a mistake of the people who love, not love itself.

  97. Varada

    On the flip side, when a groom says he doesn’t want anything but the girl alone, the bride’s people think that the guy seriously lacks something either physically, mentally, financially, flashback, background etc etc and call off the alliance. This is a fact…!

  98. rupa

    What do successful marriage mean ?? Staying legally married for long but emotionally divorced ?? Or being in a fulfilling marital relationship for whatever period it lasts ? Like one of the comments below arranged marriages in India seem successful because divorce is not an easy option . The masses of Indian society are still mired in customs and traditions that really do not fit in the new modern world. It would be extremely hard on the divorced couple and if children are involved on them ,to go on with with life after a divorce. The taboo ,the assumptions and all the “questions” raised by everyone and anyone is too real to be ignored. Whatever the short comings of the marriage the couple stays “married till death do them apart “. Arranged marriage can transition in to love marriage and love marriages can seem arranged marriages. It depends on how much the couple is willing to give and take and share !!

  99. Chaitanyam

    Strange topic……

    first of all if girl child was given equal inheritance to family property there would not be anything like dowry…… RG speak of Women empowerment(i am not a fan)…. thats what India need.

    Speaking of marriages….. I dont think love marriages work in our society. I mean marrying someone coz you like being with them today is alright but five years later when you stop enjoying your partners company you break up coz your relationship was solely based on “liking” which is temporary instead of something like family values or other things arranged marriages are based on. Just look at the west, there is hardly anyone who is not divorced or who is happy with a single person for the whole of their life.

    This is just my opinion…..

  100. Raj

    What was done is an example of bad people was taken and the system was defined by it. There are many good people and families out there. The point is not really about arrangement – the thing to consider is that we all still share strong family ties and in this context some family compatibility makes life easier. Arranged marriage to me doesn’t mean that parents enforce decisions rather it means broader criteria s are also factored.

  101. Viki

    I do not belong to any religion. This is most ridiculous case ever used justifying that arranged marriages are scam. We should blame those people’s desires and requirements but not people, tradition and culture. I didn’t see any where in his article mentioning on the real arranged marriage tradition and how it came in to existence(excepted at least a couple of lines).

    “The perfectly unselfish man is the most successful”
    ” In spite of the sparkle and glitter of Western civilisation ….I tell them ( the Westerners ) to their face it is all vain …spirituality alone lives. Hold on to that. ”
    – Swami Vivekananda

    Please always stop following someone on everything and start believing our own defined tradition. we will gain respect from rest of the world.

    God save us !

  102. S Sahrudai Reddy

    Few of the points mentioned are good. I too really don’t understand the basis on which parents choose a “Good Family” & “Good Husband/Wife”.
    But at the same whether the groom’s mother puts down her list of requirement or not there are certain responsibilities after getting married irrespective of whether its arranged or love marriage. Getting up early and cooking (same for the husband) or helping in the chores is a must in any family coz hiring help is not always possible. Blaming the in-laws doesn’t get you out of it as even when you live separately these things are inevitable. I have observed that we (INDIAN YOUTH) lack individuality in general. We are dependant on our parents more than we think. There are very few free thinking youth and if that changes there will be a change in marriage system as well.

  103. KJ

    Unfortunately this article only highlights the negative perspective with which many families pursue arranged marriages (or I should rather say arranged cum love marriages) for their ward(s). There are amazing positive, authentic examples and success stories with regard to arranged marriages. You think most love marriages are great? Not really. The so called modern Indians have outsourced ‘divorce culture’ from the west where love marriages are a norm and people change their partners like perfumes.

  104. Kelly

    Yes, a few generalizations, but the article bus on point, people. Interesting how many women agree with the points and men disagree…

    1. Kelly

      *is on point

  105. kriti

    Just one line …this is not about arrange marriage…actually this us happening in India for any marriage….this is the root cause of population…female foeticide….and much worst priblems our cohntry is facing

  106. Neha

    Well , I will say it will not be arranged marriage which should be blamed. Its mainly dowry .Even in love marriages people expect dowry. As they can’t ask directly , they will disguise it and will ask their son to tell his future in-laws of their expectations , and if the in-laws chose to ignore it , then they will utilize every opportunity to raise it in front of girl after marriage , how her parents failed to meet their expectations or start the tales of how the in-laws of elder son gave this and that or some neighbor’s son got this and that .
    As a bride,dissuade your parents from buckling under pressure too.

    The main issue is dowry .
    For the 5’clock thing , in case you are living with your in-laws, no matter how much you try to serve them , they will find a fault in you anyhow .
    So my advise to Indian girls , don’t give up your life and happiness for serving them. As they are family members take care of them , but in a limit.
    Just try to make yourself happy.

    1. concerned citizen

      “Even in love marriages people expect dowry.”

      it is because there are no real love marriages in india.

  107. AK2

    Sorry to say but i find your opinion to be too biased. It seems just a way to vent out your friends(your) frustration that you might have felt. Also I am not able to understand what this article is about???? Marriages, for that matter arranged or not, Indian culture & traditions, Dowry, Domestic Violence, Morals and the list goes on!!!!

    Though few points that you made are really nice like “son-bearing-reproductive-machine cum maid cum shortcut-to-truckloads-of-money” and even I could not agree with you more on the dowry issue. Having said that, is it really true that it is always the other side who’s the culprit???? I have known few instances which paint a totally different picture!!!! Surprised!!!! First, I had a friend of mine, a girl, who had prepared a list of items that she would ask her parents to give on her marriage. The best part, her parents weren’t even looking for a groom for her then. Hilarious!! No!!

    Second instance is a bit touchy, I have known a family from my own society where the daughter-in-law, someone like your friend, implicated the groom’s family in false allegations as she wanted to stay separately with her husband. The groom’s family constructed a separate floor for them on their house, But viola!!! girl wanted a separate house. They never asked for any dowry. The girl forced her parents to buy her a new house so she could stay “HAPPILY EVER AFTER” with her husband. I know you could resign this argument as one off & biased and point taken, I have no shame in accepting that YES I am biased as it was my best friends family. But isn’t it the same on your end. But the point, I am trying to make is that because of few isolated incidents you could not brand a society or its customs or traditions bad. There are shortcomings on both the sides and we have to try to change them & till that time live with them. Think about it!!!!! Cheers

  108. Pallavi Washivale

    Very well written! Unfortunately, it is not restricted to only arranged marriages anymore. The bride in the love marriages suffer more because you are already marrying against in laws wish and then you tend to do every damn thing just to make them happy.
    I don’t know when will the system change, I have just promised myself that I am not going to be a part of this unmoral, unethical and flawed system here after.
    Let us hope that our generation will bring the change if not our parents!

  109. syam prasad talluri

    Girls are not less than any thing else. They want a rich husband where they can enjoy. Not some most of the girls want to bet their fortune on marriage.
    They want a rich husband who can take care of them as kids. Earn Earn, I and my family want to enjoy with his hard earned money. Things changed in India long back. There are so many girls seeing husbands as only ATM machine, Servant and Driver. Girls will pay dowry only if guy is having more money. Girls parents think that my daughter is going to enjoy all his richness. Come on guys wake up enough of support, is given to girls. Now its time to fight for guys freedom. In this most effected guys are middle class, where they can’t afford a spending wife. 2 states is an one sided story of a poor guy, where girls is not ready to take any responsibility except telling about self respect. Even guys having self respect, they are not drivers or servants for her family.

  110. syam prasad talluri

    I had seen so may wife’s torture husband or boy friend for money. Why the heck girls will force her husband to earn more and more for their shopping, pubing and partying. They want luxury from husband. They will kill husband and distribute his blood to their family . They will ask for gold, cars and harass the husband for earning money. Please girls show the modesty dn’t repeat the same mistake guys has done.

  111. Yoma

    You have based your opinion on just one or two instances of stories that you have heard and as a result the negative bias is understandable.

    It all depends on how well groomed and open minded the boy (or would – be groom) and the family is. For example, when my brother got married, we set down no such rules. My Sister-in-law also works. She leaves for office before us. We get up later and prepare our own breakfast and do not bother her. I have seen so many arranged married couples where the guy helps his wife in everyday chores. Even my brother does.

    As far as dowry is concerned I placed the following condition on my parents in no unclear terms that if they ask for even a single paisa of dowry, I won’t attend my brother’s marriage. Its up to us (the new generation) to break these old perverted traditions. If a prospect allows his mother to dictate such terms during the pre-marriage meeting, take it from me (a guy) that the prospect it’s not worth marrying , however much he earns and looks good 🙂

    1. Trupti

      This article looks biased based on writer’s handful experiences. I do not agree to many of the points she mentioned in “Requirement Sheet” being common in many arrange marriages.
      New educated families who want their children to wed in an arrange way do not keep such exaggerated expectations…

      I think based upon few instances challenging the institution and the morals of ours is bit kiddish.

    2. concerned citizen

      arranged marriages leave no scope for differences in human sexuality. therefore they are inherently evil.

  112. Kanupriya Arya

    A very well written article which raises important questions and challenges stinking stereotypes. The great Indian Shaadi Business is nothing more than a facade. We need to do a reality check on ourselves before it gets too late.

  113. Banano

    I am sick of “empowered” girls writing up these cute articles to rake sympathy and “likes”.
    Listen up girls, your father took all that money from your mother’s family, and his father from your grandmother’s family, and that money deserves to get passed along to the next groom, which is me…how selfish of you to want all of that sweet moolah for yourself…
    and of course, you will have to make sammiches when I want them, deal with it…

    1. manasi

      go earn some living dude . Its funny to see that all u could pick from the article is the “legacy money” bit.

