Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

Link and email shared by Swarup Biswas.

Hi IHM,
The reason I’m writing you is that all my life I’ve noticed what epic failures (among other things) most arranged marriages are but how little the mainstream media does to discourage this generally bigoted practice.

I just read this picture article at iDiva which is referenced by TOI’s main page and cannot believe what they were thinking when they painted such a utopian image of arranged marriages.

Judging by their articles and choice of topics I believe most iDiva readers are impressionable young women who might be misguided by this miscarriage of journalistic ethics with disastrous consequences. It contains statements such as ‘In most arranged marriages, the in-laws become a support system for the new bride and help her get accustomed with her new life’ amongst many other such unsubstantiated claims. Personally I detest the propagation of this outdated and archaic system that treats women like some commodity. I just thought I’d bring it to your notice.

Link: http://idiva.com/photogallery-relationships/8-reasons-to-have-an-arranged-marriage/12492/1

The eight reasons that the article above gives for having an arranged marriage are,

1. …And in a negotiated marriage, family support is a given.

2. If the marriage demands the girl to stay with her in-laws, it is more likely that they will make her feel comfortable as they have already ‘approved’ of her.

3. The process … involves understanding each other’s cultural interests apart from individual views and opinions about life in general.

4. Financial Security: Unlike a love marriage where financial security of the groom is not always a priority, in an arranged marriage, it is imperative that the bride’s family ensure that their would-be son-in-law is career-oriented and has a steady flow of income.

5. Mystery element: Each day is a surprise wherein the couple learn about the nitty gritty of the relationship and also take an effort to nurture it.

6. Dating opportunity: Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other.

7. Spoilt for choice:  Ever heard of Swayamvar, an ancient Indian practice of choosing a husband from among a list of suitors?

8. In-laws syndrome: Since both the parties are way too involved in finding the right match and also the actual activity of marriage, it takes the load off the bride-to-be and gives her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings.

Edited to add: Kiran Manral shared this link on twitter, a ninth reason given, very commonly, to have an arranged marriage.
Divorce rate high in love marriages: HC

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115 thoughts on “Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

  1. Ha! Love this list! Gotta check the IQ for the person who came up with it.
    Sounds eerily similar to the reasons my 3 yr old gives when he wants ice cream first thing in the morning.

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    • The appalling quality of the article referenced here is a reflection of the quality of modern day Indian journalism. Granted, there are a few good ones, but the vast majority seem to demonstrate very low or zero intelligence and a complete refusal to stick to facts.

      And a comment about the HC comment about a higher divorce rate in non-arranged marriages. This is but natural because the kind of people who succumb to an arranged marriage are also the kind of people who will suffer in silence when their marriage breaks and their life is in a complete mess. Arranged marriages are fundamentally based on the basis of unquestioned compromise, and this usually means divorce is never an option for the hapless couples stuck in a miserable marriage.

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      • I actually don’t agree with you…Not all the people who, as you say, succumb to arranged marriages are people who have no guts and will suffer in silence…I had an arranged marriage and I don’t suffer…I speak my mind and my husband knows I can walk out if the situation warranted it…

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  2. 😦

    I will give 8 reasons why one should try for choice marraiges. No problem if you want arranged marraige. it is a pretty good deal for some who are not so lucky as to find a partner of their own and want to get married. But some of these reasons are just not true. Quite quite misleading.

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      • i think 3,4,5,6,7

        when you are in love or choosing on your own, there is understanding involved even then, you will more than often choose a person who is stable in life if not earning ostentatiously, something suiting to your current lifestyle, the poor and rich doesn’t really happen out of big screen.

        marriage changes equations and staying constantly with a person for 24 hours definitely brings out different personas, even if you are dating for 18hours a day, living with someone else is different!!!

        dating is always there…before and after marriage…that depends on the people involved and how romantic or creative they can be in their relationship.

        choices are there even when choosing partners, you dont really sette for the first person who comes unless he is really “The One”

        the only thing which is different is acceptance of in-laws, aprents and the society and that can really make and break a relationship!!!!

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        • agree with all but the last point – in most (note: most, not all) arranged marriages, the woman is expected to ‘swalpa adjust maadi’-fying. the ‘swalpa’ gets bigger and bigger if she wants to live in peace. the acceptance is thus conditional.

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  3. the minute I saw it was a ‘TOI’ link; I knew it would be rubbish. it is similar to several such ‘articles’ that is published with fake soundbytes from equally fake professionals such as psychologists, doctors and what not. Apart from being ridiculous, the articles are usually infuriatingly judgemental. I remember one such piece on couples who do not have children – they were branded as ‘selfish’ and ‘self absorbed’ by a ‘psychologist’ – because apparently they are more interested in ‘material pursuits’.

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  4. Well, each of the points is a big fat lie that MIGHT be happening in some parallel utopian world somewhere in some corner of the universe – oops, let’s snap out of it.
    The truth is far from it. very far, like in light years??

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  5. Now this article made me laugh! Which world is this guy living in !
    Now the “ Spoilt for Choice” part really made me laugh ! Unfortunately in majority of the arranged marriages in India the girl has no say in the boy that is chosen for her. Frankly I don’t think the guy has much say either – as the characteristics of the “Bahu” the family wants is decided by the family members. So I honestly don’t agree with the “Spoilt for choice” part.
    As for meeting before marriage – Yes I suppose most couples do that but then even if during those meetings you realize that you both are not compatible and would like to call it quits our society doesn’t really allow you to do that does it ! So the meeting before marriage is to actually allow you to “Adjust” to each other since you need to spend your life together.
    Also,I find it hard to believe financial security does not matter in a love marriage. Of course it does – who in their right mind would want a partner who is not financially independent.
    Frankly I don’t think arranged marriages are a bad option for people who haven’t got a chance to meet their partner by themselves and want to get married. It could work to everybody’s advantage ONLY if the girl and the boy are given enough freedom and independence to have their say in it !

