Evolution of Marriage in India

Matchmaking in India has a rich history that reflects the country’s deep-rooted cultural values and traditions. Over time, the process of finding a life partner has undergone significant changes, with the rise of technology and changing social values contributing to its evolution. From ancient India to the present age of modernity and technology, marriage has still maintained its sacred element. Be it ancient swayamwars of the past or the right swiping of today, marriage is still taken very seriously, with emphasis placed on finding a partner who truly fits the family structure. 

In traditional matchmaking, community matchmakers were responsible for finding suitable matches for eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. These matchmakers would often be women in the community who came together and used their knowledge of various families and their social standing to match individuals based on caste, religion, and family status. Once both families approved the match, the marriage would go ahead. The process of putting names in temples seeking divine intervention for finding a life partner is still prevalent in some parts of India. 

Arranged marriages have been an integral part of Indian culture, where a union of two souls was given a divine and sacred status. In arranged marriages, the family members of the bride and groom take on the responsibility of finding a match, basing their decision on factors such as caste, religion, family status, education, and job prospects. Although the process of arranged marriage is still widely practised, the process has become more formalised over the years. Gradually, parents would present a bunch of choices to their children who had an increased autonomy and a right to choose their partner, even under the arranged marriage structure. In the era before the rise of digital technology, matrimonial ads in the newspapers played a significant role in the arranged marriage landscape. Due to limited space, the ads were condensed into a couple of words describing the seeker and a few words for the groom or bride they are looking for. As the two identities were reduced to a few impressive and carefully chosen keywords, the essence of love and compatibility was lost between age, height, caste, profession, and complexion. 

As the country modernised, the advent of technology and the internet revolutionised the concept of matchmaking in India. Online matrimonial websites became increasingly popular due to their convenience – this ensured a wider range of options as matches were no longer limited to recommendations from neighbours, acquaintances, and relatives. These websites provided a platform for individuals to create a profile, search for suitable matches, and communicate with potential partners. However, in the quest for convenience, the essence of finding a soulmate can sometimes be lost. Marriage is not just a union of two families or two biodates, but of two seekers of love who are going to build a life together. An increased reliance on algorithms and filters fails to incorporate any soul or passion into the search. 

In the realm of modern marriages, it’s imperative to ensure that the soul is never lost, and that the process of finding one’s life partner never becomes mechanised. When two people choose to spend their lives together, in sickness and in health, it’s a promise that transcends all the confinements of age, height, complexion and salary that archaic marital conventions had compartmentalised them in. It necessitates a complete submission to love, a profound faith in our own ideals, an unwavering trust in destiny, and a bespoke search for the right person in the right place.