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The Indian Arrange Marriage sham

The Indian Arrange Marriage sham

Togetherness is celebrated because it’s beautiful and one might also say that it’s eternal. In Indian culture, we believe marriage to be the purest form of unity.

According to Hindu mythology, it is even believed that marriage is not for this life alone, but also for the next seven births or so.

Arrange marriages are a very traditional way to get two souls to find their way into each other’s life. For decades, the arrange marriage system has been a sought out process through which two families decide the fate of the two individuals.

How pure and beautiful it may seem to you, it’s become as shallow as it can get. It has become a business for the mediators to extract money from both sides of the family. A noble cause of making two people to meet has become a nightmare loot scam. The process is basically like outsourcing a company to find a suitable match for you. Although, its been quite a tradition for mediators to charge a commission from the families. But, now this process is so money oriented, that one feels that one is being weighed on a money-scale machine.

A representative from the company, comes to your house, checks out your lifestyle and verifies the assets including what cars one owns. It’s a detailed report from there, the business one owns to the property one has invested in and the list goes on. Sometimes, the mediator is even willing to hide important facts about the family if paid a little extra. They agree to keep the dirty secrets under the cover. First one pays, an installment amount as a registration fee and then if one finds a suitable match, another exorbitant installment amount is to be paid from both sides. If you think of it, this is not that bad because, if you find a really good match for yourself, the money could also worth it. But, the financial status is given supreme importance. From, how much the family is ready to spend on the marriage to what material assets will the girl get from her parents to the carat of the solitaire to be exchanged by both parties.

A business deal might just be a little more detailed than this.

Some horrifying instances would justify why arrange marriages could turn out to be a life spoiler in today’s era. So much emphasis is put on money that the compatibility of the couple is neglected to quite a large extent. Not that love marriage, has not ever been a mess, but at least the money matters are less stressed upon to the level, which arrange marriages have witnessed.

A Punjabi girl married into a wealthy family through an arrange marriage mediator. A lavish wedding took place in Udaipur, with over 500 guests flown from all over India. The girl’s family was happy because the boy’s family also shared a part of the whole expenditure considering Udaipur to be a lavish destination for weddings. The boy’s family had businesses in Dubai, London and India, hence, quite well to do. When the girl moved to London, she understood the dynamics of the house. She was not given money to spend, the reason being that she only goes out with the mother in law and her husband, so there is no reason she should be given any money. Household expenses were borne by the mother. The husband was not concerned with this issue as he thought that his mother should make the decisions in the family, as she is the dominant one, even on her own husband. A controlling mother in law is the biggest problem especially for girls who are submissive face a hard time dealing with it.

Another problem was that, she was not allowed to go attend any recreational classes, the reason being that she cannot go out alone. The mother in law thought of these classes as unnecessary time-consuming classes. Repeated complaints to the husband did not result in any good. She was leading an unproductive, useless life, sitting at home with no support from her husband or parents –in-law. What does a girl do in this situation? If she stands up for her rights, the mother in law stops taking to her, and the husband feels that the girl disrespected his mother, so even he stopped talking to her.

People are complicated in their heads. They want money and more money till they leech the last bit out of you. And in the example above, not even one is willing to shed the minimum sum when required. Happiness cannot depend upon money, especially in an arranged marriage. The mediators sell the financial profile of the family according to the money they are willing to give to their daughter. Only if the boy’s family is satisfied with the amount, the mediator takes a step ahead. But, the girl’s family doesn’t realize that if money is the criterion, then they might as well sell off their daughter, because that’s what it seems like. No matter how well off the family is, if the value system, is not intact, nothing would be in place.

Also, sometimes, mediators hide important details, just to earn a little extra commission, which they don’t realize could affect two lives. For instance, a real life case, a girl filed for a divorce from her husband on the basis of his habit of beating the wife during intercourse, which gave him sexual pleasure. No medications or therapy could help him solve this issue. Hence, the girl was frightened to engage in any physical activity with the boy. Sex is an important part of marriage, and no matter how much people deny, if one’s sex life is not in place, the marriage is not completely functional. Although, he was mentally sane in his daily life, but this habit was unusual and disturbing to the wife, which resulted in the marriage turning out to be a failure.

Later, it was known that the boy was married once before and the reason that the first marriage fell apart was due to this particular reason. The reason why the current girl’s family agreed for the marriage was the family’s elite social standing and their unmatchable financial portfolio. Although, the mediator conveyed the boy’s divorced status to the girl’s family, but he hid the real reason of the divorce, in exchange for a hefty amount. He framed a practical reason, which was easy to believe for the girl’s family. So, one should not let the mediator put up a sham, which is at the cost of one’s life. One should thoroughly research and take some time to make such big decisions.

One needs to find a family, which encourages personal growth and appreciates on as an individual. Also, it is important for them to have liberal views, which matches one’s mindset and expectations. Not that one won’t be happy in a conservative set up, but being a bit liberal with a modern mindset helps in developing an instant understanding and bonding. Money is important but not as important as your internal happiness, which we all need to imbibe in our mindsets.


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