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    • I agree!!

      //I don’t think arranged marriages are a bad option for people who haven’t got a chance to meet their partner by themselves and want to get married. It could work to everybody’s advantage ONLY if the girl and the boy are given enough freedom and independence to have their say in it !//

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      • you know there are a lot of ifs and buts even in this where the girl and by are given freedom…saying this coz going through it!!! there might not be anything wrong with the guy or girl but one simply might not feel that this is “the one”!!! that’s the whole point of marrige, right??? then, why does everyone say there are compromises everywhere. according to me, those are compromises you are willing to make and not just subjected to it.

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        • and, no the family support is not there coz I have seen sooooo many people who won’t even respect the girl’s family!!! marriage means a family affair, true, but aren’t both families supposed to accept each other instead of the girl going into a separate family?????? does the guy always treat girl’s parents with equal revernce and would do everything a girl does for his parents??? rarely, you find such men!!!

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      • I agree and don’t agree.
        I concede arranged marriages can be a last ditch resort when all else fails.
        BUT, seems like a lot of people are opting for arranged marriages because they feel that they’ve been left behind by the dating bandwagon. Many times, having an easy way out (i.e. going the traditional way) sometimes acts as a deterrent to really try and find someone. The dating scene is highly competitive and it’s easy to get disillusioned after a few setbacks. The restrictive nature of Indian society and its reservations against inter-sex mingling doesn’t help either. And so sometimes people don’t try hard enough to get hitched. Then they get enamored by this gilded image of arranged marriages found abundantly in the media and finally give in, much to the joy of family and society.

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        • I think there is no open dating scene in India at all. if at all its only teens and college goers and young professionals who date not because they are modern but they have watched only English serials while growing up. Just ten years ago when i was in college it was fashionable to date.. just for time pass ! Now when i am 30 , there is no dating scene for a middle class boy and girl in India in 30’s . The moment you are spotted with a man sharing coffee tongues….. wag and then parents come to know. Dating is like a clandestine underground culture here…no wonder some love marriages are like ‘love and get married soon’ kinds !

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  6. Here are responses from someone who has had a proper arranged marriage with horoscope matching and what not and is married for the past six years..

    1. Yaa is it? I dont know if thats true. I know of loads of arranged marriages where family support is even withdrawn!

    2. Is it? I also know of loads of arranged marriages where the in laws had approved the girl, but not really made her feel at home..after all a daughter in law is not a daughter eh?

    3. hahahah! so, dont people who have love marriages not understand each other’s cultural interests?? *Confused*

    and oh both RD and I are very very individualistic and opiniated and yet live with each other

    4. Errr..whats the guarantee that the ‘selected’ guy will not lose his job, recession wont hit him, he wont have the sudden interest in samaj seva and give up his job or always want to be a market analyst all his life???

    5. Errr..so are you telling me that people who have love marriages have no mystery element in life (how sad is that!) I always believe when you are in love, you look at the other person with rose tinted glasses, living with someone day in and day out is completely different…

    6. Errr…RD and I ‘dated’ four times before we got married..there..point 6 is a complete gah! as per me..and excuse me, imagine if I had a love marriage, I would have dated ALL THE TIME!!!

    7. Errr…this is bizzare…so love marriage people dont have a choice?? I didnt even get this point!

    8. yaa seriously?? what a reason to have an arranged marriage..let me tell you, I have an excellent set of inlaws (we do have our fights) but then nothing hits you more than getting up in the morning and realising that the smell of the coffee coming from the kitchen is not what your Amma makes!!!

    What bizzare reasons to have an arranged marriage, I am actually laughing…I personally think, every marriage is tough…whether its love marriage or arranged marriage..it requires a lot of adjustments from both the husband and wife..lets not say arranged marriages are bad and love marriages are good or vice versa…If you have had a love marriage, excellent! if you have an arranged marriage, its not bad at all..and I talk from experience🙂

    IHM, sorry for the long comment, I couldnt resist!

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    • Loved your comment R’s Mom.
      Like Ruchira said above, Arranged marriages are a good // option for people who haven’t got a chance to meet their partner by themselves and want to get married. It could work to everybody’s advantage ONLY if the girl and the boy are given enough freedom and independence to have their say in it !//

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      • hey R…frankly your last point has hit me quite hard!!! I have always been panicking when “the” moment comes when everything depends on just my “yes” and this has made me all the more apprehensive!!!

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        • @Swati: But tell me something, suppose you fall in love with a guy, and then he proposes and you say yes – it would STILL be ‘your’ yes right? See, I am not saying have an arranged marriage, I am a big fan of love marriages and find them totally sweet, but what I am trying to tell you is that, its still a chance you take in life, a chance to make a lovely companionable relationship with a person whom you want to spend your lifetime with…and honestly I think all marriages definitely need a level of adjustment, so that final ‘yes’ is yours either ways – love or arranged🙂

          All the best🙂

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    • RM you said all that I wanted to, in a far more articulate manner! Loved your comment!
      Nothing more to add from my end, IHM! I have had an arranged marriage too and I agree every bit of what RM said verbatim!

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  7. So I laughed my ass off! Thanks for this entertaining post, I needed something today to cheer me up greatly.🙂

    First of all, a very moronic list of “pros” for arranged marriage. This idyllic picture that never happens is too much even try to classify it as a logical argumentation line.

    Then, there are clear infantile and completely immature elements highlighted as “advantages”. Mystery element and dating opportunity. Seriously, are you kidding me? Are we still talking about adults starting a family, or only about 15-year-olds having their first unimportant infatuations, which eitherways fail soon after the hormones settle down?

