Marriage is a social institution that was created to bring two individuals of opposite gender closer to each other tied in a bond of love and affection so that together they can raise a family and build the basic block of a society – “the family”. Once humans became social animal they realized that there is huge interdependence unlike animals and hence they had to devise a mechanism to create a long lasting bonding among the members/progenies of one parents and that was possible only when there was a common name and bonding originating from the names and genes of the man and woman tied to each other by the bond of wedlock.
As the human evolved along with the society we became more interacting with others and thus invented the beautiful gift of language through which we were able to pass on the thoughts and emotions in our mind to others around us. We became capable to give a cogent shape to our thoughts and ideas and started building units and institution to keep our society intact and long lasting. The humans thought it well that to have a strong foundation of a good society we must have a rock solid founding stone or the societal unit and thus came the other social institution called “family”. As said earlier the social unit family was a result of two individuals coming close and marrying each other.
So, the basic purpose marriage was supposed to help is to build a strong human society and keep it going. If we observe the society all across the world have similar kind of arrangement to manage the societal fabric. Our forefathers understood the immense value of marriage and thus they gave a due respect by having an elaborate tradition for binding two individuals in wedlock. Regardless the society or country or race we come from everywhere the marriage ceremony is celebrated with lot of fanfare and engagement. Marriage is one the most engaging and celebrated moments of the human life.
The Big Question: Why is it getting over?
If the marriage was supposed to be so sacred and one of the most important aspect of human society then why is it that more people are choosing to walk out of the wedlock and there is a rising trend of divorce all around us? What are the reasons and forces working to destabilize this institution? Or is the need for the marriage as a social institution over for the human society? Let’s try to find out the answer to these questions by doing some soul searching.
Technology the problem! And the modern life.
The modern times have brought us lot of technological advancement and ease of life. The life as it is today has reduced the interdependency compared to few decades earlier. There was a time when we had joint family so that multiple hands could work together to generate more food or resources to sustain and run the family. With the advent of machines and technology we could do the same amount of work with lesser hands. We also moved from agrarian society to industrial society and we could earn our salary to buy the food that we were earlier cultivating in the field. This led to breaking down of joint families into nuclear family. People moved from villages to towns in search of jobs and thus the need to stay with joint family reduced more.
The city life and its ways of dealing with situations with increasing dependency on technological devices reduced human real human interactions leading people to live in their own silos. Today we have moved from family TV watching time to watching movies on our own and personal devices and hence it brought down the family time spent together. Thanks to the advent of Netflix, Amazon prime et al that now one person can have his dose of entertainment by himself sitting in one corner of the house. We all became so glued to our mobiles, pads, tablets and computers that it brought down the gradual decrease in human to human dealings. Now our minds are trained to live with our mobile devises and without any human being around.
There are other reasons too which are becoming the causes for demise of the institution of marriage. Today’s generation has alternatives that were not present few decades ago. Like the live in relationship; wherein one can have all the enjoyment of a married life barring the responsibilities added with freedom to walk out any day and any time. This newer concept of two individual coming closer, staying together like spouses but lacking the strength of marital bond looked fancy to youngster but at the same time it disregarded the sanctity and societal value of marriage. Many have chosen and are choosing live-in over marriage as it is an easy going way just like two minutes noodles which they find better than the traditional food.
Legalizing same sex marriage under LGBT rights is also a reason to affect the age old tradition of marriage accorded by the society. People have alternative choices to move away from the traditionally established social institution of marriage.
The intolerant human mind!
The biggest reason for the downfall of marriage would be the paradigm shift in the mindset of the people. Today divorce is not seen as a taboo by Indian men and women and they are finding it quite acceptable to move out a marriage if it is not working out. Erstwhile, invariably, it was considered to be a taboo and people used to hide the fact of being a divorcee. But not anymore. Also, on an average the women folks have better earning capability unlike their mothers and they do not want to suffer in a marriage if they can take care of themselves financially. The economic freedom has also added to the uprising trend of divorce in India. This is quite evident from the fact that every family and district court is full of matrimonial cases.
Somewhere we the people have also lost our mental tenacity to cope with a situation and are becoming more intolerant with our emotions. Earlier “compromise” with varied degree use to be the ingredient to secure and keep the marital bond intact. This compromise and understanding had taken back seat as our individualism is more paramount than the group/family. (The compromise is not to be taken in negative sense here but to be understood as a way of life for earlier generation). Since me, myself and my happiness is more important than anything so even if I have to take a hard step of breaking the marriage I am fine with it. We have become so narrow minded that we choose ourselves over the family, spouse, kids and society.
So, a question comes up. Are we approaching towards the end of the social institution of marriage?
The answer may not be so easy but in one opinion it may not be the end of it. Human society keeps on evolving as per the needs of the current situation and may be this institution will undergo some changes too to come up in some different avatar. We can remain hopeful that one day we will have some form of marriage which will be stable enough to provide the succour and comfort to the humans that is expected out of the societal system of having family and marriage.
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