While watching ads on the television my eye rests on an ad where a mother surprises her husband and daughter by introducing them to a matrimonial site that can be accessed from the ease of their bedroom. The stress in the ad is unmistakably on the ease of finding a partner for their son/daughter through a matrimonial website, showcasing the involvement of elders in marriages aided with technology, so long the domain of only youngsters. It makes one wonder how matrimonial sites have managed to change the outlook of our society on traditional marriages and how Indian society at large is responding to it.
Introducing technology in a field that has been so long the domain of traditional yet friendly neighborhood pundits and relatives has created a strong platform out of which both the traditional and modern marriages can function. In that sense, matrimonial websites actually provides a setting for an exploration of the fast changing social norms while retaining the more traditional method of screening that most Indian families prefer.
Also, with the advent of matrimonial sites, the way one looks at ‘arranged marriages’ have undergone a sea change. In more ways than one, the so called ‘arranged marriage’ has perhaps for the first time successfully blended with that of the ‘love marriage,’ with the involvement of everyone including parents, elders, and the ones who are to marry. This also paves the way for less resentment amongst the bride or groom in matters of deciding who they will marry eventually, because most matrimonial sites allow the prospective bride and groom plenty of choices to choose who they want to marry and make a more informed choice.
On the other hand these websites also have in their database a large choice of prospective brides and grooms from different castes and communities across India that make it a happy hunting ground for the family elders to zero in on someone who matches their social standing and other such criteria. This is proved by statistics that show that over 30% of the registered profiles on matrimonial websites are accessed by the parents of those who have registered. As a result of this, the gap between the two kinds of marriages prevalent in India, have been narrowed down to a pleasing blend where both children and their parents are happy with the choices at hand.
The fact is, that today, not only are matrimonial websites here to stay, but that they also influence the process of arranging marriages that come with wider implications for the family which can chose a person who is suitable to their social capacities apart from being the choice of their children too. This is especially surprising and in fact liberating for many youngsters who would not like to upset their families even while they want to make an informed choice of a life partner.
Apart from this, the fact that most of these websites offer a safe and secure environment make the elders of the family feel safe to explore the possibilities that such websites have to offer. Additionally, there are many online matrimonial sites that offer additional services like a wedding planner or a personal relationship manager, who will not only assist in the search for the ideal mate but also make further arrangements for meeting. Websites also keep in mind the Indian traditions and offer features such as horoscope matching which is a much desired feature of traditional Indian marriages. This makes the parents feel that all their priorities of matchmaking the traditional way is fulfilled on these websites too, and as a result they extend their support to such methods of getting married. On the other hand, prospective brides and grooms like the fact that they can already understand through these websites the various interests of their prospective partners making it easier for them to not only chose a partner of their choice but also get a feel of whether they would be compatible with each other or not.
Through these options available on matrimonial sites, arranged marriages as one knew them to be in the olden days might truly be a thing of the past.