A few days back one of my friend was discussing a common friends problem with me. The problem is quite common and it has been the nth time I have heard the same problem. Two people fall in love and their parents oppose because they belong to different religion/caste/Language. Parents try to oppose and try various ways to stop them from meeting and in turn making the situation quite messy.
Two prominent questions that came during our discussion were
• Why do parents oppose their children’s prospective spouses on the basis of caste?
• Is it right for children to go against parents wishes and marry a person, especially when they (the parents) have done so much for their children?
I try to answer those queries. The views are of my own.
Why do parents oppose?
The society is made of undefined rules and regulation. We tend to group people together. Americans, Europeans, Asian, Africans, Indians, Marathi, Gujrathis, Malayalis, Brahmins, Kshatriya, Bhandari, caste, sub-caste, sub-sub-caste. We have our views, our thoughts about these people. It is always a group. You never think of a person as an individual. He/She has to belong to some group. We may not hate the person but we definitely hate the group, consciously or unconsciously.
If we look at any parents who have opposed their son/daughters marriage to a person of another caste, they have some view about the caste of the prospective spouse of their son/daughter. Deep in their heart, they may agree that the chosen person may be a good match for their son/daughter. But they can’t rise above their hate to accept the boy/girl, which means stepping on the happiness of their son/daughter. Once you hate a group, you hate all the people in the group.
If we look into ourselves, we hate some group of people. They may belong to a certain community, culture, religion or country or any other criteria. Where does this hate come from? From generations to generations. Who told us that these people are bad? You never knew them. How many people of that group you know? Not many! Because some elder said that in front of you, you assume that the whole group or community is bad. The same way, parents believe that all people belonging to the particular group are bad. They also has to go along with thier own caste people which support thier theory that all people from that groups caste are bad. He cannot go against his own people.
Now let me ask you a question. How do you justify any decision based on hatred? Are they right when a decision is taken on the basis of hate.
Is it right to hurt our parents when they have done so much for us?
No! You are right! Its not right to hurt our parents. Not because they have done so much for her, but because you love them and respect them.
But everything done for us by our parents, does it need to be repayed back? Did your parents do everything for you so that one day they could recover everything back with interest? Were you a bank balance or a blank check who would do everything for his parents just because they have given you so much? No! you are an individual.
Yes every relationship has expectations. Parents, wife, friends. It is not wrong from our parents side to expect something from their children. They are perfectly right. You love them. You take care of them. You look after their every needs, emotional and physical or monetary. It is your duty to take care of them and you should.
But at the same time, you have your life. Why does your every aspect of your happiness have to depend on your parents happiness? You get happiness by serving your parents and you are good at it. When you choose a partner yourself, you choose her according to the expectation you have in your life. You know or at least hope that she will make you happy. This can be right or wrong. It is possible that you are completely wrong and things don’t turn out to be well. But its your life. You have to spend your life with that person. And mind you, your parents will not be spending their life with him/her.
Choosing your life partner should be in the domain of an individual. Every individual has his needs, emotional, physical and even sexual. You choice of a life partner depend on those needs. And if you think that you need to go against your parents to fulfill these needs, it is a right thing to do. Do you think your parents will be able to help you, (even if they try) when things go wrong with a girl of their choice? I don’t think so.
Why do people have children? Not for you. Not because they have a moral responsibility to bring you on earth. They have children because they want to experience the happiness of parenthood. When they force you to marry someone of their choice, does it mean that they want you the price of giving birth to you?
A few would tell you that parents are more experienced and hence know what is right or wrong for you. But they are also human being and can make errors. I agree when parents can warn children of marrying someone who is not right for them. But opposing someone because he/she is of a different caste, I don’t see any logic.