Marriage is a universal social institution which has been established by human society to control and regulate one man’s sexual life. Marriage has been sanctioned by customed laws such as which include guidelines for:
- Sexual Behaviour
- Division of Labour
According to the Hindu Texts the 3 aims of marriages:
- Rati-Sexual Pleasure
Forms of Marriages:
- Polygyny: A single man marries more than one woman
- Polyandry: A single woman married to more than one man
- Monogamy: One man marries one woman
- Group marriages: Marriages of two or more women with two or more men
Marriage system has been observing radical changes in the system over the time of independence. Though basic religious belief associated with marriage has not been crumbled. Practices, customs and forms have been witnessing changes, in fact many changes.
Foremost change which is being found is the change in the form of marriages. Earlier, polygamy used to be a very practiced form of marriage taking place. But today, polygamy is not found anymore, only monogamy is being persistently practiced over the years.
In the traditional society primary objective of marriage was the duty of each individual to carry forward the family legacy, but today the objective has been shifted to the only aim of maintaining life-long companionship. Changes have been found in the process of mate selection, field of selection has become wider and inter-religious and inter-caste marriages have become common.
Parents have been playing a very active role in process of selection of life partners. Young men and women have been selecting their life partners lately and priority is given to their choice than their parents! In the process of selection, importance has been given to individual interests, considerations and not family considerations. There has been an increase in instances of love marriages. Child marriages have been prohibited, and the legalized age has been made. The legal age for boys to get married is 21 years, and a girl is 18 years. Pre-puberty marriages no longer exist.
Legislative provision for divorce and widow marriages has adversely affected the stability of marriages and undermined the importance of age-old values related to marriage. The concept of equality affected the stability of marriage ties.
Dowry associated with a marriage made marriages costly affairs and have set an example for an evil deed. Marriages used to settle on a consideration of dowry. Huge money has been spent on decorations, processions, videography, and music.
There has been an increase in the instances of divorce and desertion. Sanctity has been thereby not been affected and has not reduced to the level of civil contract in Indian Society.