Sociology Optional Notes: Family and Marriage in India

Family and Marriage in India: The Indian population is set to cross the Chinese population by the year 2040 and in turn, become the largest population on the planet. In this present day scenario, family planning has become an important issue for one to discuss in the country as the rise in population will have dire consequences. Since the time immemorial, one can find the dominance in the concept of family in India, the concept of a nuclear family came very late to India as Indians still prefer residing in a joint family. Times have changed; people have a new outlook on life as they are trying to live a life which was designed by the West. It can be said that there have been significant differences in the concepts of marriage and family in urban areas, but there isn’t much change in the thought process of the rural areas. There have been some very interesting trends which have been set by the families in India and there are different curves which are being noticed in terms of worldwide trends.

The Child Marriages of Rajasthan: A Study

Rajasthan has been synonymous with the concept of child marriages, in the past the trends of child marriages have been quite significant. Although in recent years there has been a substantial decline in the number of child marriages which are taking place, the problem still seems to loom over the desert state. The root of this problem may be traced back to the rural areas; there have been a significant amount of campaigns which are run in order to educate the people regarding the situation. The urban lands have better access to knowledge regarding why the concept of child marriage is bad in comparison to the rural areas, but the government has been trying their best in order to educate them.

Reports claim that poorer households have a greater chance of getting their young girls married early for the money, and the girl is often presumed to be a responsibility, hence the parents want to get this responsibility off. The percentage of child marriages in the rural areas is a staggering 89.4% whereas in the urban areas it goes up to 10.6%. This data, from the rural areas, may be further broken down into the different types of the backward classes present in those areas.

There are many agencies of the government which are working for the cause and there has been a significant amount of improvement in the trends relating to child marriages. However, the research reports often cite a correlation between early child marriages and the education that a girl may attain, in it is a general trend in the rural societies of the country to block the girl child from being educated and in turn depriving them of a better future. The general trend suggests that the completion rate of education is much lower for married teens than unmarried teens. The government has tried to initiate a dialogue with the chiefs of the areas but have been shunned down every time they would look to inquire about something.

There have been areas where the concept of child marriages has prevailed, in states like Himachal Pradesh and Manipur, the number of child marriages has shown a substantial increase but nowhere close to the present numbers of the Hindi heartland states. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana lead the index where the concept of child marriages has been stuck for generations, there have been decreases in the number of child marriages but all isn’t good as the numbers aren’t showing the real picture.

There are positives in the number of child marriages which have been stopped this but the negatives too have had a significant impact on the issue. The past ten years have been quite a success for the various government agencies which have been making a difference but there is still a long way to go. The change should come from within and it is very essential for the country to progress further.

Marriage: A Mental Illness

In India, when two people decide to get married, their families also get married and that is just how things function in the Indian nation. Marriage forms the basis of a social institution in India, it becomes very essential to have everyone on board when it comes to getting married in India. There is psychological thinking behind protecting every marriage in India; the divorce rates of India have been significantly lower with respect to some other nations. However, the Indian society is said to be stringently patriarchal in its approach and this has led to some problems in recent times. As the world gets smaller, accessibility to everything increases and there is a constant comparative study going on between the different nations of the world on life and culture. In the Indian society, gender roles are very strictly defined and hence women are generally the ones who end up getting suppressed. This leads to many unwanted problems in the Indian household.

In current times, every individual is ambitious, each person has a unique set of dreams and aspirations which they want to complete in a given lifetime, and with restrictions by the Indian society, it becomes quite a task for the Indian women to do the same. The general trend suggests that married women are discriminated against married men and hence they are expected to take the roles of a mother or a wife in their lifetime. These roles remain primary and other ambitions have to take the secondary section, which seems quite unfair. There is also a degree of the mental stress faced by women, some of which may take an ugly turn. With cases of harassment, marital rape, domestic violence, dowry, etc. on the rise, it becomes quite the task for an Indian married woman to observe things in a more “positive” light. There is a lot of mental stress with married Indian women and it has become quite necessary to challenge this trend and find out viable solutions regarding the same. It has always been believed that societal norms are powerful and often drive the legislative provisions in real life.

A General Trend

In Indian society, currently, arranged marriages have been the favored norm in comparison to the love marriage norms. Through recent reports, it may be seen that there hasn’t been a decrease in the number of arranged marriages in the country; the number still remains very strong at 90%. Through many surveys which are conducted, researchers found out that the general Indian youth still takes the arranged marriage way due to the family pressure and only some take the way of the love marriages. The numbers go up to a 19% in favor of love marriages but in the Indian society arranged marriages have established a very strong foundation, they still prevail outside but not as much as the Indian society. One thing becomes very sure, that arranged marriages would still be a part of the Indian culture for a lot of the upcoming time.

India being such a diverse nation has been home to a variety of different ways one can get married, most of the communities still prefer having the marriage in their own way as in India marriages are still a union of the families instead of just the two people. Marriages in India are said to be more of the religious affair than a social or legal obligation, it is in fact considered the unification of two souls. There is a different way people get married, basically a change in tradition and other norms, if one displaces all over the country. Due to all the diverse communities, a lot of people get married in different ways and it is some affair to witness.

A very interesting thing to observe is the divorce rate of Indian marriages is just 1.1%. This is the lowest among a lot of nations if not the lowest. Indian marriages are often deemed successful but the struggle that the husband and wife go through is usually very mentally tiring.

There have been many new ways through which the finding of a spouse has changed in the Indian society, as of now people prefer getting spouses over the internet; newspapers and various other networks, the traditional ways have been shunned. The new ways have been proven quite effective and the number of applications and websites are on the rise in the country.

The Conclusion

Marriage is a beautiful concept but there have been incidents which have tainted the holy unification of two souls. There need be special reforms which need to be done through which can restore the faith back in the norms of the Indian society. The government needs to understand the need of the people and then there needs to be a sense of acceptance in the society but a need for societal change which would come in some time.