    In-law support. People must be nuts to even say this. Let me tell you something – marriage is for two people. Not for 2 + 20 relatives telling you how to conduct yourself for the rest of your life. Nosiness is not support. It’s either paranoia or stalking.

    Finally, if arranged marriage needs such a heavy propaganda, it is only clear that is sucks. It is like a commercial of a washing powder – pisses everyone off, still they run in on and on.

    I don’t care that in India the percentage of divorces is minimal. What kind of achievement is being with someone you don’t know, don’t love, or can’t stand. What achievement is keeping your mouth shut the whole wasted life? What achievement is being an adult incapable of making adult decisions? NONE.

    We don’t need to advertise love marriages. We don’t need to advertise singlehood. We don’t need to advertise freedom. They just happen, without any campaign.

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    • I hope anybody who has read the above article could also read this,
      1. marriage is for two people. Not for 2 + 20 relatives telling you how to conduct yourself for the rest of your life. Nosiness is not support.
      2. Mystery element and dating opportunity… Are we … talking about adults starting a family, or only about 15-year-olds having their first unimportant infatuations…?

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      • Can a guy have something to say in this matter…. 🙂
        Okay ! First,its official. I am going to find a good girl, fall in love and marry her. But I’ll do that few months later because I have to study and crack my MBA exams for now. 😉 But..Ladies..you have scored big one on this “marriage is for two people” thing. Don’t understand why elders make it a public fanfare ceremony.
        To put in my few cents as a guy’s (who is only 23) perspective:
        1. I think a man must have guts to stand for his wife against all odds (even if odds are from his own family.
        2. He must also have guts to confront the wife if she plays the bad girl.
        3. A girl leaves her house and life for you. I think her man is her only support. A boy who cant hold her hand if her in laws stand against her, doesn’t have right to fall in love in the first place.
        4. An arranged marriage can be equally miserable.
        5. “Definition of successful marriage- A marriage that doesn’t ends in divorce” is a wrong notion.
        6. Daughter ! I love you unless you fall in love or marry outside the cast, or not marry one among the exhaustive list of these 12.
        How stupid !
        7. People think that girls in love marriages do not pay due respect to in laws. My cousin had a love marriage in Jain’s and she is living a great life.(Our family is liberal). She was a non vegetarian and Kayastha by caste. She is an IITian but knows and has accepted every element of Jainism now(by choice). Her In laws boast about her in their community.Her daadi in law does’nt go anywhere without her. She is an ideal Bahu and loved by all.
        Finally, Guys (if there are any) ! Girls are not engineering colleges that your parents know about more than you. Marriage is your own choice.Wives..well they are awesome! They will cross heavens to make you and the family’s lives happy. All they ask in return is lots of love and support. Give them that. They deserve it 😀
        (Actually top it up with few warm hugs & kisses.😉 )

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  8. Hmm. Reminds me again, why I started Women’s Web – the rubbish most women’s magazines churn out in the name of relationship advice and/or humour. I actually don’t think arranged marriages are necessarily a bad idea – but not for these reasons. For me the main appeal is that most people do want companionship during their lives, and if you haven’t met someone yourself, there is no harm in meeting people this way. But lets not delude ourselves that it’s all champagne and roses.

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  9. OMG! This sounds so much fun. I wonder how thrilling it would be to marry somebody I barely know, somebody who can turn out to be totally opposite of what I am, somebody who may not respect my choices and me as a person! Wouldn’t it be exciting when I’ll wake up everyday feeling angry at a friend or family member, or maybe the world for getting me hitched to such an exotic person? Ah, the support system. What can I say, I am sure this whole support system around me will ensure that I stay married forever even if it’s not working; it takes so much burden off my shoulder!

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  10. I dont have to read the article and give them more clicks to know what shit is in it. I know it all by reading the comments from likemindeds here. News like this is what misleads young people and affirms the belief of the old. All marriages are flawed. Everybody needs to adjust. We all have fights, arguments and disagreements. We all have our moments of joy and sorrows. Both marriages can fail. It’s more like a jackpot, you’ll never know what kind of a spouse you’ll end up with, even when you’ve spent time with the person (people change).

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  11. Some of the pictures really made me want to puke. They remind me of the fake family pics they use while advertising for resorts and stuff. Advertising arranged marriages like this seems so wrong. And if you look at the suggested articles, one of them is ‘7 reasons to ask a man out’!! It’s hard to figure out what the main aim of that site is. And this is why I stick to the Indian Express – TOI is so full of crap…

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  12. This article is like every other article on iDiva, copied from elsewhere…usually a 70’s or 80’s “good housekeeping” type magazine.

    Having said that bashing arranged marriages totally is not right. For the past few months IHM has posted quite a few posts on this topic and I feel some of the comments very judgemental or stereotypical like “She/he had an arranged marriage and hence her/his thoughts won’t be modern”; “What kind of a person goes in for arranged marriage” etc etc etc.
    I know a lot of people in real and blogging world who are modern, beautiful, sophisticated yet met their match the arranged way. Most of the successful love matches we see around got hitched at high-school/college/initial years of work (later workplace becomes too competitive and one can’ find love is my theory)/common friends/friends of siblings. One has to understand that in most places the female to male ratio is not 1:1 and even if you want to find someone, you may not find one. Then there are the heart-breaks and break-ups too. Also one might be busy with school and college and work and then one fine day he/she is 28 and as someone said above at that time the dating scene is very competitive and scary. I am not talking about arranged marriages where girls have NO choice, in-laws are overbearing, ladke waale thoughts etc. I am talking about like-minded people being set-up by parents (Yes, I agree the class-caste-community angle is there but then it is comparable with alcohol-meat-smoke-movies checklist one fills in match.com or eharmony.com or chemistry.com). What I find ridiculous is one of my American colleagues finds the arrange marriages in India very funny yet he met his wife on Match.com even though the dating scene is very different in the US when compared to that in India.