    2. Banano

      Shut up girl, it’s people like you who are responsible for the degradation of our society…you need a lesson in disillusionment…

  114. Ashish

    It’s true for some families and is ridiculously wrong for the rest, so generalizing anything based on an experience and calling arrange marriage a facade is not intellectually correct!! And this rebellious attitude of urban youth towards indian marriage system comes when they/their family choose to get them married into a family who has a different mindset (which is wrong)!!
    The real problem is that in the modern era we are merely followers of western world. We see what’s right according to them and accept it in our lives too. Therefore, all the Hindu fundas from ancient history now appear to be nothing but hokum. Let me tell you, you can go ahead and try western way of marriages, you will soon realize how horribly wrong you were about Indian marriage system. Demanding dowry, violence against woman and the pressure of big fat wedding are social problems and have got nothing to do with Hinduism. So, please don’t misappropriate your inferences about Hindu morals and learning!!
    This article is just a rant, not an eye-opener!!

  115. Abhishek

    It was just one incident…!! Don’t generalise it…

  116. Robin

    As a westerner I am always interested when people discuss morals in East/West terms. (Normally West = Bad, East = Good). Putting aside my gut defense reaction, I like to dig deeper. When it comes to marriage, there are, of course, good arranged marriages, bad arranged marriages, good love marriages and bad love marriages. The issue is not the cultural practices but, as the writer implies, the ethics and morals that the participants bring to the event.

    One reason I believe that the West is seen has having “bad” morals is the greed and selfishness. My opinion is that these are more a result of the excessive wealth of the West and the temptation that this brings. I certainly was not brought up with these values. As people surround themselves with more material things, they seem more and more likely to consider ethical matters as less important. You can see this in any country and culture in the world.

    The danger for India is that as people become more wealthy they mistake the gift of wealth as something they have earned, or are owed. I see people strongly defend traditional practices because these are things that give identity and show a point of difference with the rest of the world for which they can be proud. Unfortunately too often, this is without critique, or recognition for the rapidly changing world around them. There needs to be discussion that allows these practices (such as arranged marriage) to maintain their true value without being hampered by the fear of the criticism that you are disrespecting your culture or your family. This is difficult in a rapidly changing world where the reality for parents and grandparents is vastly different to the reality of the young people today and the fear of losing status is overwhelming.

    I encourage anyone to clearly differentiate between the practice and the ethics that surround those practices. That way we can take the best, and leave the worst.

    1. Vignesh

      Here’s what I think: We cannot talk about such a broad topic based on a scenario which author has quoted. There is lack of support for system in this article.

      I will not blame nor support the system. After all, system is something which always evolves but people don’t realize that it’s evolving. I agree in those days decisions where mostly made by parents, but now we [youngsters] can actively participate. According to me, the issue lies between elders and we, youngsters.

      Youngster’s issue:

      We need to understand arranged marriages are not forced marriages [at least in most cases]. As a youngster bride or groom are given considerable freedom to make a decision when they meet each other. Regarding the norms like dowry, marriage ceremony etc can be discussed with your own family clearly specifying what you like and what you don’t . But the problem youngsters are facing is, we don’t want to stand against are parent’s way.

      Parent’s Issue:

      They don’t get that we [youngsters] are grown ups and we do have equal if not better rights in our own marriage. They treat us as kids. Most parents do understand that the son / daughter like’s their preferred partner and their family, when that’s sorted, Each family try to hold an upper hand during procedures in order to maintain their “status qua” leading to dominance then arrogance [in some major situations such as dowry etc].

      Above mentioned is a simple scenario, I think it’s just a matter of trusting each others decisions during this important phase rather blaming the system

    2. herms

      Robin money has nothing to do with morals… Ancient India was the richest and we had good moral then. West is plenty moral too, most think its immoral thanks to Porn and strip bar, homosexuality (still considered IMMORAL in most part of ASIA) , I guess. Which is a wrong way to judge a society in my opinion, WEST is very moral and they have the highest ethics which many of us Indians fail as we have a easy going attitude. But west need not look to East for morals and vice versa.

  117. Deepak Singla

    Bullshit article. Just one or two examples can’t put blame on the arrange marriages. Ms. Elisha violence on women, money greed are not unseen in love marriages either. It shows the family background of the writer itself thats why so generalise article.

    1. Prachi

      Family background of the writer? now Mr. deepak, why don’t you sit down and elaborate a little more about just HOW one can gather what ‘family background’ somebody comes from by simply reading an article they write about (for or against) the observance of a particular kind of cultural/social custom.
      besides, the writer wasn’t being blasphemous or offensive towards Indian values and traditions by any means. Just because they endorse a certain opinion about the state and face of arranged marriages in our country doesn’t mean they’re trying to demean your famous morals.

    2. concerned citizen

      his is typical indian morality. all set of morals for others none for himself. and arranged marriages are inherently evil because apart from the evils described in the article they leave out no scope for differences in human sexuality and everyone is assumed to be heterosexual.

  118. NoLisha Hiccup

    Dear Miss Elisha,
    First of all good that you thought and wrote an article on topic of Marriage. But I am greatly dispappointe that your article is opinionated, one-sided, genralised and completely ignoring the guy side.
    You start with pointing flaws in slection process a guys mother ask to would be daughter in-law. Same is the case with poor guys who get scruitnised and graded and subject idiotic questions starting with Girl-Herself, then The father-in-law and the Mother-in-law. Coz they want prince charming for their daughter. Guy who has greek gods looks, earns atleast 8 figures, should be humurous, should be excellent in sports coz their sweetheart is Badminton champion of mohalla, should be extremely caring, respect elder and basically Tendulakar-Brad Pitt-Bill Gates all rolled into one.
    Even if their daughter barely managed to pass from ABC insitute of their mohalla, they want son-in-law to be IIT/IIM graduate coz they earn big.
    And then starts expoecation of girl…
    1- I dreamed of my weddding to be like greatest and she going into tantrums ans tears even if the desserts are 3 and not 4 with remotest chance that she will get to taste it.
    2- Then comes Honeymoon must be in ‘Phoren Locastion’ coz her feeind went and she has bollywoood movies.. and is still in fairyland. Ever thought about splitting that cost or it is chivalry that guy should bear that.

    Give guys a break.
    I am sad that you made mockery of out of Marriage which you will/had entered into with much fanfare and expensive.
    It’s scam or candor depending on parties entering it. And’s it’s upto today’s youth to make their choice what they want to make out this Milestone of their life and make it most treasured moment. Keep it in mind it doesn’t means overly spending but managing things to best of both party’s ability.

    P.S: Miss Elisha, both sides do split expenditure of weddings already. Please wake up.

    1. concerned citizen

      that is why most arranged marriages are curse for both sides. a girl who truly loved her guy will understand otherwise if it has to b arranged then obviously both sides expect a lot of unrealistic things. and why? because both sides want to show-off to their respective ever-jealous relatives and ever-jealous neighbours.

  119. Shreyas

    You’ve raised some good points. I think Families should have little to do with marriage . It’s a union of the boy and the girl and the families can tag along for celebration. It’s a dynamic event , I think the extended family expectations are totally unjust. Yest , fair and honorable treatment is but obviously expected – simple gestures and caring nature is a viable expectation. Everything else is very poor in terms of rationality.

    I know I may be a minority in expecting a generalized agreement on my sentiments but hey – I atleast know what kind of marriage I’m going to have – an awesome one. Booya!

    1. Jessie

      Internet high-five ! and btw I am going to have an awesome one too !

      Ps: I am an Indian gal. Booyah !!

      PPS: Awesome = city hall and just signing the papers 🙂

  120. sukritikashyap

    wonderful… I loved the solution part

  121. Srivatsa

    Interesting article, but heavily loaded against the groom and his family. Painting the groom and co as devils and the bride and co as angels serves no purpose. The problem of dowry is highlighted well. Domestic violence is a world-wide curse, and is not in any way related to arranged-marriages. There are innumerable instances of domestic violence in the Western world too, where arranged marriages almost don’t exist.
    Arranged marriages in no way push morals into the back seat. It is the society’s interpretation of relationship between the 2 families involved in a marriage that needs overhaul. It is the attitudes of the people that needs to change. Focus your rant on that, and not on the concept of arranged marriage.

    For your information, all the problems you have highlighted, are present in equal (or more) measure in love marriages too. Look around and you will see thousands of examples where the father has had to bend down to the innumerable demands of his would-be son-in-law’s parents, just because his daughter insists on marrying the boy despite all the demands placed by the boy’s parents. That’s a double-whammy for the parents. First, the girl makes her own choice of the guy she wants to marry, will go against her parents’ wishes (wishes that are usually intended for the girl’s good), and still be forced to give in to all the demands of the boy’s parents, just so that the girl can have her way. Angels and demons, anyone?

    The point here is: there are all sorts of people in all sorts of relationships. Do not just pick a select few and highlight them. Pick all examples, and highlight their pros and cons.

    1. Jessie

      I think if we apply same rules to “love marriage” groom in law and father in law, it should serve the purpose !

    2. concerned citizen

      the type of love marriage scenario you described above is not real love marriage. if a guy really loved his girl he will deny any dowry. it was just an illusion of love and nothing else.

  122. Ankit

    You are just looking at the cash hungry people, there is good in the society too. And it’s not the arranged marriages that are pushing the people behind, it is the lack of morals in people and why does the father of the bride should accept such proposal from the people who are asking for money. He is also in a rush to push his daughter away to escape from the taunts that his own relatives will throw at him, with the likes of “she’s 25 why isn’t she married yet, is something wrong with her”. There’s nothing wrong with the process of arranged marriage, people’s attitude is wrong, the extortion should be stopped, not the arranged marriage. I’ve seen the girls too who mooch off their father’s by demanding expensive jewellery and clothes and cars. Also asking for makeup sessions from the best make up studios and grand weddings which make them feel like a queen for a day, and the father’s take up loans and sell off their assets just to make their “princesses feel special. So don’t go about blaming complaining and generalizing people. And if you want to term the holy institution of marriage as a business transaction, just remember one basic rule that applies to all business transactions “Caveat Emptor” Let the buyer beware.

  123. Gaurav

    the last line says – “try love for a change” – sounds hypocritical considering that indian women would any day prefer the security of an arranged marriage as compared to the fact that she would have to shoulder equal responsibility in a love marriage.

    1. Anirudh

      Don’t go stereotyping now! Not all Indian women ‘prefer the security of an arranged marriage’. And saying that those women don’t want to share responsibility is downright sexist. What?Do you think every Indian guy is going to jump right in at the chance to share responsibilities? You don’t know that, just as how you don’t know what the collective mindset of women is. ‘Try love for a change’ isn’t hypocritical, its only an idea. And no one person is always entirely responsible for whatever it is we deem them responsible.

    2. Gaurav

      the line – try love for a change itself says that women would probably consider it different from usual so it is clearly not about me being sexist but indian women thinking of love as something that can be tried off chance. but the staple continues to remain arranged marriage. the pizza eating generation conveniently forgets that india is home to 1.25 billion people.. no matter how many times this fact is pointed out some people continue to imagine that india means you and your neighbors. it is high time you step out of your home and stop equating india with the number of girls who like to visit a mall.

    3. Anirudh

      I’m not equating India with anything. What you fail to understand is that everyone has a lot of opinions and perceptions and perspectives, and the author saying ‘try love for a change’ is one of hers. “The pizza generation” isn’t the one that’s forgetting India is home to a lot of different kinds of people. In all actuality, it is “the pizza generation” that has been most part of the reason behind the diversifying Indian populace. To level with what you said, it’s “the pickle generation” who’re the cause for all this discussion here. How right are they in still holding on to the concept of dowry and bridal suppression?And the concept of trying love for a change doesn’t only have to apply to the women populace. And just because they’ve ‘tried love’ doesn’t mean their parents are not going to ask for dowry. Change isn’t so superficially brought on. The concept of ‘trying love’ suggested by the author, I believe, was suggested in hope of changing the bride and groom’s outlook of each other and so that they’d stand up for each other. And if it was for parents too, I think it was because the author hoped that if the parents acknowledged their kids’ love then they wouldn’t treat the bride’s family wrongly.

    4. Gaurav

      pickle generation ? so you see the different opinions as a mix vegetable pickle….. well i doubt if anyone supports dowry, i sure as hell do not support dowry or bridal suppression (nice vocabulary)…. I am old enough to understand what happens when men try love…. so no point in trying to fool men that they also deserve love. men know that indian society is retrograde and no matter how many liberal signals the pizza guys give, the fact remains that it is not acceptable in india for men to find love…. no wonder this path is not going to take us anywhere.

    5. Anirudh

      What happens when men ‘try’ love? And why is it not acceptable for men to find love in India?

    6. Jessie

      You are wrong my friend ! I am an Indian gal and prefer love over marriage. Love is why I am with the one 🙂

    7. concerned citizen

      it is because those women who are highly amibitous and marry according to their wishes are still considered as bad women. in india the ideal woman is who will tolerate everything and will never say a word to protect herself.

  124. Yatan

    51% marriages in UK end up in divorce, in India the % is less then 5 %.
    Anything which happens in developed country is not necessarily correct.
    Its a human tendency where they try to follow bad habits of successful
    Its because of Indian culture and values that you got educated and are working
    today, you cant imagine the life of divorced parents children.

    1. Neha Jha

      But, whatever she is saying is not false. Indian culture is fine, but, needs to change with time. Sati pratha was also indian culture, but it was removed. Arranged marriage is despicable because of these kinda things.

    2. saumy agarwal

      No she is not 100% correct. She had generalized the matter over few incidents. Also if the boy’s family asking for money then y the bride’s family gets ready to pay rather going for a guy with no dowry demand whatsoever, Arranged marriage is not despicable its the people’s thinking that had made it commercialized. Let the people decide whether they want love/ arranged marriage.

    3. concerned citizen

      arranged marriage are also despicable because they leave no scope for differences in human sexuality because everyone is assumed to be heterosexual.

    4. Rohit Gupta

      Just a small question. What is more important, living in a dead relationship or living peaceful life? And we always defend our customs using these same answers in every argument. Our customs are rusted, it needs polish to get new life.

    5. Babar

      A lower divorce rate does not mean that marriages are more successful. In India, people are more hesitant to walk out of marriages because of social and cultural reasons.

    6. concerned citizen

      51% marriages in UK end up in divorce because there whether it be wife or husband won’t accept daily taunting, abuses, beatings, insults. in india these things are tolerated whether the husband is abusive or wife is. in the west they give more value to their individual dignity. in india dignity doesn’t matter at all. and you are wrong on another account. she got educated because of western influence because you know very well that girls were not supposed to study in our scoiety till our parents’ generations. how many women of your grandmother’s age are highly educated or even of your mother’s generation can you please tell?

  125. ashutosh

    The author seems to be a totally frustrated woman. Ma’m all the arrange marriages are not as bogus as you are labelling them. Perhaps you need to improve your research skills before writing an article on such a debatable issue.

    1. Sai

      Thats true…I see a lot of people in my family too leading a good ( read it happy) lives after having arranged marriages….dont bias yourself by seeing one incident…Analysis should rest upon survey which is missing…One word: prejudice.

  126. Shaily

    This was a good article especially the suggestions given. Arrange marriage has it’s own pros and cons but if you look in general it’s not exactly about whether Arrange or love marriage is better. As some1 in the comments said that dealings such as dowry and can be made by a groom’s family in a love marriage too. Its actually about the mindset of Indian people regarding marriages in general especially adults that should be changed. In ancient times arranged marriage was focused so much on the unity of two families that ppl almost forgot about the unity of bride and groom . They only married each other for the sake of name and didn’t developed much understanding. As a result the man ruled over the woman and she had to live like that her whole life. In Indian marriages there are so many formalities between the two families that one or two conflicts/problems are bound to arise. People should change their thinking, have an equal share, keep a mutual understand and most basic thing is that bride and groom should be given enough time to interact with each other to decide whether they are compatible or not. I ve seen examples where a bride’s is forced to marry to another family (even if she might not like the man so much) just because groom’s family is educated, rich and of their desired caste or even vice versa. I don’t understand why adults don’t care about whether the groom and the bride are comfortable with each other or not. I’m not saying that everyone does that but many of them do. So Indian marriages are not bad at all it’s only the thinking behind it and perspective of the ppl that should be changed.

  127. Nibha jain

    Thanks for writing this…I have always failed to explain this to others…you have written it very crisp and clear… We Indians are hypocritical..
    Most of the boys would disagree but it is true..
    Grooms’ side have this typical lines to say that we don’t want dowry but it should look good at the time….afterwards they would say it was less than expected standard.. They forget how the girls’ parents would feel and how the girl would feel when people are complaining about her father.. For every girl her fathet does best for her..

    1. Krishi

      Arranged marriages are and always will be business oriented. IMHO there is nothing that can change that.

      Its left to the individual to decide whether they want a arranged marriage by exchanging money and gifts, or find a person to marry, by themselves.

  128. hirok

    Well, this issue is not as simple and fancy as it looks in someone’s blog.

    Yes, there is a need of reviewing the traditions and the customs with respect to the changing dynamics of the ‘indian’ society (indian word is highly emphasized here). Recent indian colonization in the metros, bollywoodifying of western trends has already played a major role in changing the dynamics among the indian youth. Dramatic increase in the number of divorces in the indian metros, among the indian youth couples with less than 4 years of conjugal life proves it correct.

    To find the root, one must study and analyze the individual cases. The youth today is just directionless. The previous generation atleast had something called tradition and custom, which they followed blindly. We just are stuck in the middle.

    The cause and its impact of fall of the biggest indian institution of arrange marriage is just deeper than what we write in fancy blogs!!

    1. concerned citizen

      arranged marriages leave no scope for differences in human sexuality and therefore are not perfect solution for marriage problem.

  129. Ainat

    Haha..awesome! I agree. Even this happened in a few love-converted-to-arranged marriage. First fall in love, then the bride (the girl) cant reject right ? 😉 But one got dumped after two years though with a thud on the moral-aangaan by the girl 😛 !

  130. muft

    I appreciate the thought of writing the article, but am quite confused about the point conveyed. First of all, morality is a personal attribute & varies from one person to another & hence there is nothing called ‘Indian Morals’ but only social ethics of Indian society. Dragging the word ‘moral’ throughout the article made it sound too vague & concretely focused on something non -existing. On my understanding, the article was analyzing the virtual patriarchal nature of Indian marriages. Rest of the writing made sense & sadly is true; particularly the denotation of dowry by the groom’s parents & the fuss accompanied with that. But the ‘moral’ tag is incorrect.

  131. Gaurav

    some observations :
    – writer has chosen topic of arranged versus love marriage and it is obvious from comments below that indian men and women are very sensitive to this topic. infact many men and woman have taken sides, women are seen defending love, men seem to be defending arranged.

    – the way the article is written, it seems writer wants to say that arranged marriage is immoral and illogical.
    – the writer has not done analysis of love marriage.

    – writer gives her opinion and concludes all on basis of one example and her opinion of what might have happened.
    – basically people seem to be angry and frustrated and are against arranged marriage.
    – but people refuse to give an example of love marriage.
    – can writer give example of love marriage?
    – should i write an article on love marriage and how it fails?

    also writer should avoid mixing topics. pls focus on marriage and not religion/culture/west versus east. if you want to show love is superior . show how it happens, write an article on how a love marriage would happen and lets analyse that properly.

