What stops young India from falling in love?
Love is a godly feeling, and everyone of us has fallen in love at one point of time or the other. Yet, this hasn’t changed the fact that in India, to choose our life partner is solely the responsibility of the parents, or as we fondly call it, arranged marriage. There are three major reasons I see behind it.
Since childhood, the habit of doubting children’s decision has been a part of our desi culture. From selection of our dresses, to that of our stream or course for higher education, and then colleges, are parents have very much taken every decision for us. Children too, subconsciously, end up doubting their decisions, and it clearly reflects on their behaviour when it come to choosing their life partner. Needless to say, patriarchy is much harsh towards girls and women.
According to a report by Livemint in October 2018, only 3% of young people go for a love marriage outside of their caste or religion. Today’s youth is more educated and informed than its previous generation. But, as they say, home is the first school and parents are the first teachers. Children have been taught about caste since their childhood, if not literally, then by everyday actions of their families.
Children experience it, and most often, it stays with them unless they live and experience a diverse environment where they mingle with people from different communities in the world. Sometimes, even after having this wide experience, casteism stops these young people from choosing their life partner from another caste or religion, as marriage is the most important and personal truth of life. Our parenting is progressing with time, and it is reflecting on the next generation’s decisions about the way they love and live.
Yes, we have a name for an act of killing young people in the name of saving a family’s prestige. As if killing innocent family members or their lovers gives a good name to the family in the society. A recent video by The Quint shows mentions the 2017 NCRB data, which shows the dangerous trend of rise of killing of people because of love affairs. The rate of killing has increased by 28% in 2017 as compared to 2001. Such killings have a major affect on other young people who may want go against their family’s decision and choose their own life partner, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
Choosing a life partner is a big decision in anyone’s life, but it also makes a major difference in our society. Arranged marriages within one’s caste or sub-caste make our society more restrictive and conservative towards caste and religion. On the other hand, love marriages makes a person more liberal, open to different cultures, thoughts and ideas, and more tolerant and progressive. And the same reflects on the society too.
Long live Love. Mohabbat Zindabad.