    In true GV fashion I am leaving with a few examples from my friends circle:

    – A and B: Both are geeks, university toppers. They were in different continents. Pictures were exchanged. Boy calls girl to talk for the first time – he sets aside 5 mins. The call ends up being more than an hour long. Few more calls, they like each other, marriage fixed. The boy flies down – meets the gal a day before engagement. They have been happily married for sometime now and have this amazing chemistry that people don’t believe their marriage story.

    – X and Y: Met online. This was the mid 90’s. Chat friends, then fell in love and now married for long. They met for the first time only a few months before thier marriage. Again they have this amazing chemistry. One of those adorable couples.

    I don’t see much difference between A-B and X-Y marriages, yet people think X-Y yo be cool because they had a love marriage.

    I feel if arranged marriages are done in a way where the girl and boy have all the choice in the world, then there is not much difference between arranged or love marriages. “How you met” is the only difference. After marriage it is up to the individuals to make or break or rock the union.
    Of course the “No-in-laws” will be a sweet catalyst in any union.

    Leaving with an example of love marriage turned forced arranged marriage –

    R was my colleague who had this boy friend from high school. Parents agreed and her marriage was fixed. Then she fell in love with her colleague. But since her engagement was already fixed, she had to marry her highschool boyfriend. She had such a loveless marriage, still in love with her colleague. Finally after the colleague got married and moved on, she is trying to save her marriage. The husband has been with her all throughout because he loves her bollywood crazy style.

    Hence we can’t generalize arranged marriage as “losers last resort”. If done the right way with all choices thrown ( one of my cousins (girl) said NO to 15 guys – her parents were totally ok with that) chances are that such an union would be like any other love match.
    Success of a marriage depends mostly on what happens after marriage and not what happens before marriage.

    Disclaimer – I am not advocating arranged marriage for any “feel-good” factor. I had a love-marriage. I married my best friend in true bollywood dosti-pyaar style. But I see a lot of arranged matches in my social circle and they are all so happy and in love and I don’t think it is fair towards them when we call them losers.

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    • A very sensible and balanced comment, I must say. A marriage is a marriage is a marriage. Any one type- arranged or love match, can thrive or fail.

      I’ll add to that. For some reason, a thread I’ve seen resonating is that failure in a marriage is mostly the husband’s/ in-laws’ fault. I don’t think that is always the case. In most cases, both the husband and the wife may be victims of a system in many ways. There are also often unreasonable expectations from both sides that may be the culprit. I am speaking here of the couple concerned. Not even factoring in the in-laws, from both sides. That is another story altogether.

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    • There is nothing like arranged marriage with all freedom of choice on the side of the prospective bride and prospective groom. You are mixing concepts.

      The reality of arranged marriage is that a person can “select” only from a distinctive group and a finite number of options. This is not freedom and this is not true choice.

      The moment (e.g.) a Christian Keralite exchange a romantic call with Hindu Bengali with full approval and encouragement of their parents – this will be the moment you could call a “fee-of-choice arranged marriage”.

      We all know this is not gonna happen.

      Love marriages do not tolerate boundaries – spacial, religious, ethnic, cultural. Arranged marriages do, and what’s more they build up differences and divisions to enormous size beyond reason.

      This is something that you seem to disregard completely.

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      • This is one of my biggest gripes with the “modern” arranged marriage, irrespective of whether or not they offer choice, dating opportunities, etc – they maintain caste boundaries.

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      • There are 2 sides to this coin as well.

        – You take any sunday supplement advertising “bride wanted” “groom wanted” ads and for every 50 ads shouting “slim,tall,fair,convent educated girl” you will find 2 “caste no bar” ads too. Not a significant number, I agree – but to answer your question such things do happen. I have a close friend whose sister had an inter-caste arranged marriage. I have 2-3 such stories among friend’s friends too.
        – I know a handful of caste-community matched love matches too. It is a win-win situation, the girl-boy at least know each other more than in an arranged match and the parents are happy too. I see this tread a lot in “B.Tech in India, MS in US crowd”; tambram marrying a tambram, gujju marrying a gujju.. the list is endless.
        Religious tolerance is limited even in love matches. I know lots of love matches in my social and professional circle but VERY FEW inter-religious ones like Hindu-muslim, Muslim-christian,hindu-christian.
        I have heard statements like ” I do like xyz. But s/he is hindu/muslim/christian. I can’t fight with everyone to make the marriage happen”. This is before the “falling-in-love” the “getting-to-know” phase.
        I am not generalizing, but I feel it was the 70’s and 80’s that saw the “I love you like crazy. Will marry you no matter what… defying family and society and all concepts of class-religion etc type love matches. I agree they were very few in number – but the ones who did were indeed revolutionary.
        If we go by reel life depicting real life, you can see this trend in movies too. Gone are the days of “main shaadi karoonga toh issi se karoonga” dialogues, now a days it is more of “We are best friends, but do we love each other, are we marriage type people” etc type themes.
        Now is the era of so called practical generation and everything is done with proper planning keeping future in sight. It might sound ridiculous but one of my friends had commented when she broke up with her boyfriend from another religion that ” of course I can’t break connections with my parents over this boy. I am a career woman and I need support system when I have kids if I need to continue working.”
        Again not generalizing, but love marriages ARE NOT ALWAYS epitomes of “caste,class,religion”-LESS society rather in many cases they pick partners who are more probable to be approved by parents.

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        • ” of course I can’t break connections with my parents over this boy. I am a career woman and I need support system when I have kids if I need to continue working.”

