Image Source: Bhavin Gandhi

Arranged marriages in India have always been a debatable topic. The older and orthodox generation roots for arranged marriages while the younger and modern generation rejects the very idea of it. Countless people in India view the concept of arranged marriage in a positive light while a select but growing few have approached this with slight trepidation.

A decade or two ago, the arranged marriage scenario in India was a little different than what it is today.

Earlier, the process of arranged marriages didn’t involve the full approval of the bride or the groom. It was considered to be a marriage between the families, not just the boy and girl. The parents of the girl and boy would put an advertisement for their children in newspapers or create a profile on matrimonial websites. After exchanges of kundli and unnecessary family history, the families would decide the compatibility and set up a “family sanctioned date”. The girl and boy would meet in the presence of their family members, exchange awkward conversations, and determine from that one meeting if they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

These marriages were solely based on astrological harmony the girl and boy shared and the elaborate lies that were splashed across the suitor advertisement. A foreign concept for liberal thinkers, arranged marriage didn’t particularly seem appealing to those who were exposed to Western culture.

But times have changed and so has the process of arranged marriages.

The girl is no longer required to be a fair roti-making, clothes-washing, baby-popping wife and the boy is no longer required to be a money-making, foreign-living husband.

With the rapid modernization in India, parents have realized that marriage is a lot more different and demanding than it was years ago. Now, women are more independent and career-oriented and the men don’t oppose to having a working wife. The requirements that were necessary years ago no longer have that level of importance. The girl and the boy have the freedom to come to an understanding and even deny the partners their parents have selected for them.

However, love marriage is still a taboo subject in most Indian cultures. While most families are still unaccepting of inter-caste and inter-religion marriages, some families are willing to give a little leeway to their children with a new trend — semi-arranged marriages. The girl or boy have the liberty to marry someone of their liking, as long as they’re of the same caste and religion.

The process of arranged marriages has adapted to change and given young Indians the choice to choose their own partners without pressure from their parents. With the rise of dating apps and matrimonial websites in India, young Indians now have more choices when it comes to choosing their life partners.

But the process still has a long way to go in India. While it’s adapting to modernization, there are still some elements of the arranged marriage process that need work. The age barrier that prevents women over 30 from finding a partner should be broken and the wage barrier that prevents men from finding a partner should be broken, too. Arranged marriages should start focusing more on the commitment and less on the requirements. Because what may be perfect in the eyes of the parents, won’t be so for their children.