This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Pratishtha Pandey. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Marriage, Patriarchy And Indian Society: An Unbreakable Bond Made In Heaven

A girl in her mid 20s struggles the most when it comes to her marriage in Indian society, not because she wants to get married, but because the society expects her to. The struggle increases all the more when her family starts taunting with “You are still not thinking of marriage?” What most women go through then becomes a daunting reality.

However, this is not the real deal. It just begins with these taunts which are rather a prelude to the life ahead until you manage to get married to a groom as per the family’s standards.  After all, that becomes a new medium to show off their potency and all that they could achieve so far.  It is rightly said, the age of a woman should not be asked.

Now I know the reason; every 5-year-phase has a checklist that you ought to fulfil to be a good, obedient girl – almost like a 5-year-plan. By this, I don’t mean that men don’t have to go through all these checks, but the difference here is the delay in ticking these check boxes come with a glorified reason knit by his parents or family.

For representative purpose only.

When a boy is introduced to the idea of marriage, how do you think it would be? Definitely not as a phase in his life or something he must cherish. It is always with the perception of getting a wife to help in his upbringing, apparently what his parents failed to do. Not all families and their offspring grow up with the same mindset, but the Indian society, however, ‘smart’ it may be, can never blur patriarchy.

How do you think the life of a 25-year-old man is? Not a cakewalk, definitely. Not a shining dream for a lot of them, but definitely a better one as they are encouraged to get married on the pretext of “ghar sambhalne waali aa jaayegi” (a care taker will come home), “khaana banane wali aa jayegi” (someone to cook food for you will be home) or “khaana khilane wali aa jaayegi” (you can be fed by this someone at home).

Sadly, people believe it is normal to say all this or just laugh at it, as it has been practiced for ages. What they forget is something that is prolonged is not normal, rather, it is intriguing. When you discuss this with people close to you, you are incessantly asked to ignore which I usually do. But, sometimes you drown in your own hurricane of thoughts. The moment you gather yourself back to believe that society is developing, you will come across instances which would prove you absolutely wrong. The idea of development is never about progressing economically, but rather socially.

However, when I am told to ignore all this and talk to a guy about marriage, I really cannot. Men consistently knowingly or unknowingly end up actually believing that they are getting married to have a ghar sambhalne wali (caretaker) and khaana banane waali (cook). Seldom do they believe that they need to get married because they need a companion in life, a life partner to share their life, divide the pain and multiply the joy. But who would say so?

With this trail of mindset, the identity of two individuals involved in the marriage precariously vanishes. This happens because the idea of love, respect, understanding is buried down on the pretext of having a partner jo ghar sambhalegi (who will look after the home)

Not surprisingly, this is a reflection of your thinking and the turmoil that you have created in your children’s life. How the sheer act of despondency is being glorified as a result of your shallow mindset. How such an outlook ensures that the education, development and radical mindset of your children takes a backseat in their marital life and sustain as per society’s norms.

On the contrary, few husbands don’t believe or practice the age-old atrocities, and their wives feel blessed and are immensely grateful. Only a few are able to introspect that sadly, a basic human right and the initial verge of development makes her grateful to the extent that she believes she is blessed to have such a husband.

At last, the question remains, how evolved are we as humans?

Featured image for representative purpose only.
Featured image source: Wikilover90/Wikimedia Commons.
You must be to comment.
  1. Anant Arora

    Very well written. Initially I thought of some feminist article. But later you put your points in an accurate way. Well done!

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