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Indian Marriages: Packages Count More Than Relationships

Well, you might have heard the idiom that "Marriages are made in heaven" any number of times by any number of people on different occasions. In literary terms, it means that the fate or destiny of who we marry is decided by a higher power, such as God, and not by human choice or action. At the same time, you also cannot rest for sure hoping the same and on their own.

Male chauvinism gets a gate pass: There was a time in this country when male chauvinism dominated all along when it came to marriage and life later. Parents of female children had a series of horrible instances to narrate when it came to marriage. The ill-treatment of the newlywed girl by the husband, his siblings, in-laws, and their friends and relatives appeared to be a never-ending story for a lifetime. Daughter-in-laws being packed to their parents' houses for the ever-increasing demands like dowry and whatnot never ceased to exist. Luckily, all those wicked practices seem to have dipped over a period of time or have not been reported the way they used to be earlier. Meanwhile, it looks to be the other way around hinting at a gradual extinction of male chauvinism.

Dowry torture and deaths:
A few decades ago the crime-related columns in the newspapers were flooded with news items related to cruelty on dowry. Less said is better about the physical torment, apart from not mentioning the mental agony due to the harassment. During a casual interaction at his Mudigere Handpost Coffee estate along with veteran journalists late Garudanagiri Nagaraj and Dr C Sitaram, KP Poornachandra Tejasvi, renowned author and environmentalist had pooh-poohed the champions of culture and tradition. While blasting all those boasting of rich tradition and diverse culture he had wondered as to what sort of culture is burning of daughter-in-laws?

Packages account for more than relationships: These days, for many brides it looks like packages account for more than relationships thus making it a burning issue prevailing in Indian society. Says Nandagopal Desai-"Today I received a call from a close relative, normally, he won't call anybody, unless he has a burning issue. He lost his wife a fortnight ago, leaving behind this gentleman with two grown-up sons aged 35 and 30 years old. Both the youths are meagre earners say Rs 35 thousand to 40,000 rupees, staying in Bengaluru...

...First to Hyderabad, next Bengaluru:
Now my relative is bent on performing marriages of his wards, but salary packages come on their way. The city of Kalaburgi, normally called backwards, now boasts four universities, six engineering colleges and twelve polytechnics. Thousands pass out from there and go in for a job hunt, first nearby Hyderabad, next to distant Bengaluru, very rarely one goes to foreign countries on merit, like Dharwad youngsters. The city of Kalburgi, with its seven lakh population, has a lot of marriageable boys, with packages ranging between 10 to 15 lakh rupees per annum. Though qualified girls are plenty in number, the parents there are least interested in the above range salary packages...

...Incidents common throughout India:
An incident to quote, a daily wager under a caterer, has a marriageable graduate daughter. Another of my relatives, who draws a Rs 70,000 pension herself, is searching for a girl for her only engineering son with Rs 80,000/- monthly earning. The above daily wager, even he had no courtesy to call on the old lady, at the threshold itself, disposed of her, saying, that he intends to marry his daughter to a boy whose package should be above Rs 40 lakhs. This situation prevails in all upper castes there. Such incidents are becoming common now throughout India".

No takers for Rs 50,000/- package! Ramarao Kulkarni laments-"My nephew employed in an IT firm in Pune with a Rs 50,000 salary per month, is not getting any offers from the girl side for marriage. Last month, both of us were travelling in a taxi from Andheri East to Dombivli East in Mumbai...

...Taxi driver's predicament:
The taxi driver Shaikh from Shahpur in Yadgiri district had a different story to tell on his unmarried status. Shaikh owns 30 acres of irrigated land with the due inflow of upper Krishna project water. But no girl is interested in marrying him for he is a full-fledged agriculturist. As an alternative, he is a taxi driver now in Mumbai and planning to fly to any Arab country to do driving, so that any offer may come to him for marriage".

40-45 years of age and bachelor! "Similar is the case of Raju Patil from Jamakhandi. I met him six months back in Vatslya Dham Ashram Mudhol. He is a diploma holder in mechanical engineering runs his firm, and has employed five persons. He is now 38 years old and desperate that his community girls prefer employed youths with high-income packages, that too living in a city like Bengaluru. He is very religious, with high moral values, and has almost given up the hope of marriage. He is ready to go in for an intercaste girl if found suitable. Of course, Brahmin families are very few in villages, but very rich landlords with sugarcane fields still stay in villages with their bachelor sons even aged up to forty and forty-five years. This is the case with my nephew from Ugar in Belgaum district", narrated Krishna Bhat.

No Brides to Farmers: Like elsewhere in the country, even in the state of Karnataka no girl is willing to marry youths involved in farming. People in politics proclaim agriculture to be the backbone of the country but lads committed to the noble profession are at the crossroads in finding a life partner. At the time of previous state Assembly elections, a group of unmarried farmers in their late thirties and forties from Mandya and neighbouring districts went on a Padyatra to Male Mahadeshwar Hills. Actor Dolly Dhananjay launched the hitherto unheard feat and wished the farmers to get married soon. However, no reports have come so far on the success of their mission.

Do you have parents? "Many prospective grooms share a variety of experiences in their search for brides. One said-"Many girls ask directly whether I have parents; whether they need to live with the in-laws after the marriage; can they live separately after getting married...". Prabhu, a senior journalist in his early forties is aghast with his concern about looking after his ailing mother. He says, many girls inquire whether he has baggage(parents) still left with him.

Better to be single: Dr DS Poornananda, retired Professor and Head of the Department, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Kuvempu University revealed a peculiar development of those of marriageable age in the US. He recollected the experience of a person running a match-making agency as a voluntary social service-"These days, many youths in the States prefer to remain unmarried and the reason for such a strange stance is the unimaginable experiences one is forced to undergo soon after the marriage and become a single over some time. So, it is better to remain single rather than undergo the untold ordeal of ending up into a nightmare for the remaining part of life".

Okay, it's a girl: The times are changing so fast and swiftly making an unassuming impact even on the thinking and perception of the people at large. A journalist friend's wife from Mumbai exclaimed-"Earlier whenever women gathered after the initial exchange of pleasantries they used to ponder over whose kid married whom. People behaved strangely as soon as they learned someone marrying a girl of another caste or religion. But all such inquiries are of the bygone days. Anyone's caste or religion is no more a matter of discussion. Now they only heave a sigh of relief after ascertaining that finally, it is a girl the boy has married!".

-Manohar Yadavatti


  1. Chennai, dowry and bear all the expenses. Very bad situation.

  2. Money is indeed at the root of the problem .We have just begun to earn money in the westerners terms.Our society is just beginning to feel the pinch of acquiring an earning - not proportionate to ones own skill , but to a figure based on what the other (Westerner)can spare for his own comfort .And we dont mind following his lifestyle too . I have a lot of unmarried relatives into their 40s but then every generation has its own challenge. The challenge of my generation (am at 65) was we had to first earn enough to wipe the slate clean of the bills of papas generation ( taking care of parents , sisters marriages , brothers education etc ). Atleast there was pride and happiness all around.

  3. Nicely written article on today's problems. One more case in the society, is the learned Vedic-Brahman who is called Pundits or Sasthrigalu or Vadhyar are also not able to get married. Today the literacy level of girls are higher than previous generation. So they are in a dictateble position. As you rightly said in conclusion so long as the marriage is between a boy and a girl people are happy 😀


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