    1. TK

      You have a very valid point..and on love mrgs or love in general i would just like to add something that happened in our class which i observed later and found funny:
      There were 18 girls and 37 guys in our class and there were 18 couples….i would really like to know how the 17th and 18th couple fell in love..whats the possibility that they will fall in love with the only girl available??

    2. concerned citizen

      arranged marriages are good as long as everybody is heterosexual and wants to get married and they have not much individual choices and desires. but that is not true. nature is diverse and so is human nature and sexuality. arranged marriages leave no scope for diversity, individual’s choices and desires which is resulting in abusive and unhappy marriages, infidelity year by year. if only people were more open to idea of differences.
      i have a female friend in her mid 20s and she doesn’t want to get married till she is 28 or 29. the reason is she wants to visit many places in india before marriage, wants to have a good career before marriage and manu other things. but now her parents have started forcing her to get married otherwise what will people say. now most of the things she wanted to do she won’t be able to do because she doesn’t know what her arranged husband will be like. whether he will even allow her to step outside leave alone keep working and having a carrer. because in arranged marriage you never know what the other person is like. arranged marriages were only good till our parents generations because they didn’t have any such wishlists and any more desires. if they had such wishlists our country also would have progressed as well because if you desire for something only then you work to achive it. if you have no choice and desire you settle with whatever comes your way. this is not the case anymore now atleast in aware circles of urban indian society. youth these days are not ready to settle with just whatever comes their way. that is creating problem with archaic and inhumane older customs and what youth of today wants to do with his life.
      now love marriage may not succeed all the time or may even have less success rate than arranged marriages but than at least you don’t end up with wrong person for sure.

    3. Gautam

      You’ve falsely correlated arranged marriages with infidelity. How do you explain infidelity in societies which don’t have arranged marriage?! “Chemistry” (a nice euphemism for attraction / physical compatibility) is certainly more difficult to ascertain in a conservative process like arranged marriage. But your mistake is to assume that physical compatibility tested prior to a lifetime commitment is a good guarantee of relationship satisfaction. Physical compatibility is fluid and changes with time (child birth, stress, familiarity and age affect it). It is not about always being happy or satisfied (which is unrealistic and unnatural).
      Monogamy is to understand that there might be temptations, and tremendous challenges to stray but to still remain true and loyal to your spouse. If you’re not up for it, then marriage is not for you.

  132. Rajiev

    I was just wondering would the author ever fall in love, get married to or get ‘arrange-married’ to anyone, who is a nice guy as per her, is no momma’s boy, doesn’t want her to wake up at 5 and cook for all, or cook at all, and doesn’t take a penny, but doesn’t earn much?

    Would the author marry a guy who doesn’t have a bike even, let alone a car, but is intellectually on par, and character wise and compatibility wise the best one can get?

    Would the author marry a guy who cooks for her, but cannot afford to take her out to restaurants even once a month?

    Would the author marry a guy, who doesn’t take her out for holidays because of lack of fund ever?

    Was just wondering after reading all the comments, and the article, how fake a lot of girls have got now a days. In my happily dowry is sort of forbidden. I had my cousin sister’s wedding, and then uncle’s wedding. Would like to share something in that context

    Cousin sis’s wedding was relatively much smoother financially. We went and met many guys, and chose the one whose family was good, and earned decent, so that he would keep our sister happy(indirectly fulfill her demands and wishes, sounds bad, eh?). Since it was a girl’s wedding, all relatives chipped in with all they could. And we needn’t gift anything to our relatives.

    Uncle’s wedding, was sort of financial mess. He has a heart of gold, earned decent but many girl’s family rejected him, because he had other brother’s(not the sole owner of property later on, so bad for daughter!?!), didn’t have a car/AC then(how would their daughter live), he is not demanding dowry, mustn’t be worth it! And we had to gift all our relatives, plus there is a custom in our zone that guy’s family have to gift a lot of jewelry, clothes to the bride! So after his marriage, during an informal random chat, I realized Aunt’s family had to spend 1/3rd of what our family did. Plus she doesn’t like going out for job, but expects uncle to take her out for two trips every year, one international and one domestic.

    Nothing wrong about any of these thing, but the dual faced sword. You are a feminist, when you want to work, want independence, want your choice to overtake his. You want a chivalrous guy when it comes down to marriage, you want a super rich, highly educated, smart, intelligent all pumped into one guy, who takes you for international trips, even though you might not contribute to the finances.

    You would coax him, beat him to death with your tantrums if he is to let a little more share of property to go to his brother’s kitty. But if he asks you to ask your parents to make you an equal inheritor of their wealth, you would ridicule him with your lexicon and choicest of adjectives demanding him to be a little more manly and chivalrous!

    What a world we live in!!

    P.S.: Have nothing against the girl who are real. Not the diabolical, fake, with an agenda everywhere!

    1. TK

      Dude u knw wht d problem is..we r so scared of fightin against women coz we knw we wont hv any pretty sure if dis same scenerio was written by a girl ( or lets say d author of dis article) she wud not have been this scared and appologised like you have twice in your statement..its like we fought for there rights with them and now who will fight for our rights?? We need 2 speak up

    2. concerned citizen

      if true love and mutual respect is there everything else will not matter. if not keep searching for happiness in such hollow marriages and it will never be found. that is why western systyem is fat better and superior like other things. two people fall in love, they spend time together to know each other more, they arrange for their wedding and there are no weird customs of giving this and that to each others relatives like you mentioned above. someone said it right. in india you need to spend a fortune on a wedding.

    3. Gautam

      That “true love” will solve everything is a fallacy. Most proponents can’t even agree on what precisely this “true love” is, let alone talk about practicalities. And pointing to Western societies as an example indicates naïveté or deliberate intent to mislead. Do you know the divorce rates there? Are you aware that the marriage rate (number of people marrying as a proportion of the adult population) is at an all-time low and declining? Lots of you might have a “grass is greener…” / some variant of inferiority but as someone who’s seen things, their gender-relations are NOT what we should aspire for.

  133. Apocalypse

    Have been in this relationship with an otherwise very wonderful, intelligent girl for more than a decade now, since we were high school kids. My family is completely against dowry, and they like her a lot as well. Of late, talks have veered toward marriage and getting married. I clearly told my parents about her way long back.

    I quit engineering, took up humanities somewhere during mid of relationship, and then started a business. After the initial head-up, it is in loss. She did her studies well, went for MBA, and is working as a senior financial analyst. We pretty much earn the same. As of now we live in two different cities, and our hometown is elsewhere. Till few months back, when issue of marriage hadn’t cropped up, we fitted in each other’s life so perfectly. Life has been a bliss with her since 2002, but has become a hell now.

    She belongs to a better off family than mine. Expects me to earn much much more so that she can talk to her parents. Want me to buy a house before she can inform her parents. Has started calling me a failure, for failing her, because my business is at ebb. She on many occasions have suggested me a lot of things related to my ancestral property, to which I had said it doesn’t come under my domain, and I would rather want to own properties from my own money, and then do things. She suggested me that its mine only, so I shouldn’t be lazy or whatsoever! She expects me to cook, alright, I do that. She doesn’t want me to stay with my family, for her independence would be curbed, she told me explicitly, but she would want them as well, as it has many benefits!?!
    She parties late night till guys, and if get concerned for her, I am labelled insecure, possessive, old-fashioned, restrictive and cheap in my thinking and she carries on. Since I do not have sister, I made a girl my ‘muhboli Behen’ who is almost 8 years junior and girlfriend of one of my cousins, she said she doubts the nature, motive(!?Wtf) and I thought I would not a beautiful thing become abuse, and stopped talking to her, let alone even meeting on Rakhi. She couriered the Rakhi to me last time, I didn’t reply even, and din’t tell my beloved either, for fear of a drama.

    Well, these are issues, which normally happens in any kind of relationship. And issues/differences will be there in any relationship always. But of late, she has made it evident she doesn’t want to carry on with the relationship. And the reason is “FINANCIAL”, “better pay packet prospects” etc.

    Well….let me shut up now, for the so-called-feminist will shred me to pieces, roast me alive!

    1. TK

      Dude u still wont get sympthy 4 all dat…..all ladies will say dat whts wrong wd wht she is askin..she want 2 live independent life without the pressure of ur parents and still wants HER share in YOUR property and guyz will just call u faliure as u cant support a chick whts wrong wd u….u knw wht dis reminds me of..that commercial on TV – Its great time 2 b a women

  134. Mihir Pujara

    Hello, I totally agree with your thoughts. We have always been bombarded with illogical facts that out culture and value system is the greatest in the world but our society has failed to demonstrate it. Despite of such things, I believe that the rise in education and penetration of newer technologies has uplifted thoughts of at least a portion of younger generation of India. I am definitely one of that. Recently I got engaged and getting married in December 2014. Though our families indulged into conversation at first, we have been provided sufficient time to evaluate each other. Also we both have been given total freedom to take the final decision without getting influenced by our parents’ views. Moving ahead, the youth of India should boycott these old and senseless rituals which are sometimes inhumane. Writers, actors and other creative persons should also come forward to raise such issues and contribute in shaping a better India. Thanks for writing on this topic!

    1. concerned citizen

      yes i agree. youth of india should boycoot outdated and inhuman ideas of marriage. mutual compatibility matters more than anything else.

  135. Samarth Singh

    But even then, every girl and their family needs a Khaate-peete ghar ka ameer ladka….

