Stop the criticism

Standard

For ages together, people seem to fail to notice difference between “wedding” and a “marriage”. One is a ceremony other an institution. One of the main reasons for this confusion may be the fact that, in many of Indian languages there is a single word for both of the above things. So when someone is criticizing an elaborate wedding, they end up using the word marriage.
I agree with the opinion that many of the weddings these days are about showing off, and is a place for gossip mongers, however I do not agree that marriage is such a thing, its not a place to be showing off, or doing any sort of a gossip.
There have been many a discussions about rituals associated with a wedding, and their significance. Even though I am not a big fan of following rituals blindly, I do have an opinion that many of them had a meaning and were relevant at certain period of time. Anyways ritualism is not the aim of this post. I do not think when it comes to “marriage” there is any place for showing off, gossip, finding fault with each other. I know one or more of the above mistakes are pretty common in many marriages, but this can happen in any relationship between a man and a woman, you don’t need to be married to face such issues. It depends on the individuals involved to keep them out of the marriage, just like in any relationship

When two people decide to spend their lives together without having to go through a marriage, its their choice. I do not think, there is anything wrong with it. Just like living together is a way of life, marriage too is an institution which has its own set of meanings, advantages, concerns, cons etc. One cannot dismiss marriage as a useless thing, just because they do not want to be part of it. Marriage might be one of the relationship which has been widely accepted by society, but that does not mean that society is the only reason one needs to get married. Marriage is way of stating one’s commitment to each other, establishing a stable environment for each other to co-depend, co-exist, and grow both individually and as a couple. The important thing here is “co”. If a couple choose to do this without actually getting ‘married’, its absolutely fine, I would be happy for them. But one cannot make a common statement that, all people who get married are for the sake of society, or that all marriages are like having a heavy chain worn across your neck. If you have this opinion, then either you have no clue what the marriage is, or your idea of a marriage is based mainly on the mindless episodes shown on TV.

Another major argument against marriage for years has been that of the loss of freedom. People go hours together how one looses freedom in a marriage. Firstly I would like to know how would one define freedom?. Is it ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want?. I strongly disagree, if that were to be the definition of freedom.
When a child is born, parents take care of their children; teachers make sure the kids learn the right values; relatives, friends and family guide them in matters of importance. In doing so, because of care, concern and shear experience, there are many a cases when a child is not allowed to do what it wants, does it mean it has no freedom?.
Freedom should not be defined as ability to do whatever we want to do, it should be defined as privilege of doing what we want to do, considering both the short and long term consequences of the act both on the self, and people around. Here is where the experience and society comes in. Not every individual has the capacity or ability to think of all possible consequences of their act on themselves, let alone on others around them. Here is where the experience matters, age, society, variety, etc can help in contributing to one’s choice of action. In doing so indirectly making sure freedom is being used appropriately.
I agree not everything, society/elders say is valid, but I do not agree that all the things they say is invalid. At a point of time, I might not be in a position to comprehend the reasons or the logic behind a particular rule [I would prefer to say ideology], but each of us have been given education, experience and ability to analyze and accept and reject things which come our way. It is the society collectively which provides us with this ability.
Coming back to marriage resulting into loss of freedom. What makes us believe such a thing wouldn’t happen in companionship without marriage. How many boy/girls are guilty of being possessive of their girlfriends/boyfriends and restricting their activities, how many people can be found guilty of tracking each and every movement of their partners.

So what if you are answerable to your spouse after marriage?, whats wrong with it?. Why is it considered to be a loss of freedom?.
Wouldn’t you feel great, when your spouse takes care of your things, helps you out in many a things, and you return by helping him/her out when a need arises.
Isn’t concern a valid emotion?, I do agree that there are possibilities of everything going overboard resulting in lack of peace. But how is that exclusive to marriage?. Finally it all boils down to individuals, both inside or outside a marriage.

I guess just because one does not find a need for marriage, doesn’t mean that marriage can be dismissed.
If one can attain the sanctity of a marriage outside it, or chooses not to attain the same, there is nothing wrong with it. But by doing so, I do not think they get to dismiss the institution of marriage.

