Marriages in India are mostly arranged. Caste and creed are still very important in this ancient nation. Status and the family also takes a predominant role in settling marriages.
Money came last in the olden days, but now it is the prime issue. Physical appearance is also of great value, but comes second to the quality of the family. There is a firm belief in Indian society that the background of the family is very important. Any flaw, small or large, the magnitude does not matter, is considered a weakness. The prospects for these families get restricted; other qualifications, such as wealth, education, and position, get brushed aside while fixing marriages.
Of late, astrology and reference to horoscopes command a lot of attention settling alliances. There are many compatibilities to be analysed. The placing of Mars or Kuja, Rahu, Ketu, and Saturn or Sani in the twelve houses are scrutinised for a marriage proposal. Mars or Kuja in houses 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, or 12 of a Rashi or lunar chart, is Kuja dosha or manglik dosha. So if a boy with this dosha is married to a girl without this fault, the marriage will result in childlessness, disappointments, loss of happiness and wealth, and misunderstanding between husband and wife. So this dosha is to be carefully handled.
Thus many potential matches are not considered and many beautiful proposals do not end up in wedlock. The same effect occurs from the placement of Rahu and Ketu in various houses; their presence point towards unhappy marriages, divorce, and illness. Another fixation that scuttles worthy alliances.
When a marriage does happen, after careful matching, and amidst religious rituals and prayers, along with the blessings of elders and relatives—presumably, life should then go on, with no hindrance. But in reality does it?
Divorces were few in India a decade back. But now they are common. There are more divorces than marriages. Second marriages among women were unheard of some 10 to 15 years back. But now most girls seek remarriage immediately after getting legally divorced. Horoscope matching, which promises a long and happy wedded life, is shown to be baseless.
Yet Indians continue to be swayed by astrology, and of late the profession has become a money-spinner. The Indian subcontinent, which is fast becoming a powerful economy, should put these beliefs behind it. Marriages should be based on the fundamentals of happiness, pride, and the qualities of the bride and the groom.