    Once Osho was approached by a teacher who complained that his daughter is not getting married due to all affluent grooms: Doctors, engineers, etc asking for dowry. And he complained of society being greedy.
    Osho replied, “You’re no different to them. You too want your daughter to go into a big house, of a Doctor or an Engineer…. Don’t you think you should’ve approached a teacher, because you yourself are one?

    The teacher stood there speechless. He understood he was no different to all those dowry hungry families. He too wanted only the material best for daughter.

    If the girls and their families approach the common middle class person and family for the relation, they might actually find a gem in a haystack kind of family. But they won’t. And maybe its all justified in the end.

    1. Ra’s al Ghul

      Samarth Singh, how do you know a teacher or a common, middle class person will not demand dowry?

    2. Samarth Singh

      They might demand dowry. Yes, it is possible.
      That’s why I said, “they MIGHT actually find a gem”. It might happen in a certain percentage, like maybe 10% chance that you’ll find a good person in middle class.
      I said, middle class, because they will be humble as per their standing, and might turn good partners.

      The point of my comment was that chances of finding a good person (or finding a person who respects you/ treats you good) will be more if your intentions are good. If the girls’ families can be greedy, then its almost justified that they face dowry issues.

      My mom once said that, Be a man, and don’t demand dowry ever. The girl will respect you and her family will respect you too.
      And I think she’s right. I’m not married but whenever I will be, nothing will go into my pocket, or my parents’.

      Greed doesn’t pay nowadays, because the person in front of you is clever enough too…. (no matter who that person is)

    3. concerned citizen

      you are spot on. these things matter more in indian marriages even though there is no gaurantee that khate-peete ghar ka ladka will keep their daughters happy. they just have to show-off to their relatives so all other things are neglected.

  136. Vivek Pandin

    Purely biased article. The article is stereotyping Indian culture and traditions. The writer neither understands Indian Culture not love. In some regions, the men has to pay dowry to marry the girl. And who said dowry is part of the Indian culture. It’s the people like the author with half baked knowledge, misunderstanding the customs to suit their personal interests. Love is a wonderful thing. But, Love after marriage is more important, and wonderful than love before marriage.

    1. V

      I think YOU are biased. There’s no such thing as Indian culture. It’s not an homogeneous concept. Maybe you should understand that first.
      For crying out loud! There are many examples of how this ‘Indian Culture’ that we are taught about is broken. It’s just a straight jacket that is used to keep the flock in check. Culture isn’t static. Those who wish to keep it static will waste their efforts. Culture evolves, and what’s being written here will evolve that culture. Whether I or you like it or not.

    2. concerned citizen

      whether girl’s parents are paying dowry or boy’s partents both must be condemned.

  137. Dr. Jigyasa Singh

    I would recommend best go for a love marriage. …and get rid of so called moral values

    1. concerned citizen

      i agree. but tell me where does love exist in india? even in so-called love marriages acceptance of parents of both parties is required otherwise they will have to go on their own facing all opposition from their parents and other relatives. but i think youth of this country is better than their parents. they must stand up for their love even if it means going against all. if you love someone then you must stand up for it. better to end up alone than ending up with wrong person. but our older generations parents and relatives just don’t understand these things.

  138. Shaveta

    And boys shud also keep reminding them selfs that they are not the products to be sold, they shud better devolop their spine nd must raise their voice against dowry . And must not marry for money , there r other more important things tht shud decide tht 2 persons can spent their lives together or not , so plz raise ur voice nd save our community from this system

    1. concerned citizen

      you are right but for the large part problem lies in hindu decandent system of treating ones partents akin to god. god alone is worthy of worship. nobody should treat their parents as worthy of worship as god. because in our society we are told to worship everything and everyone but god. and when children are taught from childhood that their parents are their god they also agree to every demand of their parents and think whatever they are doing must be right. but they don’t give consideration to that fact that along with their parents they will be answerable to almighy god once they are into the other world.

    2. Somia Sharma

      It is not necessarily that what God does is always right.
      Our parents do want to make our lives comfortable but we need to stop them.
      They should be portrayed as friends instead who would help us in every need and we can stand against them if we see them doing something wrong.
      BUT first we need to realize ourselves that this is wrong

  139. Ra’s al Ghul

    I am very strongly against dowry but why does the groom have to spend lacs over the bride’s jewellery, her wedding clothes, and tons of other expenditure. Women should pay for their own jewellery, wedding clothes, etc. Civilisation has reached the pinnacle of decadence and now the balance must be restored.

    1. league of shadows

      i like your name – demon’s head

    2. Somia Sharma

      You dont need to. Why should u. She can buy it for herself. Why should she buy it for her mother in law? And why should her father be the one to spend lacs on feeding your starved guests. You do it yourself and she would buy all her things for herself.

      Gifts were given to newly weds to bless them but now it has become a social status for the people. People shower gifts just to get return gifts of higher value and price.

      You might be against dowry but let us see when u get married and not accept a single thing from your in laws.
      A marriage is a union of two hearts and souls. DO NOT malign it with such customs.

  140. Narsing

    This article might not reflect the whole Indian culture as such. Might be some places in India.

    1. Both sides split wedding expense in half.
    Ans : It is split up. Brides do the marriage ceremony/function and Grooms do Reception party the next day which is usually double the cost of Marriage.
    Brides parents buy wedding and reception dress to the Groom and saree and dress to Grooms parents. The Grooms parents will buy wedding and reception sarees for the bride and 1 each pair of dress to their parents and the important point here is. The budget of Grooms’s is 1/2 the budget of bride for dresses. Same for gold. I can go on and on like this for every thing. Basically the formula is Bride family will buy for Grooms family and vice versa. Its actually to make a good bonding between two families.

    2. I want to point out the most important thing here. It may look I am supporting Dowry but I am not. Lets make it purely commercial just for the sake of discussion. Lets take a case, there is a family who has 50 lacs worth property. He has a daughter and a son. Let assume that daughters marriage was done with out any dowry. Lets say, after some years the girls parents passed away. What will happen to those 50 lakhs. Who should get it. That is the root cause of dowry. Since in India girl will not get any share of their parents property it will be given to the GIRL at the time of marriage (I read it somewhere). If we want to fight against dowry we need work on that root cause. We should make laws which says daughters and sons get the same share. Since both are equal.(I don’t know if its there already. If its there we better make sure it implemented)

    We can also consider the case of parents will give their money to whom so ever they want. but that will cause the same problems and we will be in the same loop again.

  141. shwetha

    Rapists and pshycology of a man during ..

  142. Navneet

    Greed kills Values not marriage…. hit the cause not the symptom.

  143. Sonal Jamuar

    I have gone through similar situations and trust me it gets worse when you succumb to parental pressures and give in to their relentless rallying for the cause of Arrange marriage you start wondering whats wrong with me ? Well its been sometime now and am still single much to my parents disappointment..and the ever increasing demands from the boys side never ends…! Tried and Tested

    1. TK

      Can i ask you something is you dont mind. What are your/your family’s demands? What kind of match are they looking for? I am sure you must have gotten many requests that you must have rejected. Can you please care to share on what basis you rejected them.

  144. anonnymous

    The above scenario was mostly observed in 90’s and still you can observer it but bit less. Anyways still dowry and that kind of thinking persist irrespective of how much the both the family are educated. As of today scenario at-least what i am observing is boys side is not asking for any hefty items so girls side also like it and both say yes we are equal what guy can do same girl can do both are well educated, doing job, earning well, but still girls want that boy should do her things. Like recharge my phone, pick me and drop me, take care for my shopping and for few things they “I am girl how i am suppose to do it” its you who has to do the task. Now equality condition is gone. So this think is also creating lot of issues in married life. If both are equally well do to then both should handle their issue, and if one is not able to solve it then of course his/her second hand half is always their.

    1. sahitha

      You poignantly point out some of the difficulties faced by boys today and I agree. Equality can only persist if both parties are willing to take and share responsibility.

  145. Ratnakar

    Frustrated widower Nehru deeply imbued Islamic culture imposed Hindu marriage act with a vengeance on Hindu Society. Since then crores of marital life of couples have been ruined. Since this sensitive issue entails delicate personal aspect, nobody wants to discuss it in public.Contact me I will show you the examles.

  146. TK

    Till when are we gonna treat women as victims?? In this day and age you still think men rule the world?? You think men have any power left?? think again….
    I am gonna give you a small example that happens to everyone:

    case 1: Groom’s father says no we can’t marry your daughter because you cant pay up dowry lets say 10 lakh…..Now we can identify the villein here quite easily right?? what say ladies…..and also those pretentious non sexist wanna be men

    Case 2: Bride’s father says we can’t marry your son because he doesn’t earn 10 lakh a year and we have brought up our girl like a princess and she can’t spend her life with such less money………just a caring dad isn’t he??

    Case 3: Bride’s profile says only looking for doctors…….yes coz together dey will just save the world

    Case 4: Bride’s profile says only want to marry in South Delhi / south Mumbai / any such expensive place……like we can’t read b/w d lines


    1. concerned daughter

      Really true..our systems has pitfalls with both families. .the bride’s and the groom’s…and where is the main and the prime purpose of marriage gone?

    2. TK

      Sometimes i wonder how come the biggest decision of our life is a compromise made by our parents

    3. sahitha

      I agree that both boys and girls have to make their own living and build their lives rather than depending on parents or in-laws. I like that you pointed out the princess syndrome.