          Patriarchy 1, Personal Freedom 0

          A friend of mine got married to a guy who’s parents “disowned” him for marrying her. His family (not even his brother, who’s just a few years older) did not attend their wedding. My friend is happy with her husband. The guy’s parents, not so much. Whom did Patriarchy screw over this time? Was “losing a son” worth “keeping face” in Society? Why is parental control over your choice of spouse a norm and not an anomaly?

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        • @ anamika I really appreciate your balanced opinions. its a pleasure to read through your well analysed comments..here when we talk about love marriages with boundaries( within the same caste or religion ) the boundaries are nothing but other problems(effects) of social conditioning, like the need for parents approval and caste-ism. So fighting social conditioning is one problem and marrying people for all the wrong reasons nd making it a norm for everyone to follow is another problem. (i know i m being very vague here..i m sorry , just cant seem to find the right words) but what i mean is , you are mixing two different things.
          Arranged marriages in india are not “FREE CHOICE” marriages , however much they seem that way.! same with love marriages ..all indian love marriages aren’t done out of love..they r mere
          choice marriages perceived as love marriages bec “anythng that is not arranged is love”🙂.!! but ,they still r wayyy better than arranged marriages bec the “individuals “involved in the marriage “chose” each other.

          Ideally arranged marriages (done the way you suggested) should not be a hindrance to the person’s growth (individual,personal,emotional) and freedom (by person i mean both husband nd wife) . If it is so, no matter how they met ..ITS A GOOD MARRIAGE. but that is not the case with most of the arranged marriages we see .. isn’t it??

          I believe we need to condemn the “traditional arranged marriage set up “strongly despite it turning out good for some of the people. Because at large, its nothing but a social presure (like nish mentioned above) people succumb to . I alway feel if there was no easy way out, like arranged marriages ..many guys and girls (my peers in their 20s) brought up in a slightly patriarchal family set up wud have buckled up nd corrected their ways,respecting women better, making an effort to understand the other gender and actually take self reliance and sharing responsibilities seriously!!

          And about your friend who dumped a guy for such a stupid reason. she needs an intervention ..seriously all her priorities are messed up and points of view skewed!!:) [problem again being social conditioning nd no apparent respect for self reliance]

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        • I did not talk about love marriages in terms of religious or parental feel of belonging. Love marriages which really can be described as true love marriages do not work ascribe to finding a necessary common ground – like a shared belief system or parental approval.

          In fact, happy, healthy love marriages do not place parental approval or religion anywhere high on the rank – these are simply irrelevant in the light of sharing a life with someone special.

          This is something that arranged marriages by default will never have. So treating them as some sort of alternative to a natural couple-making is simply pointless.

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    • Agree – if done like how you describe, it is just another way of meeting the right person.

      May the tribe of A-B types increase, versus the ones I see mostly around me.

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    • Totally agree!
      And there are some people who “want” to marry into a particular caste, religion, language and region– I don’t understand them-but they exist.
      Without being introduced to other people within the boundaries that they have set for themselves, i doubt if they could/would find anyone who they like.
      It’s all about the choices you make, it perfectly fine to fall in love, but it seems silly to reject love just because you didn’t meet the person in college/work/anywhere but were introduced by your parents!

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  13. It’s amazing how much BS can be put into one article. If there was a rating system for BS this would get 100% pure unadulterated bull. Not even one of the points made is accurate.

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  14. Even people who are living a happy arranged marriage refute this, ha ha ha . couldn’t the writer come up with better crap?? seriously education in our schools is sadly lacking.

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  15. no. 3 is a nice way of saying ” Arranged marriages are a form of institutionalized racism.” It is not understanding “culture” if the people one marries are the same class, caste and economic status. The rest of the reasons are a rather elaborate April Fools joke, please tell me that is so.

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  16. Both have plus and minus- and both work or both don’t work, depending upon so many factors. Its pure luck ( or bad luck ? ) how it turns out as there would always be traits that would come to the fore once one starts living together…..
    In a lighter vain – It’s funny when people discuss Love Marriage vs Arranged.
    It’s like asking someone, if suicide is better or being murdered.:)

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    • Actually only ‘Choice Marriages’ and ‘Semi-Forced/Forced Marriages’ can be really compared. Arranged Marriages where the couple is introduced and then is free to make up their minds are as good as Choice Marriages.

      Like

      • I know a few peole whose parents introduced them to each other and hoped they’d decide to marry.

        It seems to be not uncommon in defence families for people to be introduced through parents and then given the freedom to take their own decision

        I also know of arranged, inter-caste marriages where the families knew each other for years and had kids of “marriageable age”.

        The couple in question had attended the same schools and had met socially over the years. So while they weren’t strictly “in love”, they were open to being “introduced” to each other through the parents.

        Such “modern” arranged marriages work very well in my opinion. The two families share strong ties of friendship and the couple knows enough about each other to make an informed decision.

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  17. Honestly speaking ! I found the list rather ridiculous !
    I had actually written a blog about the saga of arranged marriages in India, and as always, people of my age group liked it, and some people said that it was incomplete or unrealistic just because the writer is an unmarried young girl..and I still believe that what I had written was logical enough, if you read and think with an open mind..
    you know what, I find it really funny when auntys consider me to be an ideal match for their sons just because I’m in my early 20s, i have a decent family background and a decent job offer..What about the actual mutual understanding and the compatibility between the two individuals who’ll have to spend their life together??
    Here is the link..
    http://soniabhatia.blogspot.in/2011/09/great-indian-wedding.html

    P.S. I’m not against arranged marriages.. in fact, there are certain things that I really really like about them..but I do not support the way they are society oriented, thats it !

