CLASS: BA LLB 1ST YEAR
ROLL NO: B-52
MARRIAGE: A CONSTANT INSTITUTION
Man is a social
animal and is not fit for one to live alone. Marriage is one of the most basic
and important social institution of Indian society and also an important stage
in one’s life. The concept of marriage varies from state to state, community to
community and from time to time. In India, marriage is considered as a
sacrament and not a mere civil contract. It is regarded not only as an union
between a man and a woman but an union of two families.
According to H.T.
Mazumdar, “Marriage is a socially sanctioned union of male and female, or as a
secondary institution devised by society to sanction the union and mating of
male and female, for purposes of (a) establishing a household, (b) entering into
sex relations, (c) procreating, and (d) providing care for the off-spring.”
Horton and Hunt,
defines marriage as “the approved social pattern whereby two or more persons
establish a family.”
EMERGING CHANGE IN MARRIAGE
Marriage is a
constant institution but has and is undergoing a drastic change. Marriage has evolved
greatly throughout its long existence. In developing India a lot of changes
have been brought about. Following changes have been observed:
CONCEPT OF MARRIAGE
in ancient India used to be a compulsory subject of one’s life. But, due to
western culture influence people prefer live-in relationship rather than marrying.
people were not allowed to have love marriage or inter caste marriage. But with
changing times, mind-set of people has changed and people now accept the
concept of love marriage, inter caste marriage,inter religion and even the
concept of homosexual marriage.
ancient times, remarriagewas not favoured. Even if it was permitted, it was
never considered as sacramental as the first one. The Widow Remarriage Act,
1856 brought about change and allowed widows to remarry. Due to the untiring
efforts of the social reformers and educated people this practice started to be
accepted on a large scale.
rites and rituals of marriage only with family members used to be the past
concept of marriage celebration but with changing times marriage has become a 5
day event where people invite all their kiths and kins and celebrate by
spending huge amount of money. Pre wedding shoots, wedding planner, destination
wedding, wedding dresses etc are the trending factors today.
STABILITY OF MARRIAGE
under specific circumstances got permitted after the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 got
introduced. Traditionally, it was not granted by the society to dissolve a marriage.
Women earlier could not even think of divorce and present day they take resort to
break the marital bond.
medieval times marrying a girl younger than 12 years of age to adults was
prevalent. People thought that young girls were irrational and irresponsible in
love and could take steps or do acts which could put the honour of their clan
at stake, so they preferred putting them into the marital bond at a younger
age. People from every strata of society started following this trend as they
believed it to be a pious act.
Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 also known as the Sharada Act mentioned age
of marriage for boys as 18 years and for girls as 14 years. The act got
repealed later. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 increased the
minimum age for boys as 21 years and for girls 18 years.
child marriage has become a rare scenario. Women have become more educated,
independent and rational. They too like men want to work and make career of
their own and they prefer marrying only when they feel like to and no one can
pressurise them. Education has broadened minds of people and they have become
more liberal. Parents now want their child be it a boy or a girl to study and
make their future and marriage has taken a second stand now. Urbanisation and
industrialisation has brought about this major transition.
property and money that a bride brings to her husband’s house after the
marriage is defined as dowry. In previous times this system was voluntarily
done out of gratitude and love but as times passed by, this started taking the
shape of a necessary evil custom of society. This concept brought about alot of
unrest in the prevailing society. Parents who could not fulfil the demand of
the bridegroom’s family, were looked down upon and their daughter often
resorted to committing suicide. Domestic violence, mental and physical torture,
etc. became a general news headline.
was passed against this system in the year 1961.This act did bring a lot of
changes; people did fear the punishment and avoided the practice. But none the
less this system could not be totally eradicated from Indian society. Still in
some parts of the country dowry is taken in one form or the other. Though the
graph has show decline but this act still prevails.
FACTORS LEADING TO THE PRESENT SCENARIO OF INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE:
rapid growth of industries has got a huge impact on the institution of
marriage. With men being employed in every field, industrialisation brought
women into lime light and they too started working in industries. This
advancement made women more independent and no one could boss them or compel
them to marry. Working in industries gave women another advantage of selecting
marriage partner of their own choice.
URBANISATION- Growth in
urban centres or cities or towns leads to affecting marriage. In rural areas
marriage is more of a religious and necessary ceremony whereas in urban places
it is more of a social ceremony. In present scenario couples prefer live-in to
marriage. This factor of urbanisation has also lead to increase in the number
of divorces in cities compared to villages. It has also provided a large scope
of pre marital and extra marital relations.
EDUCATION- Education has
played a major role in marriage. Both men and women are educated today which
leads to having their own strong opinion and views. In case of marriage also,
the youth takes the sole decision of whom to marry, how to marry, etc.
Education has widened the mindset and people instead of performing mythical
rituals go for simple wedding. Education should even lead to the eradication of
dowry but unfortunately in India the situation is totally opposite. If a man is
holding a higher degree in education, demand for dowry is directly proportional
then. Being educated also makes people known to various laws and legislations
which does lead to increase in instances of separation, divorces, etc
LEGISLATION- Reforms in
beliefs, ideas and rites of marriage has brought about a drastic change in the
concept of marriage. Laws in India have been made on the basis of various
aspects. Below are some of the most important legislation passed at various
PREVENTION OF SATI ACT, 1829- Widows in the ancient times were forced to die in
the funeral pyres of their husband. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, famous social activist
and the then British Governor General of India, Lord Bentick together raised
their voice against this evil practice. After passing of this legislation, this
act got strictly prohibited. If someone still sorting to this act would lead to
the crime of culpable homicide and punishment would be awarded.
HINDU REMARRIAGE ACT, 1856- Social reformer, Pandit Ishwara Chandra Vidyasagar
pressurised the British government in India to pass this legislation as a
compliment to the above act. Earlier, even if a woman was escaped from the
practice of sati, they were not allowed to remarry. This legislation made
provisions for widow marriage and served as a saviour to them for a respectful
CHILD MARRIAGE RESTRAINT ACT, 1929- Marriage of boys under 18 years and girls
under 14 stood as an offence according to this legislation. Later, this law got
amended in the year 1978 and for boys 21 years and for girls 18 years stood the
minimum age of marriage. Simple imprisonment and fine was the punishment for
the violation of this act.
DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961- Practice of dowry was prohibited under this act.
It only permitted the exchange of gifts of worth Rs. 2000 and above that amount
led to violation of this act. Punishment of 6 months imprisonment or a fine
upto Rs. 5000 or both was rewarded.
Above mentioned each factor has a unique
and huge role to play in the changing trend in the institution of marriage.