      I am aware of many girls like that who just want a rich husband and money but aren’t willing to work for it. Their father gave them money initially and now it’s the husband’s job

  147. Jitender Kumar

    This artical is too biased and talking about last decade values. Now things are changing to other dark side. Now days its the groom who got screwed most. If he is in same joint and all together family and working in family business then the situation gonna be same old type . Big dowry and fat wedding.
    But is he eduacted and independently settled then he is the one who is going to pay for all shit. Women jewelry, special cloths, expensive accessories and etc. This rule applies even when bride is working professional. I have seen guys take personal loan for their wedding.
    And its just because of so called social animals pressure (Society Pressure). Weddings always has been very prominent way to showoff and set reputation in society.
    Ancient system had eight type of marriage, why we just stuck on one ? Cant understand this.

  148. HarshTruth

    Firstly, the article is well written considering the example presented.
    It is true that the scenario mentioned, is common with in regions of India(In South India, it’s the grooms side who is expected to pay up). But the problem doesn’t lie with arranged marriage itself. It’s the acceptance of greed/materialistic approach/dowry, which has become a part and parcel of this system, which is undermining the whole Arranged marriage scenario.
    Over the last 50 odd years, the minimum age for marriage has become a major factor for the shift from blindly accepting arranged marriage to support for love marriage(Do not mistake, love marriage has it’s own pitfalls). Over the last decade the bride and groom have become independent and self sufficient. The role of parents has reduced in deciding the match for their naive 17 year old child based on the suitor family’s ethics and morals. Yet it is hard to change the ideas with which you have grown, especially if you have been following them for longer than others. Please understand, the wiser and older members of our society are not wrong in their stand. They still consider us naive and prone to errors in judgement.
    It is up to our generation(each individual, in this particular example, the groom) to understand this and try to change the mindset of our parents and try not be left behind when it is our time to change with the tide.

  149. Tuhin

    The writer of this article is a complete idiot, if not a retard, and why am I saying this, it is because that entire writing is about halfhearted and concocted facts. Firstly Arranged marriages are not half as badly organized as the author tries to describe it to be. Now let us go point by point. First of all the example of a “peachy-soft-voice syndrome guy”, now his friend did reject the guy right and I am sure her parents didn’t kill her right, so it’s not like she was sacrificed for our so called “ hollow values”. Now let’s talk about the so called monetary transactions involved. First of all I do not know of any female who does not dream of a grand wedding, yes the bride’s family does spend more, but it’s because in Hindu marriages the bride’s family has more rituals, period. The reception at the groom’s house is also a grand affair in which a lot of money is spent. I don’t know about the oxymoronic author but I am sure most of us want a good wedding where a lot of people are invited and the entire affair is grand. If the same is not possible then both the parties agree for a low key affair. Please remember in arranged marriages you don’t necessarily have to agree to demands, just like the author’s friend rejected the entire proposal. Finally as for trying to sell the boy, in most cases the bride’s family is trying to sell the bride as well so I guess it’s equal. In modern times the prospective bride and groom do spend a lot of time with each other before marriage and hence these things do not really happen. As for dowry, who is to be blamed, of course the guy is. I know so many of my friends who did engineering so that they get good dowry, they say as it is the marriage is arranged, so why say no to money and the same is not because of values , greed is a human nature and you cannot hold Hindu values responsible for the same. These days criticizing old values and tradition are in fashion, especially if you want to be a columnist etc. But these writers should actually focus on the real problems rather than trying to show values in poor light.

    1. concerned daughter

      Mr. Tuhin
      I guess your writeup is completely written out of aggression and frustration, reason I don’t know but may be coz ur completely an old male chauvinist creature of our great Indian culture, who has jus taken things on ego and not able to digest because few facts are written against the ‘males’ in the column. First of all the author has not written specifically for the Hindu culture but since Hinduism is majoritically the most praticed culture in India and people belong to it are the ones victims of these traditions, hence she/he has highlighted the fact. Else buying and selling of groom and bride ( not literally in monetary ways but in terms of qualifications , good ethics. Etc) does happen in other religions as well in the same Indian culture. What u said is right to some extent that its better not to accept such proposals if that doesn’t fit in our requirements. But, the question is not of ‘accepting’ the demands, its first of raising them which makes the culture so much hurting and unacceptable. Why do the families expect that if their daughters and sons were to marry then their ‘perosnal’ expectations also have to be fulfilled? Aren’t we all made out of love and aren’t we all only supposed to marry for love? Also one thing girls are always stuffed in thier brains is you need to marry..if not out of choice but out of security ..why coz parents want their girl to be seen ‘settled’ in the eyes of the world. No matters how many unhappy faces of world she sees inside her shit married life..does anyone come to see that? Can’t our parents raise our girls atleast for their own n family’s financial security till the time she finds her own choice life partner? We Indians really need a soul searching on this.

    2. TK

      Can i ask u something if u dont mind..are you married?? My guess wud be no so other any of ur sister/cousin married?? Can you please describe the groom and his family?? If your were involved in the decision making process can you describe what all you guyz rejected and how you came up to the final choice?

    3. concerned citizen

      arranged marriages are as organized as this author has mentioned above. your parents start looking for a partner for you to get married. they will tell this to your relatives and family pundit. then either the relatvies or the pundit will say that and that girl or guy ‘s parents are looking for thier child. then both parties (parents talk to each other). then generally guy’s family visit girl’s family. the guy and girl are allowed to talk for sometime and in that sometime they are expected to know everything about each other. and that’s it. marriage is fixed.

  150. Faraz

    Well put. Agree that aggranged marriges are virtual business transactions. In fact I go a step further in claiming that its not only not moral but its ‘immoral’ as its not too different from a transaction between a man and a woman who offers ‘something’ in return of some financial security offered by the man without deep feelings for the man.

    1. concerned citizen

      i agree 100%. and nuclear family system must be made norm in india.

    2. sahitha

      I agree. There might be another word for it-sleeping with a man because he provides money.

  151. TK Gupta

    Thanks for initiating such a good article. Dowry by overt or covert means is the bane of our society, especially for Vaish community. Boys and girls themselves will have to take the initiative to remedy the situation because parents are more often than not, heaped in inertia of the past practices. The suggestion to share the marriage expenses by both parties equally is most welcome. The pomp and show as well as wasteful expenditure of all kind needs to be avoided. A day time marriage ceremony would take care of this to a large extent. Besides, the lower number of divorce cases in India as compared to the Western countries signifies the virtues of our value system attached to the marriage as an institution as such. The elaborate rituals of marriage make it an event to remember as a mile stone in ones life.

    1. concerned citizen

      there is no value system to start with in india. in india saving face matters more over an individual’s dignity. parents will often suggest to their daughters/sons in india to keep tolerating their abusive, drunkard husbands and torterous in-laws than filing for a divorce otherwise what will people/relatives say. a western woman will not accpet abuses, taunts, fightings etc over her dignity so they separate which is always a good move. better to start late with the man of your life than to end up with wrong man for whole life. most people in india just can understand these things.

    2. ruthz

      Then, all your life you would be doing is self love. As long as a man is a tool for your pleasurable experiences, you say you love him. I hope indian women love atleast one person apart from themselves.

  152. praneeth

    very fine … i appreciate ur thoughts n concern for our morals values…. u have put forth values that a boy’s family should take care and change as per the changing generations…. but what abt the girls…. i have seen many cases where on the name of modern thoughts and values, girls after marriage started showing middle finger to their in-laws and what customs n traditions we are talking abt…… basically… i believe its nt the big fat marriages that matter…. its d both bride n groom’s thoughts that matters…i agree 100% what u said in ur article but after marriage things change a lot sir….. these r the moral values that make us see our parents live together unlike west….

    1. concerned citizen

      ya parents live together despite all abuses, daily taunts, fighting over petty issues, humiliation, insults. sorry. people (wives) in the west won’t accept any such thing over their dignity.

    2. sahitha

      Taking abuse isn’t a moral, just thought would clarify that. Having no self-respect isn’t a moral, accepting slavery isn’t a moral so as disrespecting others.

  153. Bonnie Beta

    Elisha…superbly written… apt…and …so correct ….

  154. Deepak

    Why make such a big deal out of marriage. It’s all about commitment of two people to live together, be in love, have sex, make baby(ies), enjoy life, take care of elders at home, earn money and so on. Where the hell this big wedding fits here? It’s not the money but a great deal of civility, respect, courtesy do matter between two families. These are not purchasable! Happiness should be the objective of two people coming together and nothing else. Keep it simple even if it’s an arranged marriage!

    1. concerned citizen

      mr deepak, love is a hollow word in indian marriage context. indian marriages are merely for the heck of it. that is why homosexuality so taboo in indian society because even heterosexual husband and wife are not expected to love each other. i think you must have heard this phrase very often joru ka gulam. when you care for your wife too much out of love even then there is problem. love simply doesn’t exist in indian marriages context.

    2. sahitha

      My difficulty with “love” in India is it is usually inferred to a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. People don’t fall in love with their passions, their jobs or I don’t know umpteen other things.

      I f there are people like that, they are a minority in India.

  155. Poornima

    Amazingly written!! I hope all the youth out der understand this 🙂

  156. Abhilash

    The root cause is money, dear. Remove that quotient out of your equation and you will see the values still stand strong. There is nothing wrong with the moral values and arranged marriages. Hell, even the Western monarchs follow arranged marriage system – the obvious ones & the not so obvious ones.

  157. colonel pb choudhuri

    My Dear Daughter,
    1. A person has to change his attitude. I did not accept a single paisa for my son’s marriage. People thought it was my proudy nature, it is NOT what they think. But my new in-laws thought I have enough so I am not demanding. If you are humble, ppl take you for granted, will never leave you to let you live happily, Indian mentality.


    1. sahitha

      I kind of agree that being simple and humble makes idiots take you for granted but there are lot of people in India today who can see the truth, not an overwhelming majority but they are certainly there.

      So don’t let go of your values.

