Are you in your twenties and worrying about being forced into the Indian marriage market? Do you want to study ahead just because you don’t want to appear free and eligible for marriage? Did you recently find out that one of your school batch mates is now married? Well if you can relate to any of these situations then I want to tell you that first please relax, and second don’t give in to the pressure if you don’t want to.
It is believed that our twenties are to explore, experiment and discover ourselves. But the Indian society expects you to make a secure career (preferably as a doctor, engineer, banker, lawyer) and then get married to a person (preferably chosen by your parents) and even have a kid (preferably a boy). If you don’t agree with these terms and are not ready for all these things then you will have to fight your loved ones, your relatives, your neighbours, the guy who sells golgappas on the corner and basically the society. Majority of Indians don’t consider it worth fighting and give in to the norms and settle down. What is wrong with this ideology is that a person may not be mentally prepared to have such a big change in their life but they are expected to do so because that is what their parents did and God help those who never want to get married because they will be shunned by society.
Parents start saving up for their child’s marriage the moment he or she is born. Education is important but marriage is essential for them. If it is a girl child then education is just like an ornament which she can do without. Why is India so obsessed with marriage? Is it for the love of reproduction? Well that does answer for a big majority of people. You must have heard people saying how they immediately had children after getting married. Indian brides are sometimes indirectly told in how much time she should have a baby in her belly by her in laws. Even after being the second most populated country India does not get over its obsession with reproduction because why come second in a race that we can easily win right?
In ancient times marriage was a way to survive and a trade of assets but its relevance should be questioned today. It is the 21st century where on one hand we are able to discuss gender and sexuality on a spectrum and on the other people are still considering marriage as the most important part of their lives. Well of course if you love someone and want to spend your life with them and you live in a country where they won’t even let you hold hands in public then maybe you don’t have a choice but to get married. But what about those who are not in love with anyone or even if they are they don’t wish to get this label? When will the Indian society learn the fact that marriage should not be imposed on people.
We do come from a culture where our mythology tells us tales of a woman who was forced to marry 5 men at the same time and of one who was asked to testify her ‘purity’ by her own husband and a woman who was cursed to become a stone by her husband for a crime that was not her own. After growing up listening to all these stories, how can you not love the idea of marriage right?