#Opinion

No. Arranged Marriages Are Not Always About Woman’s Submission

potential groom
While browsing through social media, you will often come across reels which show the difference between arranged marriages and love marriages. And to our disappointment, the difference only highlights how patriarchy limits women and their agency in arranged alliances, Wondering how?

Consider this – if a woman keeps a ghoonghat and is afraid of her husband, she is in an arranged marriage. But if a woman dresses the way she wants and vibes well with her husband, she is in love marriage. The point is that in an arranged marriage, women are supposed to be submissive and fearful of their husbands. While in love marriage they are equal partners. However, arranged marriages are still a common site in India. 

But is this a fair way to differentiate between arranged marriage and love marriage? Is it right to define any type of marriage as a bond in which women are submissive? Is it right to assume that women can be free only in love marriages?

Marriage, for ages, has been about a man’s right over a woman – be it a father’s right over a daughter’s decisions or a husband’s right over his wife’s body or her agency. This is the reason why arranged marriages are sort of considered the standard norm in India. We still believe that “parents know the best.” The concept of arranged marriage solidifies the idea that male relatives or elders should decide on behalf of the woman.

But today, the country is pacing towards modernity and women are the makers of their lives. They do not need anyone else to make the right choices for them. Yes, some women still depend on their elders for the big decisions in life. But those decisions are not forced on them. They are at least allowed the freedom to say no.

With changing times our focus should be on escalating the pace of changes which make relationships more equal. This will help women who are still forced to conform to patriarchal rules to think differently.

Maybe, love marriages are better as they include a romantic backstory to them. Society is also slowly shifting its focus from looking at love marriage as rebellion. Many young people also consciously choose arranged marriages. But it is just not right to assume that if a woman chooses arranged marriage, she is up for a doomed life. It is completely an individual’s choice if they wants love or an arranged marriage and there is no wrong choice in it. 

Every relationship is unique. The small yet big sacrifices spouses make for each other and how they solve conflicts without creating distance between themselves is a key to a successful marriage. But it is important that every marriage must have her consent, trust, mutual love, equality and understanding.

The views expressed are the author’s own.