Mushtaq ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam
17 May 2017
Marriage is one of the cornerstones of any
society, the very source of a family that comprises its basic unit. Marriage as
an institution has been under tremendous strife during the 20th and 21st
century. There are innumerable reasons responsible for this strife particularly
a fact that challenged the very basis of marriage. It was voiced from various quarters
that why it was necessary to legitimize sexual relations in the name of
religious or social norms by tying the nuptial knot? The debate is still raging
and it has its essence and valid reasons to articulate the views that
institution of marriage should be discarded altogether.
Marriage in Asian tradition is one of the
most sacred institutions that has survived the tumultuous of time. It is
religiously sanctified and mainstream society accepts only that couple and
children who belong to the legal institution of marriage. This institution
despite being a best evolved mechanism of procreation and enjoying the sexual
bliss has its deep flaws particularly for those who are living the reality of
marriage. It is because of these sad realities most of the humour and satire is
related with married couples, in which men are portrayed as victims.
Though most of the scorn is reserved for
women and wives because of patriarchal culture in which we all exist. The
marriage in Asian cultures mostly is an affair of two families with would be
bride and groom just pawns in the whole affair of marriage. The choice of the
real stakeholders is rarely taken into consideration. Further the relationship,
though a beautiful one among a man and woman is retrograded to being a source
of vice and depression particularly if the boy or girl wants to marry out of
his/her choice. The situation is further complicated if the question of caste,
region, religion, status and economic background is involved.
Some lovers fight, correct the wrong and
get married leaving behind their home and hearth. Others bury their love and
move ahead in their lives most of them marrying though with little interest in
their life partners. Some do not opt for marriage and remain loyal to their
love that they could never materialize in this world. A decade back if the
breakup happened in a relationship, most of the partners snapped their
relationship completely with no means to access each other. Further there was a
mature realization that if marriage has been commensurated there is no looking
back, harping about and lingering on with the past, despite the fact that the
first love does not fade away till death though its intensity bleaks out. Also
one would give up to the forces of fate and be content with the partner that
he/she got as spouse and justified their suffering or happiness in marriage as
Destiny (Taqdeer) that the Divine had already scribed for them.
Now with the revolutionary tools of
communication that has made it possible to remain connected with a person 24/7.
Thus despite marriage many couples even after breakup do remain in contact
though initially they may block every means of communication. In every marriage
there are hiccups, tussles and clash of egos that take time to settle down. But
when you are in Love one tries to overlook all these clashes and brush them
aside to forgive and forget, as love is in the air. But once in marriage, the
door of second option is closed and one has to reconcile with the fact that the
spouse has to be tolerated. The tolerance level has its breaking point, so at
their lowest ebb facing a personal crisis, the married individual is very
vulnerable to seek solace out of small misadventures.
One of them is trying to reconcile with the
old, ex or previous lover or finding a new one either through social media or
in work place. Each spouse is aware of the fact that meeting or finding a new
love or reviving the old one will not have tangible results but despite that to
escape the monotony and drabness of marriage they opt for this risky journey.
If discovered as compared to early relationship of love the revelation can have
disastrous consequences for the marriage and children.
But now it has become a common norm thanks
to the quick means of communication and majority of women working that has
increased their chances of exploring many options besides to their husbands.
Men as they say are swine’s always on prowl but earlier due to patriarchy, lack
of means of communication and economic disempowerment of women they rarely opted
for extra marital affairs, but now as the trend is changing so we do witness a
surge in these affairs but they being a taboo, thus very few are ready to
accept and talk about them. With each passing day the cases of extra marital
affairs are going to rise and society will have to deal with this reality and
be prepared to face its consequences.
The fact of the matter is that among the
elite and metropolitan cities extra marital affairs are no new thing, but now
middle class is also exploring these options. Thus the crisis has become
multifold though we still are in denial mode that these affairs are still rare
and have not impacted the family structure as such but in the coming decade the
demographics are going to witness an epidemic change.
The more we try to deny the reality of
extra marital affairs, the more its vicissitudes are going to haunt us. Love if
not present in the marriage will be sought after, outside its ambit despite the
challenge of the society to call it illegal, immoral or licentious. Love, care,
respect are the founding blocks of any relationship and for marriage if one of
these is missing the relationship drags on without being a source of solace for
The boundaries of caste, colour, religion,
region and status need to be cut loose and love needs to be made a priority
while consummating a marriage. The parents need to understand that Love needs
to be given priority instead of caste or society that gossips anyways about any
issue under the sun. The marriages and its foundations need to be based on love
rather than any other considerations, only then can extra marital affairs
become a distant reality. The marriage is a beautiful relationship but we tend
to base it on everything except the love. When our marriages are full of love
and bliss only then we can have peace and tranquillity in our society and
M.H.A.Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar,