Arranged? Assisted? Love? Marriages are coming in many forms these days, each with its own challenges and rewards
As far back as I can trace my ancestry, everyone in my family, up till my own parents, has had an arranged marriage. Now, however, I am seeing my cousins having Western-style love marriages in ever-increasing numbers. This is not in my family alone—many school-age Hindus nowadays have boyfriends or girlfriends, and almost everyone has a crush of some sort.
Of course, none of this is happening without backlash from the older generation. Parents, grandparents, and even some sons and daughters fear that due to the increase in casual dating—often with no intention of forming a long-term relationship—arranged marriages, a key part of our culture, are gradually disappearing.
Arranged marriages aren’t necessarily a bad custom. In a culture where the word for divorce is nonexistent at best and a made-up or foreign loanword at worst, divorces are now on the rise. At the same time, however, many youth argue back that love marriages have always been a part of our culture, citing the popular love tale of Radha and Krishna as an example.
There are two questions we must answer. One, are love marriages good for society? Two, what is the future of marriage among Hindu youth? Especially outside of India, such as in the United States, it is crucial that we answer the latter question.