Revolution in sexuality and marriage The relations between man and woman in India have changed in the last decade. Both the genders had a demarcation in playing their roles in the society that worked out as there were rules to follow. Traditionally sexual life began after the marriage (arranged by families), then if the couple were lucky it blossomed in to love.
There is a leap from one formula to another-love, sex and then may be marriage. Many upper middle class Indians believe that sex and love is the only s thing that matters in a relationship especially in marriage. The change of thought may have fulfilled the demands of a relationship; however it has led to many crises in our society. Arranged marriages are shattering although few boys and girls I spoke to feel that they have had their fill of relationships; let the parents do their duty of finding partners for marriage. This is a core selfish attitude of youth today.
Any social revolution goes through the hypocrisy and hard to accept situation. In the time tested life of this ancient civilization; it is a painful transition for the society. Parents of today struggle to come to terms with reality and most of them live on denial. Their children out there have set their new value system and there is multiple break ups, suicides as boys still feel possessive about their girl friends and cannot handle rejection, divorce rates on the soar, open live-in-relationships, extra marital affairs and we live in a state of confusion.
The changes are happening at a cyber speed; it is affecting the corporate life of youngsters. I know this youngster who works as an engineer in a reputed company aspiring to grow along with the organization. He is in a relationship and wants her girl friend to tag along with him in achieving his goal. She is in a job too and very liberal in her views on sex and love. The boy wants her earnings after marriage but cannot accept her being so free with her colleagues. He is in depression today as she left him for someone else as she found her relationship very stifling. He lost sight of his goal and may take time to move on. The boy may be living in the shadow of his upbringing.
India is one of the world s youngest countries; technology has been the game changer. Television, face book, Twitter, you tube, online porn, and group chats are expanding the horizon of India in to a whole new world that is seems a bit pretentious at this point of time. The cyber crimes are on the high with one cyber victim every 8 minutes in India.
I wanted to explore in India socially this time as I was always busy being a performing artist all my life. I have viewed India as a hub of fine arts, music and dance, temples and spirituality. It is not the same India I left behind for sure. I had people telling me to find boys and girls for arranged marriages, constant emails being exchanged matching horoscopes; the whole process seemed very bizarre.
There is apparent polarities-traditional and modern, internet dating, going on holidays together and yet trying to arrange bollywood style weddings as if the bride and the groom were meeting for the first time. Why should there be stress in the wedding procedure when the boy and the girl know each other well enough? Why should people break their marriage if there is already love and sex? Logical mind gives you an answer that love or arranged marriage makes no difference; it is the demand of the changing time with minimum commitment to maximum benefit in every sphere of life.
Marriage breaks because of lack of understanding of the whole concept. Man cannot live like animals as he has reached the physiological optimum in creation and he has the ability to discriminate and create a system of living that is disciplined and coherent. It is important to know although there is a chaotic psyche that exists in the society, marriage as an institution demands trust, commitment, patience, forgiveness, sacrifice, care and unconditional love for the family.
There was this Tamil Brahmin lady who said to me everything is fine with the boy but we got to know about his affair with another girl before he proposed to my daughter so we rejected. I was truly confused, why would he not have an affair? I am sure your daughter also must have had one or liked someone. There is a deep conservative attitude and exchange of dirty jokes on the chat!
‘It is not cool to be a virgin you know’ said one college going girl to me. I asked her ‘Is that the only reason for you to submit yourself to changed life? We go to pubs and bars, drink heavily on weekends and go on drugs and all of that you know; she winked at me. I said ‘sure’ you have a right to live a life that you want to. It is my parents who keep nagging me to get married, Aree yaar I am done with everything, where is the need for marriage? Well ‘now you talk sense, what is marriage according to you? ‘Oh it is all the same stuff, boring to deal with in-laws, having kids etc can be very stressful-she said. ‘I am fine the way I am’ but ‘what will you do as these modern lure fades away? Don’t you need someone in your life to be with you? She had a blatant answer-I am sure there will be someone like me who may want to live with me and I am fine with it.
I felt that she was not confused, why take on marriage as a burden when you are not ready and you don’t know what it means. The whole IT group is a new caste; they get their way around and the revolution is already settled in it. The Tam bhrams are still very much in conflict; the whole community has migrated to the US due to the caste based politics in Tamil nadu; they are not given any privilege on merit. The whole middle class Brahmin community has made America as their home where they get recognized for their talent and brain.
One can imagine the confusion of cultures – extreme conservatism, liberal American boys and girls surrounding them, parental pressure from home on marriage, desperately trying to preserve the bhramin culture and indulging in changing sexuality. It is overwhelming indeed! Parents are in the dark and children have multiple personalities that they demonstrate in front of them.
India is going through a different revolution; men feel the need for women s expressions in a relationship unlike the olden days where the coyness of a woman made men feel empowered. Technology and globalization has brought the old and the new to an awareness of changing life as a whole. Our children need support systems-legal, mental, social etc to overcome our prejudices and recognize the fundamental human freedom. Sex education is very inadequate in India, the government needs to pay more attention to the changing society. India has strong family culture, it is not possible to take it away; it may take few more generations to completely shift from tradition or probably never!