Why do many young Indian men face challenges in meeting a future wife in a country where the population reportedly exceeds a billion? Because of the trend in refusing traditional marriages. But there is an answer…
History in the (Match) Making…
India is unique with its customs and traditions and embraces a variety of cultures and a blend of religions that result in the lack of intermingling of classes in the Indian society. However, after India gained its independence, this view began transforming into a more united Indian identity. More mutual tolerance is expected among religious differences in modern India. Mahatma Gandhi has greatly contributed to the elimination of social differences between the classes in Indian society. Many Hindus, who make up the majority in India, have inter-married with Sikhs or other minorities such as Christians. As a result, religious differences are being put aside in favor of marriages based on love or other interests.
The Cost of Loving
Over time, Indian society started to suffer from an excessive population increase, largely due to the Hindu customs that demand a son from a husband and wife. In most cases, the parents give birth to girls and are forced to keep on trying till they end up with a son. The surplus of childbirths gave rise to this population boom resulting in a male dominated society with a 51-to-49 gender ratio.
According to Indian customs and traditions, the bride to be has to pay the dowry to the husband whereas the groom to be has to choose, negotiate, and agree on a method of payment, in addition to other conditions related to her stay at his house. For lower and middle class families, marriages have become a nightmare, especially in cases where a father has several daughters. On the other hand, marriage between the upper and wealthy classes is done through a dowry deal between the two families.
The fast track to marital bliss
Over the past two decades, technological advances, such as the arrival of the Internet and globalization have contributed extensively to nurturing the escape or postponement of finding one’s other half. Today, many young Indian men and women are busy looking for a job in order to secure their futures, thus forgetting, or at least postponing the idea of becoming a parent. As a result of the increasing difficulty of finding a spouse in this fast-paced way of life, many have turned to meeting their other half through chat rooms and on the Internet.
Naturally, in such a fast-paced society, both sexes reach a stage when they need to find their partners in the fastest way possible – but this time, with fewer specifications than in the past. When it comes to online dating, first questions often circulate around the profession of the potential partner, their monthly income, and the commitment of each in the creation of a life together. Lovebirds may even throw the dowry aside, in favor of a quick and modern marriage in which they can form a family.
In India today, less single people depend on their families to choose their partners, and more are looking for a more stable life, particularly those who live in the cities. In response, websites have appeared and act as intermediaries that better unite the points of view of two people seeking marriage (for a small charge). More than 14 million have applied for marriage on just one Indian-based site this year. It would appear that the era of traditional marriages is drawing to a close, especially in countries like India, where citizens still find it hard to secure a steady income. Fortunately, there have been many successful marriages thanks to the ever-evolving modern-day concept of marriage that can be found over the Internet or through chat rooms.
“Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable”. – Mahatma Gandhi