The other day I was going through my daily routine of reading the newspaper, and this article, a pure example of the yellow journalism we are subjected to, caught my eye. This was yet another celebrity gossip about a relationship going kaput, what was interesting though was the reason cited. Apparently the demand for prenuptial agreement did not go down well with the male and his family. Now the word “prenuptial” is almost unheard of when it comes to normal middle class families like us, this part of the new age marriage made me think a little.
Some time back I was interested in a speculation made by a person in media, he thought soon people will begin to demand medical examination results and HIV test results before agreeing for the marriage, which I kind of felt looked very practical, though totally against my belief of blind trust in relationship. Prenuptial agreements too appear to me as a step in a negative direction when it comes to marriage, when a couple begin their journey through the sanctity of marriage, should they really think about how they should handle a possible divorce?, at the beginning of such an important phase in life should one really worry about the money matters?. Or does it really indicate the lack of confidence in both the parties who are entering into the relationships.
As I said previously on one of my posts, most of us men are not prepared in the true sense when it comes to marriage, I think most of us learn the hard way as when we are required to learn, or just act on upon a adamant belief that we cannot do anything wrong, the same goes with the new age brides as well, I feel we think a lot less before committing to some things, and marriage or other relationships too have become a part of our actions. I do not think this is wrong, because that’s a phase of evolution our society is going through. So now when we are asked to do some risk mitigation, why does it hurt?. We are so used to this term when it comes to corporate world, every possible risk has mitigation plan, so in a country where number of arranged marriages are still high, isn’t failure in a relationship a huge risk and a high probable one, well may not be, but what’s wrong in having a mitigation plan, what’s wrong if a person or both in some cases want to decide well upfront how they are going to handle assets in case of a failed marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are not completely unheard off in Hindu religion, may be it was never about the money matters, but most of the verses that are sung as a part a marriage ceremony are nothing but prenuptial agreements, I agree its more in the form of the oath we take, but still it is an agreement, it’s a promise made by the groom to the bride and to the entire society. “Dharma cha, artha cha, kama cha, nathi charami”, this is the agreement/oath the groom takes in a hindu marriage which means
“ I , to perform the Purushartha of the human life in this form am taking or accepting he as my wife. She is already oered to the cosmic mind and cosmic will and to the eternal truth. (meaning this marriage is only to the continuation of the evolution.) I will not tress pass her in the performance of Dharma – all such acts that aid the evolution, Artha-all acts that allows to create utilities of life,(money earning is one such act that creates the utilities of the life, and the artha is not merely money or paper currency) and Kama- all such desires that come across in the life of us.( the Kama in the purview of the Sages is not only sex but the whole range of the desires.)”
[You can read the rest of the explanation here]
So isn’t this an agreement we commit upon?, may be in ages where the social commitment was of atmost importance this was more than enough, but as per todays society may be we need some legal agreements to just bring in the sense of commitment what is expected in marriage.
This is the point which made me think not so great about these agreements, I mean if the idea was to make sure people are more committed, and have a little sense of fear making them work hard to make the relationship work, probably I would have accepted the new age agreements with whole heart, but it appears as if these agreements are more to ensure none of the parties involved are in total loss in case it breaks, I feel that should not be the attitude when one approaches a marriage.
May be money does this to people, when lot of it is involved, the attachment to money is much more than to the loved one, and one fears that they might loose both at one go, and hence they want to safeguard at least one of the two, as they cannot [or may not ] be sure if they can permanently hold on to the other person, they take the easier route of safeguarding the one thing which they easily can, that’s money.
I am still not distinctively opinionated in this regard, I am being torn between the practical sense the subject makes to me, and also the negative vibes this brings into marriage. The absolute sense the risk mitigation brought by it to the table and the complete opposition it does to my beliefs of total trust in a relation.
Am I the only one who feels confused?, what do you guys think?, prenuptial agreements a possibility in Indian marriages soon?