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Arranged Marriage in India

Updated on January 31, 2014

History of Arranged Marriage in India

“First comes marriage, then comes love.”

The concept of arranged marriage in India has gone through many changes over time. Arranged marriages have been important in Indian culture since the fourth century. Arranged marriages are marriages that are set up by people other than those who are getting married. The individuals who set up the marriage may be the parents, match making agents, matrimonial websites, or a trusted third party.

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Early History

Early in history, girls were married before they even reached puberty. -This was so that the girl would be married before she would loose her virginity. Classical orthodox Hinduism came about in ca. 500 BC and this was a time when there was great emphasis on patriarchy and caste rules. Arranged marriages took place so that woman would be placed under the authority of a male. When a girl is a child, the father has the authority over her, when the woman is married, the husband has the authority over her, and when she is of old age, her sons have the authority over her.

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In Modern Days

In the modern period, the number of arranged marriages has lessened a little as social reforms have taken place & love marriages have become more popular. These days, Indian women can do well economically after independence of their parents. They are also well educated. A love marriage is one in which two people will decide to get married because they both have love and affection for each other and feel a sense of commitment and attraction. The partner does not have to be Indian in a love marriage.

Evidently there has been a huge change in arranged marriage in India over time. Child marriages in India have declined and now the legal age for marriage in 21 years of age for men and 18 years of age for women. Early in history, the bride and the groom were not asked for their consent to the marriage nor did they know anything about each other before marriage. Nowadays, two people that truly seem compatible will be set up for marriage & the bride and groom have to give consent for the marriage.

© 2013 Shankar Prakash G

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