EVOLUTION OF MARRIAGE IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION: The institution of marriage has evolved over time. It has not been a dramatic shift, but rather a gradual shift over the last century. Marriage was defined in a very different way by our predecessors. Marriage is interpreted differently by each generation. Changes to marriage that we now take for granted have sparked debate at one time or another. Many years ago, no one would have accepted the concept of same-sex marriage, but now, the judiciary has declared it legal in practically every country. In addition, each faith has its own set of marriage regulations. The core purpose of marriage as a legal contract remains the same today, but the legal duties have changed according to societal developments.

In urban India, a large percentage of people are now allowed to exercise their right of refusal until they find the ideal match, to the point that parents are okay with their children taking charge of their own lives.

DEFINITION: There is no single description that encompasses all sorts of human marriage. A number of definitions and explanations have been provided. The following is one of them-
According to a sociologist named H.T Mazumdar “marriage is a socially sanctioned union for a male and female to establish (a) household (b) sexual relations (c) procreation and (d) care of offspring.”

LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: The right to marry is part of the Indian constitution’s Right to Life, which states that “no individual shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty unless in accordance with the method established by law.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948, acknowledged this right. Stated in Art. 16 of the same-

  1. Men and women of full age have the right to marry and start a family without regard to race, ethnicity, or religion. They are entitled to equal rights in marriage, both during and after the marriage.
  2. Only with the free and full consent of the intended spouses may marriage be entered into.
  3. The family is society’s natural and essential group unit, and it is entitled to society’s and state’s protection.

TYPES OF MARRIAGES:
1.) Polygyny– Polygyny is a type of marriage in which a single guy marries multiple women at the same time. It was used by the majority of ancient civilizations. It was widely used by ancient Hebrews, Assyrians, Babylonians, Indians, and other peoples. It is currently popular among primitive cultures, but it is mainly restricted to the wealthy. Eskimo groups, Crow Indians, African Negroes, Nagas, Gonds, and Baigas of India all practice it. It is, nevertheless, legal in the Muslim community. Lord Krishna and his eight wives are a typical illustration of polygyny.
There are two types of Polygyny: a) Sororal Polygyny, in which the wives are related as sisters;
b) Non-Sororal Polygyny, which occurs when the wives are not sisters.


2.) Polyandry– Polyandry refers to a marriage in which a woman marries multiple men at the same time. Polyandry is practiced by Indian tribes such as the Tiyan, Toda, Kota, Khasa, and Ladhaki Bota. Previously, Kerala’s Nairs were polyandrous. It is, however, a rather uncommon sort of marriage, and it is usually an impromptu response to unusual and extreme circumstances. Draupadi and paanch Pandavas is a classic example of polyandry.
Polyandry can take one of two forms: a) Fraternal Polyandry: In this type of polyandry, one woman is considered the wife of brothers with whom she has sexual intercourse. Adelphic polyandry is another name for it. The children are treated as the elder brother’s offspring.
b) Non-fraternal polyandry: In this case, the spouses do not need to be close before they marry. The woman visits each husband for a short period of time. The others have no rights to a woman as long as she lives with one of her husbands. One of these polyandry forms was Nair polyandry. If a kid is born from such a union, a particular ritual selects any husband as the child’s social parent.


3.) Monogamy– Monogamy is a type of marriage in which one man marries only one woman at a time. This is the most common and popular type of marriage among both primitives and civilized people. It generates the most intense feelings of love and loyalty. “Monogamy is, has been, and will continue to be the sole true type of marriage,” according to Malinowski. Monogamy was considered the best type of marriage by the ancient Hindus.

RULES OF MARRIAGE: Marriage is a highly essential social institution, as we all know. As a result, no community permits a couple to discreetly pair off and begin living as husband and wife. Many people are affected by the obligations and advantages that come with marriage. As a result, every civilization has created a pattern for guiding marriages. Hence, the selection of mates is the most crucial step in the marriage process. Though there is no set norm for selecting a spouse, guidelines have been established from time to time to control the process.
1.) Exogamy– Every human community has rules that govern the relationship between the sexes and the selection of a partner. Almost everywhere, intercourse between close blood relatives such as brother and sister, father and daughter, and mother and son is forbidden. The law of exogamy is a restriction based on common social group membership.


2.) Endogamy– Endogamy is a type of marriage in which people are forced to marry within their own caste or other social groups. This rule prohibits close relatives from marrying. Endogamous marriage is defined as a union between two people who are members of the same group. In truth, endogamy and exogamy are both relative concepts. From one perspective, what is endogamous is exogamous from the other.

TIMELINE OF EVOLUTION OF MARRIAGES:
1.) Strategic alliances
2.) Consent
3.) Sacrament of marriage
4.) Divorce
5.) Same-sex marriage
6.) Live-in relationships

CONCLUSION: In India, marriage is an institution that has evolved over the years. Marriage is seen differently by each individual and faith. In addition, several sorts of marriages are practiced in our country.
Every individual marries to meet his or her own wants. Various adjustments have occurred in the marriage as well. Marriage is regarded as a holy institution. Nowadays, many who want to save a lot of money opt for a court marriage. In the future, new types of marriage may be introduced, as well as new regulations.

ENDNOTES: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/feelings/matchmaking-india-semi-arranged-marriage-parents-6533072/

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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