Yes Justice Katju, Marriage Is A Beautiful Institution

03/02/2015 8:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
Weddings in the India can often be long ritualistic and elaborate affairs with many pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding ceremonies. The occasion of Mehndi ceremony is often one of the most important pre-wedding rituals especially for the bride. It is a fun filled ritual, which is celebrated mainly by the bride's family.

I couldn't help but borrow the title from Justice Katju's post in which he extols the virtue of marriage to men. This was actually the first thing that caught my eye about the post. Why only men? So I would like to reply as follows.

To all single women out there: get married. Marriage is a great institution. You get love (and laid without public scrutiny or judgment because a large part of what marriage means in this country is sex between two people to which society does not object, because they went round and round a fire). However, given the fact that most of the men of our country have been brought up with the idea that women are their social inferior, you may find it hard to find companionship and friendship. Of course, a background check of your proposed partner is a good idea to find out how he actually perceives women. That he would be there to greet you and prepare a cup of tea for you when you get home after a hard day's work is highly unlikely. However, if you do land someone like that, I suggest you don't let go in a hurry.

This country's men are wonderfully chauvinistic. Of course not all of them, so the aforementioned background check is a must before you make one of them your life partner. The nature of a young man is much more important than his physical appearance. I know of some very beautiful young men who are wonderful but gay and therefore of no use to single women wanting to get married and reproduce to carry on the "vansh". Of course, I know of some very ugly men too, who staunchly believe that the fact that they are men is the sole reason for them to be married to the best woman out there. These men don't take rejection well. So, once again a background check is recommended.

To all the plain and ugly women out there, do not despair. If your nature is wonderful then you have nothing to worry about and will land a good husband soon to make his life heaven (because that is the purpose of your life). The beautiful ones: sit back and take stock of your nature. Because if it is terrible, your beauty will not stand you in good stead, even if your terrible nature is brought on by a worse one in your husband.

Justice Katju advises a background check on the woman's qualifications to the men. This is all very good. However, we cannot forget that many families in Indian society still don't believe in a woman going out for work and promptly expect her to quit her job the moment she is engaged, married or pregnant. This sad state of affairs is even bandied about in ads such as this one.

The mobile network is depicted as connecting women to the outside world through mobile phones and the internet, while keeping the patriarchal way of life unchallenged and intact by ensuring that they don't leave their homes, not because the network is so efficient, but because they aren't allowed! It concludes with a bunch of women sitting in a courtyard (their faces dutifully covered by their dupattas) studying from smartphones. Let's not forget this is a part of India in 2015. Coming back to whether the woman is "able enough to earn some money in these days of high prices" - it seems to be a rather derogatory way of choosing a life partner. A woman would thus be better advised to check on her husband and his family to pre-determine whether she would be allowed to work after marriage.

Justice Katju sums up women with this gem: "A woman is angry at one moment, happy at the next, angry again the moment thereafter, and happy again the next." They do sound like neurotic, absent-minded bipolar creatures. Thus, on the topic of quotes that make no sense, here is an anonymous one for men: "Never try to teach a pig to sing... it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

To all women: Get educated, get a degree. Be respectful and respectable. Have a brain but don't be crass. Be a feminist but don't interpret it to mean making men's lives hell. Marry a guy who is well read and educated. If planning to live with his family, get to know them. Have tea with his mother, lunch with his sister. Urge him to do the same for you and your family. Buy a car together. Don't give it as dowry. Teach your children the importance of a healthy relationship.

Marriage is a beautiful institution. The caveat is that you marry someone who perceives marriage as a union between two equals.

More On This Topic