  158. kavita

    Dear Mittal,

    The latter part of your article is what is often practiced. The former part is a bad apple example. Also you write with much bias. Bad idea for a journo. Factually marriages are about 2 families as much as they are about individuals. And this is the case across the world and across cultures (I am a Canadian).

    Everyone abhors barters and business deals in marriage and they should be condemned. . India has laws for d same. Also more than d greedy mother in laws (like in ur friends case), the impotency lies with the boy. The earlier generation came with their set of prejudice. Ours seems to be more aware of rights and wrongs. These are some people. Not all people. Hindu culture (more so a bunch of philosophies) can not be defined/degenerated by such examples. The Hindu ideology can not be limited by the narrowness of the radicals or the convenience of the selfish.
    Please do not mix an ideology with people’s nature and abuse of the same. Arranged marriages are bad is a sweeping generalization.

    Please be more fair in your attempts to bring social evils to light.

    1. Anup Khekare

      Good reply. You commented what I had to say. The article seems juvenile and somewhat like I used to think when I was a kid and looked at bad examples.

    2. Ess

      The ‘sweeping generalization’ that arranged marriages are bad is as poor as your assumption that the marriage of two individuals is as much about their families. Realistically speaking, it should not be. It should be about the two individuals in the marriage and only that. Anything beyond that is just asking for trouble.

      Some people fail to see the harm in living communally. As for me, I abhor it. Living communally means integrating yourself into a pattern and sacrificing self sufficiency in exchange of an essentially thankless PR job. You are more likely to make the same mistakes the past generation made however much you may want to believe otherwise.

      And you being Canadian changes nothing about the assumptions you made. Why? Because when Indians settle down in Canada, they learn a little French but nothing else changes.

    3. sahitha

      On what basis do you say that arranged marriages are of the latter variety? Are you a professional who deals with women battered by domestic violence? Are you a relationship counsellor?

      Or do you have evidence-based articles that are proof of your views?

      Please tell us and only then we can accept your statement.

  159. concerned citizen

    i completely agree with many points in the above article. but the sad part is most indains have all set of morals reserved for others. but when it comes on their own, all morals are thrown out of window. and this problem or rather say epidemic of dowry is more in backward states of up and bihar. i have many friends from these states and and you won’t believe what they tell me. marriage is like asking for ransom. and then there are various kinds of slabs for dowry money and other things. if somedoby’s son is engineer then there is some slab of money, for doctor, for govt worker etc slabs are fixed. that is why most dowry related and inter-caste (love) marriage related deaths are reported from this part of the country. because (greedy) parents raise their sons in such a manner so that they can trade them in dowry market for good price and inter-caste marriages wipes out any such possibility. while many of our politicians spoke out so loudly in favour of recriminalization of article 377 and hence denying the existence of a whole section of society, i am still looking for a single politician, rss member or any other (hollow) moralistic politician speaking strongly against such peractices like dowry in indian society and taking steps for banning it may be because they themselves engage in such practices. looks like majority is doing it makes it right rule applies here. and the worst part is many indian mother-in-laws think they are hiring a maid for household like what happened in your case. that is why western system of nuclear families is good for all.

    1. sahitha

      Even if mothers-in-law don’t think they are hiring a maid, I still like the idea of nuclear families better because in this time of huge change, it’s so difficult to get along with people of the yester generation unless they have modernised themselves as well.

  160. Karthik

    Dear Elisha,

    That’s a great article you have written. But I am disappointed that you didn’t mention one important thing about arranged marriages “The CASTE”. We talk about equality and raise anti racist slogans when an Indian student gets beaten up in Australia or the UK but isn’t it true that we Indians are the biggest racists by following the Caste system. Most of the Indian parents say no to a love marriage based on two backward thinking policies: 1. The caste and 2. Astrology. This has to change, any marriage based on caste alone must be criminalized. The arranged marriage system will keep the whole of Indian backward as it is and the feeling of oneness/patriotism will never be there. Our society is divided based on caste and let’s accept it we are the biggest racists. This needs to change.

    1. TK Gupta

      I am disappointed to read that you have bracketed Astrology with ‘Caste’ to dump it as a backward thinking policy. Astrology is an ancient Indian science with exact cause and effect formulation. One cannot downplay the importance of Astrology in our day to day life just on account of shenanigans of so called ‘Pandits’.


    2. Ess

      Astrology is a science? You do know what science means, right? Falsifiability, statistics, evidence and facts mean nothing within the context of astrology. Astrology is quackery at best and at its worst, its racketeering. Commercial practice of astrology should be held as a punishable offense.

      I have nothing against religious people. People can choose to believe in whatever they want to. I believe in quantum physics and some of the theories therein would be borderline loony if there were no facts to back them up.

      However, I do hold it against people who, in the course of an intelligent debate, defend archaic quackery. If you fall for Barnum statements and cold reading skits and fail to see them for what they really are, you deserve to be the victim of fraud.

      P.S: I support the stand that astrology as part of the marriage process needs to be eradicated with clinical precision. Who knows how many lives have been ruined by following the ‘advice’ of these fools.

    3. TK Gupta

      Of course I know what science means. I am an M.Sc.(Maths). However, where ignorance is bliss, it is foolish to be wise. Astrology derives its basis from Astronomy which is very much a science. I hope you have heard the names of Maharshi Parashar, Jaimini, KS Krisnamurthy, BV Raman, .N Rao, Sage Narad and ad infinitum. Besides predictions relating to day to day life, Astrology can make it possible to predict mundane matters, weather, earthquakes, effect of Solar/Lunar eclipse etc.. So may research journals are published periodically which bring about replicability aspect of Astrology to prove that it is a vibrant science. To delve more on Astrology would be digress from the main subject of the topic.

    4. guest

      Do you think poor guys don’t ask for dowry?????!!!

    5. anonymous

      these days girls r harrasing…they expect a boy with 20 lak salary even though they earn 2-4 lak …they strait away reject people with a decent salary say 8-10 lakhs per annum….if dowry makes life that difficult for girl why they reject so easily …bcoz the days of dowry and powers of boys family r past …now girls family is terrorising boys …whats more these freakish people are ready to marry a guy in usa who earns 25 laks but not the one in india who earns 10 laks even though the purchasing power of both are same due to cost of living

    6. Gaurav

      if women want to fight dowry and other social evils why do they go for arranged marriage ? can anyone answer that

    7. anonymous

      you dont have insights about astro and caste….they suggest you to marry same caste bcoz …same caste people think and have similar characters….and astro to for same reasons….though there are exceptions…u are mostly sure of gud life when u go by caste and astro

  161. Niran chander

    this writer just saw it from the girls perspective.
    Girls (or) Parents, Unless they stop looking for rich well settled grooms, they will have to pay for it.
    If you want a powerful BMW , you will be paying for it, instead if u just look for two legs to walk with you and heart to love you, you will get it for FREE.

  162. Nandhini Sathyamurthy

    That’s my mind voice! I really wish the institution of marriage in itself does not imply invisible income for a groom’s family. Sadly, that’s what it’s turning into these days. Thank you Youth Ki Awaaz for putting this one up. To all the youngsters reading this blog – Start being the change you want to see in India. Try not to see your bride as a son-bearing-reproductive-machine cum maid cum shortcut-to-truckloads-of-money. 😐 She’s just as human as you are.

    1. anonymous

      dont stay in old days nandhini…these days only girls terrorise us expecting freakish ly high salaries..a bank ast manager who earns decent pay of 9 laks per annum and wh has very high growth prospects cant find response from girls ..they all want guys who earn 15 lak r more…they dont even respond or try to talk and know about people with middle income …they want only rich iims and iits ..when all the girls compete for a few top end guys ..some people misuse your selfish motto in the form of dowry…girls these days want a partner who is jut 2-3 year old and yet earns 3 times higher than her salary..they want reservation in jobs saying they want equality…but many men r ready to marry jobless women but do u compete people always want bigger sal…the result bothe father and mother work and send child to a creeach in turn they live in oldage homes and taken care of servants at their oldage ther is no love….and on otherside many people suffer without employement oppurtunity…

  163. vagabond

    Well, I agree with all the points there except the fact that our tradition or culture did not cultivate or bring about all this…the author has a lack of knowledge when it comes to our culture, one has to truly understand why a system was created and what worked then doesn’t mean it will work today, people need to evolve and adapt, blame the dumb humans who follow and spread this like a habit, not the culture. It was poor introduction to the article, that I will not accept any day…although the points about the arranged marriage and solutions to it are true and totally agree…I wonder what she has to talk about the west now ” online dating culture ” – computer algorith’s arranging the couple they think are matched and to make things worse…even that is being part of a social experiment where companies are manipulating the numbers !! Our vedic culture is lost and it is because of some blind folks who did not follow the rules. Just like the caste system that is utter bullshit and created for benefit of some smart folks, this is the same!! caste system prevailed everywhere example – in Germany and US you can still find names where people are recognized by surnames their ancestors profession revolved around. But after the industrial revolution people have moved on, this should happen in India too, that is when all these issues which create societal backwardness will fade away. Today everyone is a Brahmin, as they have access to knowledge and learning. With understanding and Open-mindedness the country will progress.

