Why love marriage is not a popular option in India?

There are discussions going on whether Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage is good for Indians. I would like to argue that there is no such choice in India, for freedom of choice in marriage is curtailed there and equality compromised. I concentrate on -race, caste and gender- to argue out my point.(This is a revised version of my post I submitted for the Indiblogger Sony Contest-Love marriage or arranged marriage) contest

 Freedom to love

How is love marriage defined? It is an individual's choice to marry whom she or he loves. Such a choice takes for granted the freedom to love and equality among people.

Go to a jewellery shop that follows a hierarchy (not equality) that only certain people can purchase certain pieces, there the question which piece of jewellery one prefers, is immaterial; if any makes a free choice, it is risky.  My point is not to compare choosing a partner with choosing a piece of jewellery but to mention where there is no equality there is no freedom of choice.  

However, there are hardly few individuals, who are not sexually or emotionally attracted to one another and wish to live together.  This is love. From my own knowledge and what I hear from the media,  love is taboo in India; frowned upon by parents, elders, society and religious puritans. 

In a liberal society, love is normal. India too had a liberal past. In the Vedic culture, men and women had enjoyed considerable say in choosing partners.  They were allowed to make informed decisions in matrimony based on personal preferences.   

When had the shift from that liberal past to the contemporary -love-marriage is taboo-happened is not clear, though it could be assured that the Manu-ordained, brahmanic social hierarchy is a milestone of it. 

The shift in brief

In the known Indian history, that shift finds no mention.
So, one needs depend on other sources. Associated with that shift India suffered catastrophic socio-religious, economical, and political changes.  Politically, it was the beginning of its imperial era. Happening were waves of invasion and unrest beyond its north-western borders which forced colossal human inflows into its territories.  Among them were refugees, barbarians, killers, looters, traitors and mercenaries. They were a people of racism and India soon became a nation of racism.  The Brahmins made the best use of the tragedy; with the killers, looters, traitors and the mercenaries, they tinkered a new ruling class and called them kashathiyas/rajas/rulers/ chieftains etc., The brahmin crooks were few in numbers and so could not form a ruling class, but the ruling class had to function in step with their wish lists; plans to oppress the natives, who were a threat to them.  Collections of manu are codifications of those wish lists.

It functioned in the same way like any oppressive systems in the world; tuck away the majority into wilderness; condemning impurity, inferiority and minority through imposing racial rules, expropriating their properties and banning from using letters. Matrimony was one thing pivotal to that.

Matrimony a racial tool

Among the ruling race, it was put to good political use; to settle scores between warring kingdoms, initiate truces, quash feuds and expand territories.  Epics have good narratives on them, their star hero Krishna was an expert in using matrimony for political gains.

Moving down the timeline, Alexander the great married the sister of Chandraguptha Maurya, Akbar had Hindu ladies in his harem; they were alliances that crossed racial and caste boundaries sound revolutionary, but served only the politics of Indian imperialism. 
When it comes to the ordinary people, the rule of matrimony is different; they cannot marry beyond race or caste. 

For an ordinary female, manu saw only her yoni; not its noble function to bring life to this world, but its use to race/caste-grade any person by birth. The idea that she needs be protected came like that; she may be beaten, abused, harassed, neglected, petrified, raped, belittled, yet protected so that one day she opens up her legs before the demarcated one, so that she spew out the same categories; that is matrimony for her. So long as she delivers, she sustains the racial/caste barrier on. What a great exploitation of her anatomy for the racial benefit of the nation!!  Does she know that, when she celebrates the birth of her child, she celebrates the racist legacy of her nation as well?

So love or freedom in matrimony is anti national, anti tradition and anti legacy.  Love marriage is miscegenation that goes against the wish-list of manu.  

India gains freedom

If India became a sovereign democratic republic in 1950 made any change in its race-caste systems, it is to transform manu's wishlist into its 'science' of anthropology. Imagine our democracy had seen the need for forging a national identity beyond caste and race for its people, how nice it would have been and how united the nation been!!. 

If so, how could a few monopolize the nation's capital, resources and power?  That is, racism for economic-survival through class/caste-matrimony made a record survival in the free India.   

In the wider scenario this sense of class-survival encompassed the entire population; in addition to race, caste, gender, anything that could define power became points of human segregation. Authority, coercion, subjugation, oppression, intimidation, control and all such decided human relationships in families, societies and the nation at large and not love.  

Love happens mostly outside matrimony; because in a matrimony that is not necessary because authority and intimidation can make it work. 

So love is a misnomer there; an illusion. If anybody benefits out of that illusion is the entertainment industry; writers can write stories on it; T.V and film industry make big business out of it and every youngster's love is a glittering silver screen hero.

Manu represents the brahmanic religions, but all religions in India though discrete in theology, have common ground when it comes to matrimony.

Contemporary India
Even the highly educated and the resourceful among the women in India never questioned the above mentioned system of power- formula in relationship, though it affected them the most, at the rate in other countries.

But things are slowly changing now.  Now, as they enter the public spaces of globalism, as bread winners or economic adventurers, they feel economically empowered. In family spaces, traditional, agrarian, patriarchal and hierarchical economy is making way for modern, individual-salary-based economy which is no more only man-based.  Economy decides power, if so, power is no more concentrated in men only. But economic empowerment alone cannot create social empowerment; the former without the latter is a recipe for disaster. 

In other words, women are also feeling that power-factor in them; immediately it sets in an air of competition in both private and public spaces. 

The message is that, it is time to open up new ways of thinking on women-empowerment in society, or empowerment in general. But puritans are hell-bent not to budge an inch; they prefer moral policing and enforcement of social control on women. In Kerala, the state known for its development indicators, moral police raiding on individual's privacy is a day today event. 

 Income that daughters bring in to homes is good, luxury it affords is sweet but if they have a desire for the 'other', terminate them is the family honor line; even mothers are willing to strangle daughters with bare hands.  Moral policing, honour-killing, khapu panachayat are like- terminologies for female termination in the name of honour.

Woman a nuisance

As times goes on, men and women are diverging apart; majority men in their nostalgia of old-gender power have renewed their allegiance to the puritans.  Their joint message to females is this; we are here to make sure you live as per tradition, if not, we will see to that, that you get punished in whatever way we think appropriate and we are well supported by institutions; of governments, law and order families and religions. 

I make reference to the following two articles

 Why is India so Bad for Women?  It was posted in guardin.co.uk. 

The other one is a two-part post written by J. Devika  part-1  and part-2

When you read this, you will get further glimpse into what I am writing about the contemporary India.

 Men and women are two separate parts of one whole, with one need watching over the other; they are equal not one superior than the other.  But in the present scenario; men are moral policing women; they are indoctrinated by the socio-racial sectarian ideas that comes from the age-old racially motivated theological tradition for economic survival. Love has no chance between them, before or after marriage, but only power, authority, coercion and control. So love marriage is not a popular option there.  

This post is dedicated to all men and women in India who have suffered moral policing in one way or the other.  


  1. Good One..All the best :)

  2. nice post :) all the best !
    here have a look at this one too when you get time :)


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    thanks a lot. i visited your post, I agree with your idea in your latest post. But I could not make a comment there. when I tried I got some problem may be next time ;))

  4. Saurabh,

    I read your post. I like it. thanks for letting me know about your post. All the best for you too:)

  5. Thanks a lot saurabh for your words and best wishes.

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