A survey has indicated that even arranged marriages could end up in couples falling in love some day. The survey comes as a huge blow to khap panchayats.
It was observed that 96% of people who dropped tears at their spouses’ deaths in 2010 had had their marriages arranged by family. It appears that somehow, love happens even in arranged marriages, the survey said.
“It appears from the survey that love and marriage take place, both in arranged marriages and love marriages. Just the order is opposite,” says the agency that carried out the survey tabulation.
Conservative India has slammed the idea as a fluke with claims like weeping at the spouse’s death is a custom and not an indicator of love and attachment.
“Love is an outright outlaw activity,” says the Sarpanch of a Haryana village, in response. He claims to be a social reformer. “That people should be married off by family, is a custom, because a woman in our India is not a family’s permanent property, and a man needs to have children to populate the country beyond China’s reach. Where does love come into the picture?”
The Sarpanch himself is proudly accused of killing his own daughter for falling in love with a boy in the neighbouring village. About loving his own wife, he says in rustic Haryanvi, “No comments.”
To the idea that kundlis must match before an arranged marriage, a village elder in Uttar Pradesh denies that the purpose is that the couple have a long loving married life. “The purpose is solely to make sure that neither the man nor wife go away with anyone else. Marriage, as an institution, is a jail, where two prisoners have to be together, love or hate each other. Young people who want love are too ignorant, and want freedom in even marriage,” he explained.
The survey was carried out mainly in rural parts of north India. Other survey outcomes include that 86% (arranged-)married women said they want their husbands to be happy and successful in life. 95% (arranged-)married men say they haven’t yet, but would like to say “I love you” to their wives. Most couples also believe they wouldn’t be able to live without their spouse, even though for the selfish reason that they had no one else to live with.
Several youngsters in urban areas are pretty excited by this “seemingly obvious” survey result. “It only goes on to show that getting a lover for life is more important than getting married. Why not find a lover in a million people and then get married, instead of first being married, and then finding love in that one person? It’s like buying a random cold drink first, and then hoping it turns out to be a Pepsi, instead of buying a Pepsi directly,” says a 20-year-old female DU student. Her friend put the love in arranged marriage as “a love manufactured over years just because what the society would say.”