Do you think marriage as a sacrament is losing its value in modern India?

The question "Do you think marriage as a sacrament is losing its value in modern India?" was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 1. Let us look at the model answer to this question.

Answer: Modern liberal values have impacted Indian society and marriage institution is no such exception. It has evolved its very core and essence in modern India due to the impact of globalisation and westernisation.

Marriage Is Losing It Value in Indian Society

  • Individualism: Family or community value has degraded over particularly in the urban sphere. Individual seeking his own space and extra freedom to pursue his/her interests, working on his/her hobbies.
  • Live-in relationship culture: Influence of globalisation and spread of western culture can be strongly felt in the urban sphere. Youngsters particularly in urban areas choose to Live-in relationships as an alternative to marriage.
  • Legal Sanction of values: Recently, Supreme Court of India upheld liberal interpretation and granted legal and constitutional sanction to many values like Right to privacy, same-sex marriage, inter-religious marriage etc.
  • Adoption practices: The idea of adopting a child is not new in India. However, adoption of children is openly discussed and becoming more popular. The Central Adoption Resource Authority made the adoption process more simplified and further allowed adoption for single parents.
  • Marriage treated as a burden: Marriage as an institution is slowly losing its roots. Usually, marriage has been seen as a burden rather than the adorable bond it used to be. Increasing divorce rate also reflects such change in value.
  • Career orientation: Marriage is considered as a responsibility, as an independent and strong individual bounded towards career and personal growth.

Marriage Is Still Preserved Value in Indian Society

  • Religious sanction: Marriage is still considered as sacrosanct in India particularly in rural and town areas. Religious practices govern marriage, inheritance etc.
  • Social sanction of marriage: An arranged marriage is based on the powerful idea that love comes after marriage and not before. And since marriage is a social sanction, love too has to be socially sanctioned.
  • Family is still a celebrated institution: Marriage is fundamental to having and sustaining family. The International Day of Families is observed every year on May 15th and serves as an opportunity to celebrate the unique bond and love that families share.

Hence, the forces of globalisation and westernisation have diluted marriage as an institution in India, however its extent is limited to cosmopolitan cities. Marriage still remains a sacred celebrated value in India, particularly in rural India.

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