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  18. Every marriage – love or arranged turns into a society oriented one, Just beacuse someone had a love marriage doesn’t mean they won’t get free Gyan, ‘ pl adjust’ and nosy in-laws, after a while everyone forgets the way they met and married and it becomes a routine marriage with all it’s issues and relatives.
    UNLESS like mine where in-laws died before marriage and parental family cut-me off and then i decided to keep it at a far off diatance when they came around.
    I ofcourse still have well meaning relatives form my in-laws side giving me gyan but… we are still kind of insulated.

    I like IHM’s words choice-marriages or forced marriages, int he end that is all that matters.

    I sometimes think what would have happened if my husband and me hadn’t met by chance.. I would have met and married from the list my family short-listed and i’m sure i would have been happy . I don’t think it’s in me to tolerate BS and that coupled with my capacity to earn i think would make me self-suffient enough to dump someone if he was not the right person. I’ve always had a low tolerance for society, while growing up it’s called ‘not conforming’ , ‘ rebel’ guess as i age it’s a trait to be proud off … who knew.

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  19. I think the writer of this article should think long and hard about why parents will not extend support to a perfectly decent human being who is going to play a very significant part in their child’s life just because he/she was not chosen by them. That itself tells that parents who have such attitudes will not have ‘your’ best interests while looking for a match for you. They are busy taking care of their own interests and that is why such kind of arranged marriages are not beneficial.

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  20. i dont think there is anything wrong with the list. it just boils down to whatever works for you. if you fall in love, then have a love marriage. but if dont want to find anyone yourself and want the families to get to know each other before getting married then go for arranged marriage. At the end, whatever makes you happy is the most important thing.

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      • sure why not. when a person falls in love, the mystery of not knowing the other person is what makes it very exciting. there is that suspense. you discover new things about each other every day. So why can’t a person have the same excitement in arranged marriage?

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        • Yes and in many traditional arranged marriages, where the bride and groom don’t interact much before getting married, those ‘mysteries’ can turn out to be annoying things that could potentially make life very difficult.

          Optimism and positive thinking has its place, but applying it like this to a traditional arranged marriage is more like putting blinders over your eyes. It’s better to be positive about the right things, or else it’s just wishful thinking that leads to a difficult situation.

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        • But if as you are getting to know a person and find something you do not feel you can adjust to (say, anger management issues) – would it not be better to have the option of not marrying the person? Mysteries that unfold may not always bring pleasant surprises – I think marriages need to taken more seriously.

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        • I think the issue here is you are assuming the article is talking about traditional marriages and I am assuming it is talking about modern marriages. Also, you can never know a person even if you date for couple of years. There are always new things you discover about a person. You might think you know someone and get married and after couple of years, you discover something new about them. people change over the years. sometimes its a good change and sometimes its bad. Why assume that in love marriage will guarantee that you know the person 100%? all I am saying is, keep an open mind. all love marriages are not good and all arranged are not bad.

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    • ” if you dont want to find anyone yourself” – for such a monumental event in your life, how can you not even try? Introductions via family are one thing, but there has to be some effort from the individual!

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      • I think most plp who have arranged marriages have actually tried to find someone on their own but failed. There are many good guys who go with arranged marriage because they are shy to talk to girls (because of our indian culture) or they are busy making their career(again because of our culture) or they feel they don’t want to hurt the family by falling in love with someone who the family would disapprove of (again because of our culture).

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        • //I think most plp who have arranged marriages have actually tried to find someone on their own but failed.// For those who have, the modern arranged marriages are a good option.

          Why do you think do many Indians disapprove of Valentine’s Day and why do we have Khap Panchayat and honor killings, segregation in educational institutes and the entire community watching a young woman’s movements, timings and interactions with the ‘opposite sex’ – and then warning the parents if they she is ‘crossing her limits’?

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        • You realize there are shy guys in other parts of the world who end up getting married? I am not against family suggesting potential partners for you, but I find the thought of them deciding for you very disturbing.

          I still get confused by this whole thing of family getting hurt. Why? The family does not want happiness for you? Or they want you to find only their version of happiness? Then the family is not really supportive of you is it?

          Mostly when families talk about “culture”, they mean that they do not want to change in any way or form, so they want to find the exact replica of themselves for their children. But, but if children were actually allowed to grow into adults and have their own lives, parents would be free not to change their current lifestyles, would they? Looks like a severe case of wanting the cake and eating it too. Not only their cake, but yours too!

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        • in other countries if the guy is shy, most of them end up alone. I agree with you but you have to understand that our parents grew up in a very conservative socity. you can’t expect them to change easily. the best thing to do is, find someone you really like and also someone your parents would like. You have to meet in the middle somewhere. Parents always feel they are trying to do whats best for u. we all know sometimes it is not best for us but our parents intentions are always right.

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  21. Ha! Ha! Ha!

    I just want to say that all arranged marriages are not bad just like all love marriages are not good (if all love marriages were good then the divorce rate in the US wouldn’t have been 50%)…I had an arranged marriage…I had been engaged a couple of times previously and was in my late 20s ready to settle down…As I wasn’t meeting any interesting men (I’m not too social), I agreed to go for an ‘arranged’ marriage on the condition that I would go on a few dates with the prospective groom and only I would decide if I wanted to marry him or not, not my parents…I met many men and then finally my husband…Things are good…

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    • Sraboney, but that’s a modern or ‘westernised’ version of an Arranged Marriage. Traditional arranged marriages don’t permit a couple to say ‘no’ once they have met, if they meet.

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      • Is the article talking about traditional arranged marriages? As far as I know, now days almost everyone gets to talk to the guy and even go on few dates before deciding. Even in my village, all of the girls talked to their husbands months before the wedding.

