Marriage in India is considered to be a business in which everyone needs to have a say apart from the people getting married, especially the girl.
Since childhood, young girls are taught how they are the ‘pride’ of their families and the family they get married to. Most of the blessings given to a couple are “Dudho nahao, puto phalo”, which means, bathe in milk and beget sons. Naturally, with such a mindset, a woman choosing her own life partner is frowned upon, and if the partner happens to be from lower caste or different community, then the women are cursed, and in many cases, she or her partner is killed to protect the family’s ‘honour’.
All this stems from deep-rooted misogyny where women are considered as son-producing machines, which will help take the family name forward. The recent controversy and the term ‘love jihad’ signifies nothing more than the disrespect society has for women’s choices and mistrust in her decisions regarding choosing a life partner for herself.
Society cannot and won’t progress if it is unable to let women have the freedom to make their own decisions. It is time that more women speak about the right to choose their own partner and not succumb to societal pressure of “arrange marriage”.