Written by Moumita Adhikary.
Wake up in the morning with sadness and heavy heart with least intention to do anything in a day. How wonderful! All I ask to self ‘Why there is a decreased zeal in life?’. There is a lot that I do not write here and now but Yes, in two words ‘arranged marriage’.
I have always stood/stand strong against arranged marriage at least for me but I realise I tend to fail. I have become one of those women in their age of social marriage who do not wish to tie the knot with a man chosen by others for them to marry.
In poor and middle class families, there are common trends to spoil normalcy in life of a girl who have fallen prey to arranged wed. Hanging out, mixing up with friends and people, any source of women empowerment, social rejection, scope of work and work life are diminished forcefully for a girl to be a forced bride in an arranged marriage often. Too much character judging, operation on any current and previous or possible personal affair, stirred up life by picking up people from different walks of life happens mostly for a girl. Family condition, economic status are pin pointed to force a girl to marry against her will. Matrimonial sites are probably the only columns those are noticed for the girl and talked about. I remember how keenly I wished that leading newspapers stop printing those stupid matrimonial columns a few year ago.
Some girls who still refuse for such an arranged marriage that follows are often looked down upon even in public, faces loss of reputation, etc. Extreme realities witnesses threats, rape attempts, murder attempts, slut shaming, obstacle in everyday, serious troubles at work and even loss of worklife and it’s persistence, etc. Misbehaviour and misconduct are often received as advance bonus by a girl targeted for an arranged marriage as believed that a girl can be forcefully kept at home as a housewife with continuous torture like it used to happen ages ago mostly by in-laws families when society was not so ahead, which means society turns demon for a girl to indulge into ill wishes to tear all wishes of a girl in her life often. People who are not in good terms or evil relatives, friends, colleagues, strangers, etc are mostly lead culprits in any such painful operations. There are people who often becomes too close suddenly then demands arranged marriage for the girl against her will for different reasons, in colloquial language which is termed as emotional blackmail or of that sort. This is a way to dominate a woman’s life through getting her arranged marriage. Some people misuse their authorities to trouble a woman when they realises things are not in their favour for their evil intentions to get the girl arranged married against her will.
Dowry is still an important factor in arranged marriages. With advanced laws and rules, dowry is prohibited. However, grooms or men who wants to marry for dowry, troubles the girl or bride a lot to force for the marriage for dowry in kinds and cash in a little different way that often looks like some sort of financial investment for the benefit of the girl.
If a girl refuses for arranged marriage, once said is often not enough. Some people keep dragging the same mud fight to ruin the girl’s life and delay her priorities to trouble her even the arranged marriage is not going to happen.
Anyways, arranged marriage is a social permission to have sex.
For example, I remember in Pune, 2010, once a friend Piyali from college was too direct to propose me over food that if I have any personal affair or marry any non-Bengali guy then she will sever ties with me and friendship too. So I already knew there was no friendship but a conditional get together thing and co-incidence that I didn’t/don’t have a boyfriend at all and giggles as her condition was maintained. I wasn’t/am not that great a conditional get together sort of one ready for camaraderie as I was never convinced to marry Piyali’s the then boyfriend/husband’s acquaintance only. Come on! who wants to get oppressed for a lifetime and consequences followed partially.It’s my life.
Alas! Some women are labelled bad who sells sex in any red cross area and some women are weak having misfortune to get into an arranged marriage against their will. Hence, good and bad are relative terminologies.
Often observed, a girl or a bride to be are not even asked for their wishes, priorities, etc in their marriage possibly an arranged marriage. There are opportunist people who decides upon things in an arranged marriage with least option for a bride to live in tears with forgotten wishes and life. There are often nuisances when a girl or a bride to be is targeted and decided upon for an arranged marriage with a man who possibly is involved in adultery with other women may be in close vicinity of that probable arranged marriage or anything of that sort in real.
Recent modified concept of arranged marriages are ‘love-arranged marriage’ and/or ‘arranged love marriages’.
Often realtime scenario is like a chosen by people groom to be sees a girl probably who doesn’t wish to marry that guy however is forced to arranged wed. Elderly parents are not always able to withstand adversities at the cost of things in life and death. A girl’s life is often under restriction of groom and his association, wherever the girl goes or whoever she had met, meets, knows are handles by groom and his family, others to turn things to their favour. A groom and his family, friends, others often starts to behave as a guardian of a forced bride to be and pretends as if already married which is intolerable. Mostly, such a groom and their associations chooses not to talk to the bride to be till a forceful wedding is over.
Getting asked by a gym trainer to not workout in the gym who anticipates herself as fallen prey to become a bride to be forcefully for an arranged marriage sounds like an alarm to get ready to let out her body and womb to reproduce and give birth to a child.
Prohibition of social connections approves such a crisis for a girl mostly who is getting forced constantly for arranged marriage which often become’s a girl’s life’s struggle. A few social appearances in cultural events is forced to show the readiness of a girl forced for a bride to be in vicinity of a supposed decided upon groom and his associations.
There can be any and many approaches in a wedding, just that none should not deprive a girl or a boy to compromise in their lives for the sake of only to nod positive for wedding wishes from other people for a person. For a person is the primary one to live a wedding supposedly for the rest of the life so the whole privilege to decide upon a wedding or cancel one is a human’s right. To understand even simple reasons that not a tie can be a wedding knot against will of the bride and the groom.
India is a developing country with rules where a wife can divorce his husband, and a person can marry thrice inclusive of polygamy.
A girl, a bride or a man or groom who is unmarried are not supposed to be disturbed, forced, harassed for an arranged marriage. Women are the pillars at home. Cut wishes of a woman in her marriage results in creation of a hatred generator and possibly nourishment too.
I know I have different views on arranged marriage today as it comes to me. I had always believed in successful arranged marriages too that yielded harmony.
Expressing vent on arranged marriages does not mean I am too biased and fond of love marriages for the simple fact I have had always disliked that two person often finds love in their own caste, creed, community, religion, native language speaker, state/county, etc.
Possibly varied thoughts. Marriage is the union of souls.
Not only me, but also almost everyone comes across various people mostly stranger in the beginning at school, college, work, etc. People meet at a certain arena because of common and mutual objectives for example, I would not have been friends with say Ram if I was not in same college with Ram which means primarily we had gone to college to study. Now, say if any such Ram asks me favour like an arranged wedding with his friend which is not my wish and priority then Ok, I don’t need to write up so much we understand.
Alas! When going to a certain place and coming across certain people becomes anxiety as some people wait and howls upon a girl or a boy for things that tends to arranged marriage. There is always room for intimacy between close folks however, let us understand how and why we became friends basically and possibly little more intimate than with others however, with misbehaviour, forceful impulsions, pressure tactics, compulsion for an arranged marriage spoils relationships as well.
To understand even a cancellation of an arranged marriage can be for good and help for a girl or a bride to be, or bride and may be for the groom too.
Let us stop evils in marriages.