Recently, I attended the marriage of my office colleague’s son. It was, indeed, a traditional cum present day modern marriage with reception on the previous day and marriage on the next day with the usual rituals. After the ‘Mangalya Dharanam’ (tying of Mangal suthra) my friend came and sat in a chair opposite to mine and heaved a sigh of relief saying ‘My responsibility is completed!’ I was a bit taken aback by his statement because he, in general, is a very rational person though he has his own views on many things.
Why in India we still think that apart from upbringing, giving education and keeping property for the son, getting him married is also the parents’ responsibility? Is it so and if so is it logical? India, we say, is developed and keeps developing and what not. But, are we really? Is marriage not absolutely a personal affair of a man or a woman who has attained puberty, educated, enlightened and goes for a job and earn …still the parents are the one to have concern and decide? In another case, a student of mine has been dodging marriage on certain personal reasons. But, his parents have become terribly worried and almost chasing him to enter into matrimony. When he had finally agreed for an alliance they have selected, they felt relieved.
In girls case it is still worse; the parents need to undergo a lot of stress and strain; run from pillar to post to get their daughters married off. It doesn’t stop there but extends to pregnancy, delivery and taking care of the baby…etc…
When Indians will think that after a particular age a boy or a girl is an individual, financially independent entity who should know what is good and what s bad for them and also to take care of themselves both emotionally and financially? Our society is so primitive that if a girl or boy remains unmarried the parents have to face and answer a barrage of questions. What nonsense and how long this will go?
After marriage the scenario completely changes; the daughter-in-law or son-in-law are celebrated for some time and the cracks starts appearing between the parents and wards or the in-laws and keep widening with advances in time. Luckily, in the middle and upper middle class families today I don’t find much of fights as everyone is ‘financially’ independent and living separately, the dissatisfactions are not getting magnified. In the socalled ‘good old’ days, they lived together with innumerable infights and hatred. But, today they have become minimal because of this financial independence. However, these exist still among the lower classes even today.
Whatever developments we have are all peripheral; the three day marriage would have been reduced to two day mela among a sect of population. But, the rich show off their pomp through conduct of marriages in different styles for four days to five days. The food items are served in excess and wasted like hell. The display of money power and gold are nauseous to say the least.
We ape the westerners only for wearing suits and designer dresses, cutting cakes, presenting cars and flying abroad for honey moon. Yet, in the core we remain typical Indian in showing off our status (even if there is nothing!) by performing rituals and calling pundits, fixing auspicious dates etc.
We remain the same primitive people; we have not changed; we will never change. The two cultures will run parallel without meeting. We try for to live the society that never questions on such things but dispenses the basic civic and societal laws in the dustbins.
Long live Indian culture and hypocrisy!