Update: The supreme court hasn’t passed a judgement yet but only an observation on the case but looking at the observation it looks like it will be judged in favour of Khushboo but they have spoken about pre-marital sex and live-in relationships. This is because i had a comment regarding it. Her case is just a trigger to the post and not the basis. I have changed the judgement as observation. You can get more info in the following link – http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7074875.ece
My thoughts on marriage have always been criticized by my family and peers (don’t see the comments, the arguments usually happen offline). Yesterday I watched “We the People” in NDTV on the topic “Happily Unmarried?” which had some wonderful view points on marriage and relationships. Although my fondness towards Barkha Dutt has deteriorated over the years especially after 26/11, I like “We the People” concept as it brings out some real thoughts from real people.
Why this discussion first of all?
Supreme Court on a reply to a plea by Tamil Actress Khusboo has come out with a consequential observation on March 24th. Khusboo in an interview to an English Magazine in 2008 had said that “there is nothing bad about pre-marital sex and it’s a personal decision of individuals” which eventually triggered a slew of protests from fundamental groups and political parties in Tamil Nadu. There were 22 civil and criminal cases against her in different courts of Tamil Nadu. Her plea to High Court to quash the cases were turn down and she had to appeal to supreme court.
The Supreme court in an observation said that “even the Hindu gods, Lord Krishna and Radha, were cohabiting lovers rather than man and wife. “When two adult people want to live together, what is the offense?” they said. “Living together is not an offense. Living together is a right to life.” And they crticised all the cases against Khusboo questioning the attitude of accusers and asked for proof on how Khusboo’s statement affected the young minds (Sourced from Timesonine.co.uk More on the observation)
So the discussion in NDTV and the judgment of Supreme Court triggered this post. Disclaimers before putting my viewpoints
1. Living Together here means two people in love and want to live together without the legal binding of marriage according to the marriage laws of India or any other country. Live in relationships here doesn’t mean casual flings, pre-marital and post-marital affairs
2. Marriage here means legal marriage either by consensus of two adults or an arranged marriages by the mutual consent of families (although my definition of marriage is different )
3. I am not speaking for any of my friends or family. All the views are my own and I stand by them. I am neither married nor living in with my partner so what ever i have written is all based on observations.
Let’s face some facts. The percentage of arranged marriages in India is 70% (enormous – Sourced from Love will follow by Shaifalil Sandhya). The number of broken love are many and they usually happen because either of them leave the relationship because of an emotional bonding with parents. Even the so-called educated upper middle class in India doesn’t approve of love marriages. Arranged marriages in India happen based on caste, clan, religion, familial ties, status, business and even for honour. In fact most of the love marriages in India are accepted by parents only when both of them are from same caste, religion or status. “If two adults want to live together, why can’t they in an independent democratic country” – a pertinent question that has no answers in this country. Marriages are beyond two individuals in India and that’s why I don’t believe in it.
A relationship in my terms are between two individuals and it’s for the two individuals to decide whether to live together or marry or even stay as friends forever co-habit in the same house with or without being physically attached.I was in love too and I was thinking marriage is the end of it all. But I had to face the reality when it broke because of the same old reasons of broken love in this country. I started thinking about marriages in India. I was pressurized by family to get married. My profile was floated around and even my dad has a Bharat Matrimony profile for me. Even then they were settling down for the same religion, caste and status. Never wanted to go beyond.
I never believed in arranged marriages. I never found a point in it because i never found genuineness in the arranged bonding of two people. Love after marriage is impossible proposition in my life. It would be an suicide where I would live half dead all through my life.
The biggest problem of marriages especially in India is the loss of individuality. A person loses his or her identity in marriage at some point or other. And Indian marriages give a raw deal to women more than the men. And eventually the fairer sex who lose their identity and individuality in the process. Yes, people claim that they are happy after marriage but how many of the married women have achieved what they intended to achieve before marriage? If they have achieved, what’s the time frame it took them to achieve them? Indian marriages are based on compromises and compromises are made in a way that it changes the life of the people involved especially women folk in marriage.
The biggest advantage of live-in relationships is that the individuality of both the partners will be preserved. They don’t need to change their career aspirations, tastes, life style or even day to day living habits. The relationship stays between the two and not obligated to family of either. In India, you are not married to a person, you are married to a family. In a live in, you are in a relationship to an individual and not a family.
When I was discussing it with a friend, she said “How about a perfect marriage where the individuality of both the partners are preserved?”
Yes it’s perfectly possible and I have seen a few marriages which provides equal space to both without compromises in life and the changes they incur are willful and which doesn’t kill their individuality in the name of love or family. But it’s a rarity. In real terms, it’s a dream marriage (be it love or arranged). Even in such a case there is a problem called “ownership problem”
The moment when people say “I do” in whatever language they say, they take it as “I own you”. The general perception of men and women who enter in to marriage is that they have every right to know everything about the partner which I would call “invasion of personal space”. I believe every individual has a personal circle around them and they want have certain secrets to themselves. The other person trying to get in to that space in the name of love is dangerous until and unless they allow you to. Even then I would say it’s not right.
A live-in relationship starts on this very basis – Yes, we are in a relationship but it doesn’t mean you can come in to my space and mine in to you. People live together because they love each other and not because they own each other. The sense of ownership is the biggest issue I see in marriage and love.
I can hear voices asking “So you will live-in with a girl?”
For me marriage is a ritual – a mere string tying or ring exchanging ceremony. I would love to live with a girl whom I love and not invade in to her own personal space, help preserve her individuality, enjoy each others growth as an individual and live a life of love. Call it marriage, love or live-in relationship, What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
A question to all of you – If you are not married, Will you be ready to lose your identity and individuality in the name of love and marriage?
If you are married, have you lost your identity and individuality in the name of love and marriage?
Comment anonymous if you like to 🙂