Marriage Pressure

with 4 comments

After a morning jog, I read this news in a Tamil daily while having tea on the road side. I took the pages of the daily along with me. This is the English brief of the Tamil print.

Kavitha (female, 27) committed suicide by hanging out of the frustration and unfulfilled expectations  because she was not able to get married for a long time.

Dinathanthi News

Courtesy : Dinathanthi (Tamil Daily) dated 12-April-2011.

Download Pdf – Courtesy : Dinathanthi (Tamil Daily) dated 12-April-2011.

This news dominated my mind which resulted in this post.  We cannot trace what happened inside Kavitha’s mind before killing herself, but we can relate this to our knowledge with the present social setup we have in India. In India Marriage is considered as a mandatory certificate to mark the completeness of a females life. If someone is crossing the marriageable age and not getting the right partner, they are under a severe social pressure. The pain is more cruel to females than males. “ Still Not Married ”  is the cruel tag everyone spits on the girl when she is crossing or already crossed the nonsense “ Marriageable Age” bench-marked by our tradition.

In India there are women who really want to get married but not able to make it because of multiple reasons. The reason can be anything. It could be money because dowry is an essential component of the Indian marriage market, could be caste in a closed traditional system, could be she didn’t met the match of her expectations. The reason can be multiple but the fact to be discussed is how the society treats these women who had already crossed the conventional age of marriage. The pressure starts within the family from parents and elders who generally feel a burden imposed by the society to have an unmarried daughter. And they don’t hesitate to transfer the pressure on the already frustrated girl with their words and behavior. The words from relatives will add more fuel to the fire. Generally this situation is exploited by relatives who are waiting for a chance to criticize the entire family. In some cases this will be the leisure topic for the neighbors, they make all the blame on the family or the girl for not getting married. In the case of working women the stress comes from colleagues too. The “ Still Not Married ”  tag is often used in Indian offices to destroy the self confidence of professionally successful women. The crooked critique need not be a chauvinist male colleague, it could be another jealous female not able to digest the success of a fellow female.  And when ever the girls place is visited by the boys family, she has to dress-up like a doll and sit in front of everyone answering all sort of queries. If the visit is not positive the pain is for the girl. If more and more families come and see the girl she will be under a higher degree of mental torture. All these makes everyday life of the girl a tough one, Her self confidence goes down. Sometimes it affects the thought process and takes her to a mental depression. This is where people like Kavitha end their life. Although its not their mistake in not getting married, they feel inferior, loose their own personality and often fear to face the society. I don’t feel Kavitha killed herself, its the society which killed her with its stone age rules.

On the other side there are women who feel they themselves are not ready to marry, they may want to marry after reaching their own milestones in education or profession, or they don’t want to get married in the conventional way. The cruel society doesn’t leaves them too. It still fries them with all its backwardness.  People never mind whether the girl wants to marry or not, they simply ask stupid questions like  Still Not Married?When is your Marriage?I think all your batch mates are Married?. Even in this century the success of a professionally shining Indian girl is measured by her alienation towards the conventional marital life. The stress they face is nothing less when compared to the one Kavitha has faced. It requires lot of courage and patience to face the marriage pressure, as the  pressure comes from the loved ones in the family. Now a days women often use their profession to go on for a lengthy overseas trip just to escape from marriage pressure. At least the IT professional have this escaping tunnel, but the rest of them have to live inside the pressure cooker.

These days the marriage pressure is experienced by the Indian male as-well. Guys raised with progressive and modern thoughts don’t want to jump in to the traditional and artificial marriage market. They are subjected to same kind of pressure women are experiencing for centuries.

In a society where natural meeting of male and female is void, and dating is a bad word, thus exists a culture of artificial arranged marriages, Its has to be the individuals decision to choose the time of his/her marriage. It should not be driven by social pressure.

The next time if you meet someone single…..Please don’t ask  When is your Marriage?


Written by palindia

May 3, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Posted in Indian Culture

4 Responses

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  1. I hear you Pal. Now there is a new trend. When someone questions these tradition which doesnt make any sense and the society couldn’t answer they think the person who raised the question is stupid, bad influence and untouchable. Its like they want everything to be so called “Sacred” which is beyond questions and doubts. Like when you question about military spending they say “you are not patriotic”, doubts about sai baba “He’s god and beyond doubts” something like that. Lot of things has to change and these are new “Anna Hazare” supporters who themselves are corrupt and stupid and ready to point fingers and stay corrupt and carry on the old traditions.


    May 4, 2011 at 2:09 AM

  2. Hi! A nice write-up; actually a heart-rending one, esp the death of a young girl, and that too for nothing but coz she cudn’t get into in an ‘institution’! I think most people succumb to this pressure of marriage for various reasons. See, for example, it’s difficult to even enjoy a movie alone or go to the beach or even a pub! This is esp true for girls. Our culture is so screwed up that being alone is in itself looked like a curse. And, all of us are brought up to enjoy company and detest being alone or doing one’s own thing. One will be termed a loner, loosu, head strong, etc. So, people have this fear of being left out or called names! Unless people find pleasure in doing things on their own, appreciating solitude, and finding their own inner voice/calling, this mad rush to marry at the right time (than the right person) will continue forever. I think it’s important to know oneself really well before venturing into marriage, because that’s not going to solve any one thing. As long as young people refuse to understand this, they will continue to succumb to pressure like Kavitha or like million others who get into loveless marriages, have marriages of convenience, or remain deeply depressed about their singlehood.


    May 4, 2011 at 10:31 AM

  3. Nice article Pal. It is pathetic that our society is not showing growth on attitude but on other aspects. It would be good if people like Kavitha stop giving importance to such talks. But I understand it is very difficult to do. But it would be nice if we get into a mindset that just ignores everyone else in the world and just be truthful to oneself.

    Ganesh J

    May 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

  4. This is a problem with every Indian middle class citizen. This is not the first or the last problem created by the society. Even after marriage any man or woman will face the next problem immediately after 90 days. (i.e) “When are you planning to have a baby?”

    In a normal situation, the first social pressure a male could experience is the Marriage pressure. For women the social pressure it starts from the day when she cross 12 years. Slowly, many will start understand the society and tune to live with that. The last pressure she will be having at the most is “When are you going to have a baby.

    So don’t stand on this pressure for a long time, keep moving.


    May 7, 2011 at 12:02 AM

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