Arranged Marriages

I came across this video through a friend. The concept of arranged marriage is one that has always baffled me. But being an Indian, I have seen most marriages being arranged and being successful as well. I’m aware of what appears might not always be so but by ‘success’ here, I mean that most of them do not end up in a divorce whether or not the wedded couple are happy in it or not. Happiness is relative and so is a ‘successful marriage’.

What happiness and success mean to me might not hold the same meaning to you. But in most cases, the success rate in marriages is defined by a simple analogy – “A marriage is successful if it does not end up in a divorce.”

The video here, might be a good explanation of the concept to other countries who are totally clueless about it. But it does not do justice in explaining the concept in its entirety. I would have liked the following points to be dealt with:

1. A comparison of arranged marriages vs. love marriages.
2. The struggle to keep up with both the families as, in India a marriage is not between individuals, it’s between families.
3. I’d also like to know the director’s perspective of how the statistics of 5% divorce rate in arranged marriages is reflective of a happy or a successful marriage. Let’s not forget that a major chunk of the Indian population is uneducated and from villages and small towns. This population continues to be under the patriarchal system where your father’s word is the last and they sacrifice their feelings or doubts on this altar.
4. He seems to be defying the concept that arranged marriages are based on compatibility and trying to establish that what makes arranged marriages work is the will to adapt and change for your spouse. However, I’d like to know does this change always come about to each other’s liking? In a lot of cases, it might and love might naturally bloom. But what if it does not? What happens then? Evidently, most do not divorce. Why? Because they are happy? Or because by the time they realise that it’s not working for them, they already have children to take care of? I’d love to have some married couples give me the answers.

I’m not against arranged marriages and I will agree to the fact that “any company is better than loneliness”. But is that the reason to accept any logical life partner? Is there no concept of love? In the video, it is evident that the two people interviewing each other are merely testing their compatibility through a previously prepared questionnaire. Does the director believe that people fall in love after staying getting married or is it that they have no other choice so they accept it and live with it?

This brings us to the larger question. Is it better to strive for love and someone that truly completes you or accept your situation and make peace with it, once and for all?

Shivani GargArranged Marriages

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