Old wine in new bottles

As a Samnyasi, I am not supposed to think or write on this subject.  Already one of my shishyas requested me not to post one article in which I mentioned about sex (Moral Police).  However, what I want to share is my observation in society as a fellow human being than a Samnyasi—who supposed to live alone and away from society.  However I have to mention that this artificial separation between samnyasi and society itself wrong.  And I always insist that without a society around him, even a samnyasi has no existence or identity.

Well, coming to my point, when Sunday comes, I eagerly wait to watch one of my favourite program in Vijay TV—Neeya Naana (you or me) anchored by Sri Gopinath.  Already I posted some of my thought based on this program.  So when yesterday, I watched the program, I was bit disappointed, as one more topic on ‘love-marriage’ is again discussed in this program.  In the past also Gopinath conducted several such program on the same topic from various points of view.  However as I have no experience or interest in that topic, I always switch over to some other channels, which too I don’t want to miss.  During commercial break I (we) mostly switch between channels when two of our favourite program are broadcasted at the same time—at least to catch some important points in another program.

Before switching to watch a Carnatic Music program in another channel (TTD—without commercial break) I listened the introduction given by Gopinath—Love marriage in Tamil culture: those who oppose and support.  In his introduction Gopinath also said that due to fast urbanization, lots of love marriages are happening in Tamil society as boys and girls have more opportunity to know each other.

Well my point is not about love marriage or the statistics showing a sudden increase in it.  But, at least in Tamil culture love marriage is not a new concept and if one reads Sangam Literature—particularly ‘aham’ literatures like ‘Natrinai, Kurunthohai, Iyung Kurunooru, Kalithohai, to mention a few, one can read nothing but poems about love marriage and the opposition to it.  There is nothing new to discuss on this topic as both the group (pro and against) are going to give a rhetorical view on this subject.  As I switched to watch Carnatic music I don’t know what they all discussed in this program.

My point is not about the love marriage, but how the urbanization lowered the standard that once was cherished relatively with moral commitment and responsibility in love marriages.  My concern is the high percentage of failed love marriages now haunting so many families and society not only in Tamilnadu, but the whole India.  In the name of modernism and progress (also human right) while individual rights are promoted rapidly, that too based on Western views and values, the Indian value of family and responsibility (dharma =duty with moral responsibility) is fast disappearing.  I don’t say that there were no failed love marriages in the past.  There were many, even from the distant past, as we have ample records in literatures.  But in such failed love marriages, again women remain a victim.  While men (or boys) who deserted the girls, can easily find another life partner, whereas, the girls remain single as the social value of Indian culture easily not approve or arrange for a second marriage for a divorced/deserted girls.

We Indians have several common values which we can find in other civilizations—like love marriage.  However, we have our own social value which provides check and balance to protect the interest of the individuals.  Family is such strong Indian value, which provides security and identity to any individual in India.  And marriage is the responsibility of the family/parents which never ends with the marriage of their children.  Through marriage the parents brining the ‘daughter-in-law’ to the family and not merely arrange a wife for the son.  In India marriage relates two families and not two individuals.  When youths, without patience try to persuade their parents to give their consent for their love marriage and marry against their wish, then they cannot turn to them when they face some problem in their married life—particularly in their relationship.  But going along with the fast trend of urbanization in the name of modernity, when infatuation drives youths, the damage is done not only in their personal married life, but also to their immediate families, who might wash their hands from the responsibility to provide security to the love marriage.

There is hardly a village will be left in India, particularly in Tamilnadu untouched by love marriage—with or without the support of the parents.  However, the social fabric of village provides some kind of security to the girl, when she will face some problem in her marriage with the boy.  The boy cannot easily escape from his responsibility and commitment to the girl.  Whereas in urban areas where individuals have to live without a face, many of our cherished values of the past—including love marriage is facing serious problems and challenges.  I wish and hope that Gopinath and other discussed this aspect in that program too.

Db. January 21, 2013