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        • Generally a couple might talk on the phone after the engagement – but they cannot meet alone and they can’t break the engagement, even if there are serious issues. You may like to take a look at the links to emails below this post.

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    • I think media for some reason tries to romanticize arranged-marriages – often with inaccurate, unsubstantiated claims like Swarup has pointed out. Arranged Marriages – where couples are introduced and allowed to make their decisions, are not a bad idea at all, but such articles talk about mystery element and being spoilt for choice and family support instead.

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      • yep arranged marriage are romanticized …there are zillion serials on tv today . I need more serials where the bahu is shown setting boundaries with the saas and other in laws , who answers instead of standing and quietly listening to MILs rant .Seriously, why is the serial industry is so irresponsible ? The serials are so popular with women of all classes especially the housewives so why dish out only crap ? Seriously, have all stories dried up ..all they have is saas bahu serials, a romantic lead pair and more crappy romance in stymied,crazy and clearly sexist scenarios ?

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  22. they have 8 reasons for an arranged marriage, I can probably give them 8000 reasons AGAINST arranged marriages, or maybe marriages in general!

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  23. Marriage by name is complicated. Be it is love or arranged. in both the cases you have to adjust with the new life. Most of the love marriage cases you have to adjust with your in laws and in arranged marriage you have to adjust with your partner. Both of the marriage have positive and negative side.
    I started living away from my parents when i was in 12th. But still i didn’t find a guy for myself.My parents were OK with love marriage . even for marriage i was not force to say yes to my parents choice. I have really seen a lot of guy before meeting my hubby. I had even said no to a guy because he was a smoker and my parents agreed with me. so arranged marriage in not bad if both the partners have right to say no or yes. Love marriage in India are not working out because of our society . If both the partners can make their parents understand that its not a crime or they are not against their parents then love marriage is a boon.

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  24. A marriage might or might not work irrespective of whether its an arrange or love marriage.
    I think someone with an IQ of a housefly wrote this while drying her nailpolish.

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  25. Arranged marriages are for weak individuals, for a long time I did not believe this but is really is true. People enter these things because they cannot imagine anything better or out of guilt, obligation, fear, duty – it does not matter what you call it. Arranged marriage is nice theory, the reality of it is soul destroying, I cannot imagine anything worse that destroys a persons identity faster than an arranged marriage.

    People keep differentiating between arranged and forced marriages, there is really no difference between them. Almost 99% of the arranged marriages have coercion, manipulation, coaxing, brain-washing and guilt induction involved. It’s all about maintaining control and power over people. The truth is our parents failed us, instead of raising us they became us and lived through us & we didn’t do a good job we were blamed for it. Very few people would ever admit this because it is drilled in us desis that parents always want our good, no they never really did, they wanted good for themselves we were just tools of the trade.

    Traveling to every country in the world by 35 seems a lot more exciting than a manipulated arranged marriage with 2 kids. I am going to do this and write a blog about it. Hell with this system.

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    • Arranged marriages have become a spectrum unto themselves these days- at one end you have couples that date and even holiday together before taking the plunge , and at the other , you have the kind where emotional and/or physical manipulation and coercion are at play.
      What kind of arranged marriage one has today is determined by one’s class/community, which in turn affects how liberal one/one’s parents are.

      Love marriages , on the other hand, aren’t exactly bursting with romance in India either-mostly because caste, community , and income will be factored into the equation at some point.(That being said, class does factor into this business of love in other countries as well, but to a lesser extent)

      There may be exceptions, (inter-religious, inter-state marriages-I hope mine will be too, someday) but for the vast majority of educated, urban Indians, all types of marriage , whether love or arranged, begin to blur into one type- same caste, same language, same profession, all aglow with real (or manufactured) ‘love’.

      And there’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Happiness is different things for different people.

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      • ETA: I ‘m not defending arranged marriages. Merely stating that not all arranged marriages are uniformly ‘bad’. I do have issues with them myself- namely the ruthless criteria of caste and salary that are enforced,the potential for unpleasant surprises and the chemistry that (at times, not generalising here) seems likes its been manufactured out of sheer willpower!

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  26. Like my aunt says and most of the elderly women in my extended family say,
    if something goes wrong in arranged marriage parents and other society members will support you and there’ll be some one to blame.. while in love marriage you [ you means a woman here] are not only isolated by in laws and parents but there is no one on your side if husband does some wrong. But i find that women are isolated and blamed first in arranged or love marriage.its really no different when it comes to that. And support.. its all conditional….you know.. short term . if parents are dead ,siblings will rarely help !

    But the funny thing is my mom ‘s MIL was indifferent to her ,no support no family interactions etc even though it was a proper arranged marriage. Thank god she had a better husband !

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    • But in case if something goes wrong with the in laws, there are better chances of the husband supporting you, in case of love marriages.. In case of an arranged marriage, why would a guy choose to support a girl he barely knows, when the girl has an argument with his own mother?

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  27. IHM,

    Glad to be back from a short break from the blogging world.
    I was totally preoccupied with family and other matters this past week.

    I just read this post and all the comments so far.
    This subject has been flogged to death on your blog before but interest in it refuses to die!

    I agree with Ruchira’s succinct and Anamika’s detailed comments.
    I am glad to have R’s Mom’s support too.

    I can’t agree with those of you who feel that the very concept of arranged marriages is improper and must be condemned.
    To me some of you come across as saying that it should be “love marriage” or no marriage at all. It seems arranged marriages are anathema!

    What about very ordinary lookers like me , who can’t attract partners from the opposite sex? They may be capable of falling in love but what if no one falls in love with them? How about those who just don’t get the opportunity to meet and socialize with members of the opposite sex? Why should they remain unmarried simply because they are unable to fall in love or get someone to fall in love with them?

