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Arguments for and Against the Practice of Arranged Marriage

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According to Encyclopædia Britannica (2009), for Indians, most marriages are arranged by family elderly based on caste, degree of cognation, financial status, education (if any), and astrology. In the article entitled “Marriage: Is love necessary?” in Little India on 2nd June 2007, Sudhir Kakar upholds the practice of arranged marriages among Indians. The article focuses on how the establishment of an arranged marriage is tantamount to the vision of love. Kakar (2007) started off by describing dream of love and how Indians are the same as the rest of human beings in the pursuit of love. He stated that arranged marriages are a norm and rarely seen as infliction by young Indians. Furthermore, he maintained that the reason Indians choose arranged marriage is because they define marriage as a family affair, with mutual values and background rather than the couples’ individual affair and they also consider parent-son and filial ties as the fundamental of family instead of the husband-wife connection.

The writer then established that social manners put love marriages under substantial pressure and most of them are despondent. It is later then asserted; the vantages of arranged marriage are a young individual does not have to worry about seeking a partner, regardless of his/her personal and physical traits and that true love do exist within time, as a product of contented togetherness, not infatuation. Sardar (2008) who is in the same view, ascertained that arranged marriage gives time and space to appreciate one’s partner, instead of starting at the pitch of pheromone intensity. Kakar (2007) also stated that although there are impediments that occur, the universal vision of passionate, consummate love and the cultural reality of arranged marriages will persevere in the Indian consciousness.

In the article “Don’t ask, won’t tell” in The Hindu on 26th October 2008, Vijay Nagaswami discussed about why arranged marriages fail. The article highlighted on how non-disclosure of facts before an arranged marriage may ruin the institution. Nagaswami (2008) stated that the amount of broken arranged marriages is on the rise and the main cause is premarital non-disclosure. Dnes and Rowthorn (2002) ascertained that marital fraud takes place when deception by one spouse causes a marriage that otherwise would not have happened and among of the examples are misrepresentation of social position, concealment of facts prior to marriage and nondisclosure of religious preferences. The writer gave three typical scenarios of how arranged marriages were negatively affected due to concealment of a spouse’s facts. He scorned this behavior and stated that the families restrained extraordinary facts and when the truth reveals, they further fabricate facts and reasons and this deepen the crisis.

The writer then brought up the issue of trust, stating that the main cause of non-disclosure was the fear to lose good coalition. However, when damage is done, the trust in the partner and the marriage is lost, process of re-building trust is needed and the balance of power in the union slants. Besides that, the writer also offers a solution which is prevention; avoiding concealment of any relevant facts before committing. He also suggests singlehood among Indians, saying marriage does not guarantee life-long contentment. The writer further gives elucidations so as to address consequences of non-disclosure such as being perceptive towards the faulty partner and also the act of forgiving.

Analyzing both articles critically, there are a few logical fallacies which have been committed by both writers. In the first chosen article, Kakar (2007) stated that a love marriage can turn into an arranged marriage when one or other sets of parents no longer oppose an unarranged love affair, and both sets of parents cooperate to bless the couple. This fallacy is called Begging the Question, which definition is clarified by Bowell and Kemp (2005) as when the certainty of the conclusion is supposed by the premises, with the conclusion reiterated in the premises in a slightly different form. Another fallacy discerned from the article is when the writer asserted that the dream of love exists in an arranged marriage within time and it is less romantic, after implying in the previous paragraph that the dream of love is constantly impeded by family obligations towards the elderly. This is called forming a False Analogy as established by Leki (1998), defining it as when two scenarios that are being compared are dissimilar in the relevant respects and thus the analogy is weak. Apart from the two fallacies, the writer did a fairly well in persuading the readers that true love does exist in arranged marriages, by giving ample analogies and comparing Bollywood movies to real life scenarios.

In the second chosen article, Nagaswami (2008) stated that after truth is revealed, the previously non-disclosing partner will further fabricate facts and reasons to solve the issue at hand and that will cause the crisis to be severe and concluded that the marriage is likely to fail. It is clear that the fallacy Slippery Slope has been done here. Slippery Slope is defined as when the arguer claims that a type of chain reaction, usually ending in some ominous effect, will occur but no evidence is provided for the assumption (Halpern, 1998). Another fallacy called False Conclusion is committed when the writer, after offering a solution to the non-disclosure crisis, he suggested singlehood to resolve the problem. As elucidated by Brennan (2007), fallacy of False Conclusion is defined as an argument which contends to verify one thing instead proves a dissimilar conclusion. Nonetheless, Nagaswami did capture the essence as to prove how non-disclosure could wreck an arranged marriage by giving three typical scenarios and stating the effect of non-disclosure which is loss of trust. The writer sways the readers into thinking that an arranged marriage has its downside.

