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MARRIAGE - for better or for worse.

Education is meant not only to widen people’s outlook of life in general and increase one’s awareness in particular, concerning society, surroundings and the world we live in, but also to be more patient and understanding towards people around us. The more educated in terms of academic accomplishments a person gets he acquires a liberal and more enlightened view of life and is able to adjust to his family and fellow beings much better than a person of lesser educational qualifications. The reason is that during one’s formative years of education one needs to adjust and cooperate with his fellow students who come from diverse backgrounds which one may not have been exposed to if he had continued to live in the protected environ of his home.
Thus it is expected that people with education as wealth in their kitty will find it easier to live and adjust because of a liberal mind and transcend all barriers of nation, state, religion, caste, sex and any other petty divisive perception or belief that come in the way of unity and progress of inter-human relationships of every kind.
But we find that in-spite of being “educated”, we sometimes remain bonded to the old partisan attitudes, and improvise it to suit our selfish end and win an argument in a difficult situation. This not only hampers the progress of the person but also affects his inter-personal relationships and his societal relationships as well.
In these sixty odd years of free and progressive India, women have acquired rights which even advanced western countries of the world have not been able to acquire. It is such a pleasant feeling that one day there will be 33% seats occupied in the Indian Parliament by women. This is plenty to be proud of. There is no need to reaffirm that the fair gender has accomplished success in every field of life but there is no contradicting the notion doing rounds that family life has become unsettled due to women becoming as qualified and holding as challenging jobs as men. Joint families being a thing of the past, couples are forced to depend more on domestic helps who can in no way ever compensate for the emotional tie between family and a child. The formative years of a child spent with maids, who come from totally different backgrounds, unnoticed at that point of time, sometimes plays havoc in a child’s life much later. It’s too heavy a price to pay which cannot be ignored.
Late marriages have become a regular feature due to women choosing to get higher education and lead an independent life before settling down in marriage. Society now accepts it as a norm. But a new concern the society has today is that this young generation, is readily following the western concept of separating from their spouses at the slightest disagreement or incompatibility which has become, if not a norm, a bad pattern. If we look around we are bound to find someone in the family, among friends, or a colleague’s, neighbour’s daughter or son either planning to or living separately from her/his respective spouse not due to reasons of exigency but because of discord that may be resolvable. This separation cannot be a painless experience, but by the number of instances happening, it seems that it’s become the most easy and convenient option to choose. Legalities are very easy these days so one does not need to rethink anymore. The reasons can be numerous and maybe sometimes logical too, but the end product is, no doubt, painful, especially where there are children involved. In earlier times, marriages, like property or heirlooms, were meant for keeps. It’s so painful to see it is not so today. In marriage there are a lot more things to look for than just the acquisition and show of assets and high qualifications, influential positions etc. of the partners or those of his/her family. At times these are paid more attention than the important issues of compatibility and the basic principles of the institution of marriage such as give and take. It’s high time the young attached more importance to this great institution of marriage.
It’s very difficult to pinpoint or even assign any reason for this change, which in the long run is creating an unacceptable situation, of young generation becoming lonely and unhappy. This may become, possibly, irrevocable and what a sorry state that would be. Due to a large number of “live alone” situations, there is a lot of apprehension in the minds of this generation who are yet to get married. That’s not a happy situation!
Is exposure to the western life style acquired during higher education a reason? Or is it the newly found freedom of women with their financial liberty that makes them feel a little more than equal compared to those of our (earlier) generation. Whatever the cause, the sufferer is the family as also the society. Keeping a marriage going needs affection, patience, compassion, sacrifice, adjustments, forgiveness, tolerance understanding and a lot more. We expect them from mother, daughter, sister, and wife. As being women, they are the ones whom we fantasize as the custodian of these emotions.
But is education detaching them from the very root of being a woman? Then is illiteracy better? If progress means sacrifice of familial and societal values then should we opt for backwardness?
Can something still be done to change this state of affairs?
I wish I knew the answers.

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About The Author

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Vandana Bagchi

Home Maker/Housewife

Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

Born and brought up in Allahabad. Educated in Allahabad and Delhi. Taught in various reputed schools in Delhi, Mumbai and Shillong. Now enjoying retired life in Bhopal

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