DISCLAIMER:

I recently read a post by a fellow blogger whom, I also know in person. After reading the post, I ended up disagreeing to so many parts of the post, but I had a feeling that he/she would be defended if I were to post them over there. I really want to think over my response but not post them as a comment, hence decided to do a post over here. I usually tag the original post, but this time I am choosing not to tag the original post as I don’t want this post to appear as my criticism of the original post or the author.”

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13 responses »

  1. I think it is when people are unhappy that they tend to be critical of institutions – be it marriage or anything else. Some might resent being answerable because their wishes are not being taken care of? Maybe? Some might actually resent the lack of freedom – because there is genuinely a lack of freedom, you know? So it might be several things which lead to people criticizing it. Each to his own, I would say.

    • Do you mean unhappy in general? of unhappy with the institution?. I agree with you that in general if people are unhappy they tend to criticize, but many of them criticize a particular perception of theirs rather than the reality.
      I am ok with some of them criticizing the institution after being part of it, even then it is their marriage in specific, not all marriages can be alike right?.

      • ‘but many of them criticize a particular perception of theirs rather than the reality.’ – That is being a little juvenile. I agree.

        And yes, all marriages are different, and cannot be geenralized.

  2. Not intending to criticize the institution or the post, but, I want to tell you the freedoms lost or leading to dispute,especially for a female in India:
    1. Freedom to dress the way you want. daughters-in-law are supposed to wear Indian outfits in front of their in-laws at many places.
    2. Freedom to dress the way you want II: The bindi, sindoor, bichiya, mangalsutra, etc are supposed to be worn.
    3. Freedom to your identity: Ain’t you supposed to change your surname dear?
    4. Freedom to your financial independence: Hubby is gonna earn much more abroad. Why don’t you quit your job and settle there?
    5. Freedom to choose your festivals: Ain’t you gonna fast on Karva chouth? We celebrate this and that festival in this particular way. Though our son may be least bothered, you should follow Indian culture…

    I have listed the ones most common still. There might be more.

    PS… I wanted to write a post myself… but ended up ranting here instead 😉

    • Earthwire, Thank you for your comment and welcome here. I really appreciate you writing the ‘rant’ [I dont believe its a rant though :)] here it makes it easy to keep the conversation going.
      I would take it that, most of the loss of freedom you have mentioned here, is purely based on majority. I mean I am not going to say in many cases it is not so, and not all women lose the above freedom. But I tend to agree with you that in numbers, many a women tend to lose the freedom as you describe it.
      Now is it right to call it loss of Freedom is debatable. Its a change, I am not going to say if the change is for good or bad, because that’s subjective, and the opinion is prone to change with age, sex and relationship
      Lets take another example, when we are children or students, many of us have the ‘privilege’ of not having to support a family or earn our on bread, we get to spend a relatively worry free life with all our needs being taken care of, then we move on to college, we become a little more independent and tend to setup a etopia under the parameters of social and financial status we are subjected to. Once we pass out of college and start earning, there are various curbs on our time, money and social responsibilities. Would we consider this as a lack of freedom?. its a change, its a change in what we perceive as our duty.
      Now I am not defending any of the things you have mentioned, my thoughts on those are very different from the norm. But my point is that there are going to be changes with marriage, some for good and some for bad, it all depends on how we shape our marriage. Disputes are gonna be there, like in any relationships

      • Yeah… The points I mentioned are not against the loss of freedom after marriage, its more about loss of freedom after marriage in India for majority of women.

        And yes, though its possible to be firm and retain them, it comes at the cost of loss of peace.

        I would not agree in general that its just a change. The fact that you have to set your own home and be responsible for it, is a change. The fact that women may have to look differnt and part with some of their dreams, ambitions and identity might not be qualified as a welcome change.

        I am definitely not saying that one does not get married because of this. Its just one thing I wish you didn’t have to leave at the altar.

  3. While some of the reservations regarding marriage may be valid, I believe its not a bad thing. Like you said, what’s wrong in being answerable? What’s wrong in having a little less “freedom” than before? People change over time, that does not mean all change is a change for the worse. Whether marriage changes them or something else changes them, change is a constant. Why fear some change and discard the whole institute?

  4. I think every marriage is as different as each one of us is. Some work and some don’t. That is fine too. But because of that bashing the whole institution is little juvenile me thinks.

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