Hall (1977) asserts that culture prevails in every aspect of human life which includes personality, methods of expressions and showing emotions, logic, maneuver, problem-solving, urban planning, infrastructure planning, as well as political functions. Additionally, Kress (1988) elucidated that each cultural practice is a communicative event, and each act of communication is a cultural event. From both premises, it is determined that the practice of arranging marriages falls under communication and culture. In the first chosen article, Kakar (2007) maintains that arranged marriages are a pan Indian custom, traversing the divides in education, social rank, religion and regions. The procedures involved in arranged marriages include a wide range of communication tools and methods, both traditional and modern.

In the second chosen article, is it established that marriages in newly liberalized India, are inclined to be arranged by families, either through a marriage broker, a classified advertisement in newspaper, an online marriage portal or traditionally: word-of-mouth (Nagaswami, 2008). There is no denying in prevalence of arranged marriages among Indians, whom are living in South Asia and the Indian Diaspora in the Western countries. Successes of arranged marriages are reputable as agreed by proponents. Toledo (2009) affirms that only 5 to 7 percent pf the arranged unions end in divorce, compared to 50 percent of other love marriages. Even so, there is also a sad reality behind this practice. The reason behind the low rate of divorce in arranged marriages is the maltreatment of the practicing societies towards divorced women and such paternalistic societies do not give equal rights to their female population (Afzal, 2002).

In conclusion, both articles have shed light on the cultural practice of arranged marriage among Indian communities, one in a favourable manner and the other, contrariwise. Opponents maintained that the advantages of arranged marriages are the consequences of non-disclosure and oppression of the female population. Advocators of this practice sustained how love, can and does emerge in arranged marriage and how the process that takes place makes it convenient to find a spouse. Nonetheless, an arranged marriage can never be as earnestly happy as the kind of love that shares affection, intimate compatibility, and genuine concern for each other which partly should be established before marriage.

Individuals that are bound in arranged marriages tend to be inexperienced as they lack character development and sexual experimentation that are acquired in the process of intermingling, dating and finding love. The debacles and celebration of arranged marriages will always reign across the horizon because it is an integral part of the Indian culture. More importantly, it is apparent now that there is still faith in humanity as human race believe in love, and the sanctity of union, be it arranged or not. Kahlil Gibran once quoted ‘“Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that the laws of humanity and the phenomena of nature do not alter its course” (Thinkexist.com, 2009).

References

1. Afzal, A 2002, The sad reality of arranged marriage in south asia, viewed 14 November 2009, .

2. Bowell, T & Kemp, G 2005, Critical thinking: a concise guide, 2nd edn, viewed 13 November 2009, .

3. Brennan, JG 2007, A handbook of logic, viewed 13 November 2009, .

4. Dnes, AW & Rowthorn, B 2002, The law and economics of marriage and divorce, viewed 13 November 2009, .

5. Hall, ET 1977, Beyond culture, Anchor Books, New York.

6. Halpern, D 1998, Critical thinking across the curriculum: a brief edition of thought and knowledge, viewed 13 November 2009, .

7. India: Family and Kinship 2009, Encyclopædia Britannica, viewed 13 November, 2009, .

8. Kakar, S 2007, Marriage: is love necessary?, Little India, viewed 10 November 2009, < http://www.littleindia.com/news/145/ARTICLE/1797/2007-06-02.html>.

9. Kress, G 1988, Communication and culture: an introduction, 3rd edn, viewed 13 November 2009, .

10. Leki, I 1998, Academic writing: exploring processes and strategies, 2nd edn, viewed 13 November 2009, .

11. Nagaswami, J 2008, Don’t ask; won’t tell, The Hindu, viewed 10 November 2009, .

12. Sardar, Z 2008, First person, The Guardian, viewed 10 November 2009, .

13. Thinkexist.com, 2009, Kahlil gibran quotes, viewed 13 November 2009, .

14. Toledo, M 2009, First comes marriage, then comes love, ABC News Internet Ventures, viewed 14 November 2009, .

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