Sep 14, 2010

Arranged marriage woes

When I tweeted about this topic, people mistook it as my reaction to a story of a gay man being forced to wed. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It’s a straight woman’s story to be forced to wed against her preference, against her heart, and against her will. It’s a very sad story, which when I heard first, I couldn’t react to appropriately. I still don’t know if I have reacted appropriately to it and I don’t even know if it is appropriate to write about this on my blog.

The setting is 2010 in a fast-developing, modern India—the same India where tonnes of grains rot while the poor die starving, and where the khap panchayats decide the right or wrong of a person to marry another person. But those things could be blamed as not being set in a very modern metropolis. This story is set in two of the biggest metropoles (is that the right word?) in India.

A woman who’s forced to be engaged to a man without each of them knowing too much about each other. A couple of months into this ‘dread-lock’, they find out that differences overshadow similarities between each other. They soon start lying to themselves and to each other hoping that things could sort themselves out. Their families interfere in varying degrees of emotional blackmailing to keep the marriage on track.

Now, this woman is forced to forego of all her dreams because her father threatens to disrupt the peace of mind of her mother, whom she loves. During this crisis, a good friendship that she’s into develops into something more than just the friendship—something, if nurtured, could blossom into a wonderful relationship. Yet, she’s willing to sacrifice everything and her life—for her mother. I think it’s a very sad story.

This one example as to why arranged marriages should be illegalized. My sister and her life is a good example of why most of the times, arranged marriages end up being a torturous experience to the persons involved. Why can’t people choose to have relationships with people who they want to be with? It’s their right, is it not?

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