    What about persons with some handicap? Who will fall in love with a handicapped person? They have better chances in the arranged marriage system. If they are otherwise good and deserving, their partners will learn to love them later.

    Let me assure you that arranged marriages do no preclude love.
    If both partners are good people, Love happens after the marriage instead of before. What’s wrong with that? And, in a love marriage, if one or both partners, are not good persons, the love relationship will sour sooner or later.

    To my mind, a proper arranged marriage is as acceptable and has as much chance of success as a love marriage. Divorces are sad and can happen with both. In love marriages where is the guarantee that your spouse will be same person you fell in love with and married when you were young?

    I don’t understand this revulsion for the idea of an arranged marriage in the minds of some of you. By “proper arranged marriage” I mean one where the there is no compulsion, no dowry, and there is time and opportunity for the couple to get to know one another well before tying the knot. Thereafter it’s a gamble. If you chose well, the chances are good that the marriage will work out okay.

    As regards the article in TOI, I don’t take seriously any article in TOI. I have said this before and will say it again here. I call The Times of India, as The Advertisements of India. They have sacrificed all standards journalism at the altar of commercial gain and allow revenue from ads to decide everything. They have even compromised on the FACE of the paper. I often find a full page ad right on the front page. The paper starts from page 3. Such a development would have been unthinkable during the Golden years of Indian journalism. I won’t be surprised if they supply tee shirts to all their staff with some ad printed on the front and another on the back, to increase revenue. I no longer consider it a respectable newspaper to be taken seriously. They will publish what will get them revenue. Mercifully they still publish Calvin and Hobbes, one of the few reasons I still buy the paper!

    I suppose arranged marriages get them plenty of revenue through matrimonial ads. Love marriages don’t earn them a single rupee!

    Regards
    GV
    (A guy who had a properly arranged marriage once upon a time, even though a monkey arranged it!)

    Like

    • // I mean one where the there is no compulsion, no dowry, and there is time and opportunity for the couple to get to know one another well before tying the knot //
      thats how it should be🙂
      arranged marriages have their own plus points, the only sad part is that in many cases the opinions and views of the family, the distant relatives, the neighbors and every damn person of the society are given more importance than the views of the two individuals..
      the “time” factor is very important, and people must realize that one needs time and patience to know, understand and accept a person, before taking up the crucial decision, for this is what matters at the end..the compatibility.. u cannot be happy with a person who does not accept things that define you, that make you who you are🙂

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      • “u cannot be happy with a person who does not accept things that define you, that make you who you are”

        Very true. I take a shower before I go to bed. Once in bed, I read for half an hour before falling asleep.

        I also wake up at different times depending on whether I go to the gym in the morning or the evening on any given day.

        It never occurred to me to disclose these facts the few times my ex-husband and I met before the marriage. These mundane everyday habits became contentious issues after the marriage.

        While I was aware that bathing at night was taboo according to custom (it’s inauspicious), I never treated it as an inviolable rule.

        Once married, I was asked to stop bathing at night and spent many sleepless nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep because I hadn’t showered.

        Things like personal habits and daily routines are seldom discussed when a couple meets the arranged marriage way.

        They then become the cause of continual conflict and much heartburn. I’m not saying that couples who fall in love have it all sorted out.

        I’m not saying that couples in love do not spar over capless toothpaste tubes and hair in the sink

        It’s just that they’re inclined to give each other more space and understanding because they gel on many other levels. They’re less likely to find each other’s personal habits unsettling and problematic, IME.

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    • I totally agree with GV. You just cant say arranged marriage doesn’t work there are many couples who found soul mates through arranged marriage.

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    • 100% agree GV🙂 on a positive note i see nowadays many arranged marriages that are done properly, more open, more choices not limited to a particular subset etc., I also fine many many marriages where they find each other on matrimonial sites, the parents put the profile but the kids manage it and reply etc., this is wonderful. My brother married his wife after mtg and chatting thru some site. he is a tamil iyengar and she is half iyengar/half gujrathi jain .. so i think the choices are widening.. compared to my love marriage to a tamil iyengar :-)ironic no?
      Every marriage has a equal chance of success as long as there is no interfearence and both of them decide to put in effort along with a healthy dose of trust, love and passion . most imp is the choice to walk away if it is not for them…

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    • “I mean one where the there is no compulsion, no dowry, and there is time and opportunity for the couple to get to know one another well before tying the knot.”

      Highly unlikely Mr. GV. I don’t think that a guy and girl who have been arranged to meet will be allowed their own sweet time to make a decision. There will usually be subtle hints from both families about whether they are going to make up their minds or not. This is another form of coercion which is unacceptable to many young people. And if they have a long engagement then decide to break it off, it becomes like a stain on their records. I don’t believe there can be ‘no compulsion’.

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  28. Mystery? Mystery in arranged marriage is like betting all your savings on a horse whose performance is uncertain. Just an example, in no way an implication that people getting married are horses.

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  29. // our parents grew up in a very conservative socity. you can’t expect them to change easily//

    I wonder why such parents never think “my kids grew up in a liberal society. We cannot expect them to change easily” and let the kids do their thing while they go about their conservative life?

    The fact is such people change very easily when it suits their needs. They learn how to use mobile phones and download bhajan ringtones. They learn to let go of “our house women dont work” when they see the kind of pay packet their DIL brings in. They learn to use the internet to log onto to matrimonial websites and upload your profiles. They learn to suitably adjust the customs to their modern day needs with symbolic replacements……

    Just the things that will make them give up their demi god position – those are the ones that are difficult for them. I wonder why.

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  31. “Once the alliance is arranged, the boy and girl are officially allowed to meet and know more about each other.”

    Are these adults we’re talking about, or what?

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