By Kul Bhushan
Love is all. Marriage is secondary. It has two opposite starting points: love before marriage as in the West (now globally) and love after marriage as in the case of the East.
The Emperor of India, King of England, Edward VIII fell in love with an American twice-divorced woman in 1930. She could never become the Queen so in 1936, he gave up his throne for his love and lived with her happily after. And 350 years earlier, the Emperor of India Shah Jehan loved his wife Mumtaz Mahal who bore him 14 children so passionately that he built the Taj Mahal as the ultimate tribute to his everlasting love. Happyho also provide best Meditation classes and yoga classes in Noida and Delhi NCR India area.
But in today’s fast changing societies like India, both systems exist side by side. As women assert their equal rights under the law; become more and more educated; and enjoy sexual freedom with contraceptives, marriage has become weaker. So, a third alternative – a ‘live in’ relationship of living together without getting married – has been introduced. Indeed, the Indian legal system has also recognized it.
Boy meets girl. Likes the girl. Meets her again and again. They come closer – emotionally, mentally and perhaps physically. They fall in love. The boy proposes, the girl accepts. They get married and are supposed to live happily ever after. The End. No way.
In fact, it is the beginning of a new chapter of adjustment, compromise, suppression, torture, slavery et all. They have to sort it out themselves. The one who gives in first, has to give way for the rest of his/her life. If they do not divorce, they endure each other – the story of many modern marriages, mostly in the West.
In India, marriage traditionally starts with parents. They become worried as their girl matures into a woman. They search, advertise or network for ‘a suitable boy’. Once the basic conditions of age, caste, education, income, among others, are acceptable, comes the famous invitation for tea at the girl’s house to ‘see’ the girl.
Beneath the broad smiles, callous evaluation goes on. If all goes well, an engagement and some courtship happens before marriage. Again, the same adjustment begins but now it is responsibility of the parents to make the marriage work. Thus, fewer divorces.
The educated and liberated woman prefers ‘live in’ or at least fantasizes about it. Some do it for real. In the West, some couples have had a ‘live in’ relationship for many years and then decide to get married. Once married, they cannot tolerate each other for even a few months. Divorce!
Osho has talked about all these aspects of marriage happening now. But with one major difference – he looked into the future and spoke 50 years ago. He said how marriage is becoming irrelevant if one is in love; how women have become more empowered with education and contraceptives, why one should not live in misery in an unhappy marriage, and that divorce should be an easy and even an enjoyable option.
Whether it is an arranged marriage or a ‘love’ marriage, as they say in India, it is weakening. The arranged marriage is increasingly challenged because it is argued that if it is not a ‘love’ marriage, is it a ‘hate’ marriage?
By Kul Bhushan