Monday, 3 October 2011

Arranged Marriage. Do you agree?

(This topic came out in an actual MUET test some time ago. Having discussed the topic with my present students, I've tried giving my own opinion on the issue, and this is what I came up with. Guys, I hope this will help.)

Arranged marriage takes place when parents or the elders in a family choose the spouse for their child, usually to tighten the bond of families involved, for social or business benefits. Popular in most ethnics in the olden days, a man normally did not know his wife to be, or vice-versa, at least until a few months before the wedding day, and in most cases, the couples were not allowed to meet, what more to have dates like youngsters do today. I believe that this practice, for whatever reasons it may be, is irrelevant in today’s modern world, and is certainly against the global basic human right.

A marriage is like a lifetime contract, where a man and a woman agree to spend the rest of their lives together under the same roof. To be able to do that they need the bond of love, where understanding and tolerating each other are among the fundamental aspects of life to be practised. This will lead to a long and happy marriage that will later be inherited by children, generation after generation. As in the case of arranged marriage, where couples are supposed to fall in love only after the wedding, all these are not guaranteed, thus resulting in unhappy marriages, if not short-termed. Yes, some may argue that couples who are married out of love today are bound to be divorced too, as obviously reported in cases of artistes and celebrities. In my point of view, these are results of not true love, more towards the love of materials and the glamorous lifestyles. If only understanding and tolerance are put as priorities, the marriages will definitely be long-lasting.

Many years ago, in a world where most working sectors were dominated by men, where women were confined at home for household chores, youngsters had very little chance to meet, make friends, fall in love and eventually marrying spouses of their choices. This was why arranged marriage was very much in favour then, without which, the home-bound girls would end up as spinsters, and the men would suddenly realized that they are old and without families. Imagine being forced into such a marriage, despite having gone to school, colleges and settling down with jobs that allow you to meet people of the opposite genders that provide a wide choice of the Mr or Mrs Right? Certainly it would be a frustrating experience to be married to a stranger without your desired quality, especially when you have identified one that suits you among your colleagues. This proves that arranged marriage is not suitable today.

Allowing children to choose their spouses should be a practice that inculcates a sense of responsibility which could be useful in building happy families and bringing up children of their own successfully. Parents are then not liable to whatever happen to their children’s marriages unlike in arranged marriages where they are held responsible for the welfare of their children’s marriage. Problems arising in their marriage lives should be solved through understanding and tolerance, which, as mentioned earlier, are the basic elements of love. Parents should be contented to just share the children’s happiness. This, again proves that arranged marriage is simply irrelevant today.

When a couple decides to tie the wedding knot they would be entering a life where everything is to be shared, which is impossible to be done with a stranger. Young people should therefore be allowed to choose their life partners for a happy and long-lasting marriage. Arranged marriage should not be practised.

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