    1. anonymous

      do u think brahmin is some one who has access to knowledge…you are wrong…the real brahmin is some one who knows the god very well..and some one who never do any sin…one who does nothing other than praying god…one who live by accepting donations from sinners..along with their sins (these sins wont haunt brahmin as he prays everyday)….people in olden days respected brahmins much and feared to get curse from those people..and wanted their blessings…thanks to the freakish western culture which has reduced the number of real brahmins almost to zero

  164. Sharad

    Well…..the post is wrong on so many level that it is impossible to counter. To begin with, one is confused whether the post is making an argument against a dowry or arranged marriage. on top of this, we have gem like “This is not a write-up about lighting a torch up against dowry or arrange marriages. “….And then the author makes so many assumption that the article seems biased to me. Lets have some of them:
    (1) The entire case has been presented from a single perspective. While the concerns are valid there is a visible manipulation and exaggeration.
    (2) It is yet to establish a connection between arrange marriage and dowry or other ills. All of them are present in the alternate form like love marriage. Further not all of arranged marriage are like them. At best, gross generalization.
    (3) The fourth point in requirement list seems a nice one. I wonder why is put up with other one (particularly when author claims not to understand it). Perhaps I am at fault in understanding but I would love to be explained.
    (4) The article is based on only one story. The writer talks about statistics but does not care about sample size.
    (5) Many of the suggestions are naive. For example how will one decide the expenditure borne by each party. Considering the follies of our society, this will be subjected to huge exploitation.
    (6) The post starts with arranged marriage (in between ancient Indian culture yada yada) then dowry came up and finally domestic violence.

    Overall the article was a bad attempt to sensitize an important issue. I know that dowry, domestic violence, caste etc. etc. are evils of society and they should not be tolerated, not even for a second. But my main reservation is with such showdy piece which lacks research and insight.

    P.S.–> I am harsh against this piece but have full respect for author.

    1. Steve Jacobs

      Very well said! Totally agree with you.

  165. IndianGuy

    The stupid archaic system ensures that Gold-digging happens on both ends. Girl’s parents look for a guy with a “Phoren” education, 6 figure salary and “good” family background. Guy’s family looks for a girl who will match their “son’s status” as they do not want a girl who will marry their son only with the intention of “enjoying his hard-earned money”. The whole bloody system of arranged marriages in crooked.Dowry is a old-tradition that has been rightfully outlawed by the law? What’s worrying is the new fashion of alimony-terrorism girl’s family employs these days. How , stupid and badly framed is the Law- 498a?

  166. IndianGuy


  167. herms

    I doubt if she is a real “Hindu” as she claims, ALISHA??…. nay ELISHA! 😛 you don’t even know why arranged marriages originated, and you say you were brought up with ‘Hindu values’!? Hardly there are business talks like this in an arranged marriage. And who says women are not expected to work etc or to work without help?? where did you go to find this some remote village in UP or MP?? b’cos this doesn’t happen in a normal small city ! STOP HINDU BASHING, as arranged marriage happens in almost all communities in INDIA except maybe the Christians. This is clearly a Hindu hate sentiment emanating ! We are not fools you see, we can clearly see your intentions between the lines. And normal Indians with little perception will see it too 😉

    1. Gaurav

      Completely agree my friend, does not happen anywhere, don’t know what century she is living in

  168. Sneha

    Spot on about everything concerning arranged marriages. Unfortunately, this view/ideal of arranged marriage and the gender stereotypes that come with it screw up both men and women who get married and set them up for failure.

  169. Gaurav

    If the writer and all individuals are against arranged marriage, I have a simple question to all of you people, why are woman not shunning arrange marriage? why are indian woman not approaching guys for marriage directly ? on one hand indian women say that they want men who are self made but when such self made men approach women the indian women say that they do not have the qualities that their parents want in a son in law. look at american women , they always build their own relationships and take full responsibility for their own choices. so giving sermon is easy. if indian woman really want to make a difference they should build their own relationships and not support their patriarchy directly and indirectly.

    1. sahitha

      I agree Gaurav, you make a valid point.

  170. Ronda

    I don’t even understand how I ended up right here,
    but I assumed this put up was once good. I do not
    know who you’re however certainly you’re going to a well-known blogger for those who aren’t already.

  171. Zulma

    I used to be suggested this website through my cousin. I am now not positive whether or not this put up is written by way of him as no one else recognize such specified approximately my difficulty.
    You’re amazing! Thank you!

  172. peterparker

    What values Indians have? The entire hindu society has BANIYA MENTALITY. Rupaya Rupaya jamaa karna in LIC, taking a house on loan and after getting old as an useless Indian citizen, saying others KUCH NAHI HO SAKTA IS DESH KA.

  173. Albert

    The writer Elisha Mittal appears to have decided to present only one side of Indian marriage. She has totally ignored the fact that marrying to Indian woman is a very big risk for any man. The humungous statistics of law misuse by Indian wife’s have been totally overlooked. The pain of families who were harassed by their daughter in law have been ignored. Author should have also presented the other side as well

  174. rabi jha

    All this is full of cracp….!!every one just split out “ya this is illegal” bla bla….but when its their turn…its vice versa..!! INDIA is a Democratic country….!! u know i think Indian girls are most COWARD creature on earth that still exists…..!! Girls knows whats right and whats wrong…!! they should take actions about it..!! if they dosen’t do any thing !! they will be on the list of …..nearly EXTINCT creatures of India…!!!

  175. Bhanvi Satija

    I think the question of values and moral systems goes beyond the institution of arranged marriage. We have also seen majority cases of successful arranged marriages around us, for example that of our parents. I think that it’s important to look at this issue in a much broader picture than jus the arranged marriage institution as that in many ways limits its scope.

  176. Aishwarya

    While I agree with the fact that many times arranged marriages end up in domestic abuse and the bride’s family burdened with unnecessary expenses, I do disagree with certain things the writer has said. Firstly, I don’t think the world(read, the West) looks at India for moral enlightenment. Moral is different from spiritual enlightenment, which is what westerners look for here, albeit carefully since they have been thoroughly warned before coming to India. Secondly, the article generalises the northern tradition of dowry for the entire country. In many parts of the country, both parties share expenses equally and the boy and girl are given an opportunity to get to know each other after their horoscopes match. While I am not a propogator of arranged marriages, I do believe that many times they can help people marry a person who not only shares their religious beliefs and culture, but also their ideas and value systems.

  177. kus..

    U know I would like to add.. POST MARRIAGE CRAP…
    — Even after u seek compatibility before marriage.. The guy could be faking everything about himself all the time.. and making u see dream.. which the next day to marriage crumble down like a house of cards..
    -He and his entire family will expect you to cook n clean even after u being a working women.. doing a 9 to 6 job..
    – And to worsen your situation when u honestly given ur best to work it out and want some justice.. your parents are not going to listen to you.. no matter how unhappy you are, they will nt listen to you… They will give u advice like this is married life.. u need to adjust.. u need understand… what will the world say.. everything will be fine… etc..

    1. ruthz

      Kus, we find it hard to love someone who dont make our life easy because we never love another person. We only love ourselves, and we assume that we love the other because it stems from what good things they can do for you or make you feel. Family is when we transcend likes and dislikes and go beyond the fair-weather friendships.

  178. ruthz

    A decade ago when i was a bride, i had the same immature thoughts. Now with 2 daughters all the rules makes sense.

    An already happy person can provide output, a unhappy person only needs input. Only a happy woman can do humble work and sacrifices to keep others happy. Whenever I felt joyful, i didn’t worry about my pleasures and no chore seemed demeaning to me. Same with my husband, father, etc who does coolie to electrician errands. This is a natural thing to do, unless you feel powerless and trying to reassure yourself that you are the master not maid.

    In any age, emphasis is on sons, because we believe in giving more than what we have taken from society. As a married person(grahasta), get lot of privileges like permission to earn money (artha), enjoy material world (kama) which is not allowed for others (sanyasi, bramachari). Without sons, all the input cannot given back as daughters are married off into other families (you have taken a birth which you haven’t repaid to that same family).

    Girls are selflessly gifted to society’s well being, inspite of being considered as the most auspicious to their home. This was done happily not grudgingly or miserly. Happy parents don’t need many other things to be happy and reach a state of mind where they feel like gifting big.

    Please don’t judge everything that you are not able to understand.

    1. Tina

      I am glad you love your sacrificing life. It is nice to put misery in those words. About the son thing nice words but unfortunately not followed and if you really believe you still want a son to give back “MORE” to society then well I guesss you have achieved moksha. Congratulations!!! Revel in the illusion and stay Happy! The morals have served their purpose 🙂

  179. Durga

    I appreciate your perspectives, but I have a problem with the generalisation here. Marriage in India is considered the most sacred bond, and the problems that you are taking about is because of commercialization of weddings these days.
    But that doesn’t mean that a we can reduce arranged marriage to a mere business transaction.
    If anything, more bargains and negotiations are involved in a love marriage, right from convincing parents!
    Maybe there is a need to go back to maintaining the sanctity, rather than making it a show of wealth. While the marriages of this generation may not be as good, those of pervious generations speak volumes about the core values of our culture.

  180. astra

    what ever is written is just to put down india. this girl doesn’t have any right to comment as she like. now-a-days people are having fun in commenting indian culture. However i’m not here to explain everything now. people have been commenting backward india.. corrupted india… i don’t know how many here are really sincere? If arranged marriages are moral less then what is correct?? everybody’s life is not like this and seeing few examples stop commenting the wedding culture. because my country never looked me down. and i don’t point out my country because of few idiots.

  181. Prerna

    Nice work guys.. Bt I would like to suggest that do it more widely I mean u should take ur initiative to next level so tha u can approach as much people of the country..

  182. Asha

    Must Read this:
    My take on why parents force their kids into marriages.

  183. Naveen

    The same thing happened to my friend except he was a guy. He met the bride informally to get to know about her before proceeding further. The first question she asked him was about his salary. The bank balance and assets followed next. He was rejected in spite of getting a good salary because he lagged behind in the assets part. Isnt this the same as asking dowry? When a girl can ask for riches to her future partner then she is empowered but when a guy asks the same then he is greedy. What kind of lopsided justice is this? If abolishing dowry is the goal then the effort should be from both men and women. Portraying men in a bad light is not the solution.

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