marriage in modern terms has become a thing of style; it is a trend for marking social statuses with intricate ceremonies/rites and lavish reception. for Indian society, marriage is a huge constitution worth thousands of dollars in which most Indian family put it as a 'life's goal'. most will understand by the cheesy term of 'settling down'. marriage is exaggerated as if it a liberation for happy life.
being as complicated as it is, women is a core 'center piece' of marriage. especially Indian marriages. with the rules and rites that one must follow, it does not stops right there. the regulations and social conduct on 'how woman should behave' after marriage also pre-destined on woman's fate.
since the times of Mahabrata till now, i would say, women are regarded as baby-making-machine and less traces of self respect is given. in Indian cluster, freedom of woman ends with humble notion of Thaali/Mangal Sutra. it is very hard for Indians to look at women as equal to men. worst to say, maybe in any other culture too.
Women fast for betterment of children and husband. they only allowed to marry once. re-marrying is considered filthy. dowry seem to be 'predetected price listings with social status'. they wear Thaali, they wear pottu as a sign of belonging of another man. to me all these seems like psychological arrest to show inferiority to a man.
being clutched in such manners, women are not encouraged to go out on her own accord without husbands regards. in total contrary, men as husbands don't fast for women, able to remarry or practice polygamy without social distress. more we talk, the more we will digest it as double standard-ness.
People tend to barricade a woman's freedom and here life after marriage totally changes into new perspective. Society puts mental pressure on woman that, they are bound to their husband no matter how corrupted he is. talking about that, a perfect example come to my mind. The story of Nalayani.
" It is stated that in an earlier birth as Nalayani (also named Indrasena), she was married to Maudgalya, an irascible sage afflicted with leprosy. She was so utterly devoted to her abusive husband that when a finger of his, dropped into their meal, she took it out and calmly ate the rice without revulsion. Pleased by this, Maudgalya offered her a boon, and she asked him to make love to her in five lovely forms. As she was insatiable, Maudgalya got fed up and became an ascetic. When she remonstrated and insisted that he continue their love-life, he cursed her to be reborn and have five husbands to satisfy her lust..."
- source - -click here for more on Nalayani -
the character of Nalayani that appears in Holy scriptures urges woman to become a total devotee to her husband although even he is a leprosy-affected bad tempered guy who gave no pleasure to his wife. that kind of sentimental threat is pressured every now and then on woman, among Indians especially.
though there are men fights for gender equality, rites and practices that undermine woman still exist. what we need is, challenge the old conservative practices with questions. give fresh thoughts to withering old thinking and start to view life from a new perspectives. rites and rituals should reflect our civilization and not our close mindedness.
புதியதோர் உலகம் செய்வோம்
ps : pictures attached are for illustration purpose only. feel free to comment and criticize.