Some say that the world is run by God. They have faith. Some say that it is run by ideas. They have belief. While some say by Economy. They have experience. Everyone is right in their own way. By if we compare all these ideas it is the economy which revolves us. No matter how much we deny it. Every institution in the society is run by economy. Even one of the basic institutions of life that is marriage is also made on the basis of economy not love, care and self respect. Those things came later. If this is not true then why earning money is not only necessity but also desire?
The institution of marriage is one of the most important institutions in our society. The marriage is the social construct, claimed by the Modernised or Westernised culture. However, in the society which is driven by the mixture of Traditional, Modern and other Cultural norms it is both social contract and divine institution. Marriage serves several purposes the most important is the identity of children that is the reason the institution is still prevalent and is performing through traditional ways. With the exceptions in some of the most advanced societies where living together is also considered as marriage what they call live in relationship. However, the institution is declining and most of the people are losing belief In the same. The reasons are many but the most important is that the institution of marriage is based mostly on material considerations. History is a testimony to the fact that any institution whose base is materialism does not remain for so long. The contract is conditional then, it is definitely going to break some day. If marriages are considered divine and couples are made in the heaven, then why this contract broke down?
The process of making this institution is done through various practices like, in our Kashmiri society it is the job of Manzimyur, who is responsible for arranging the relationship. Match making is one of the most important means of doing marriages in our society. As we know that in match making there are certain criteria upon which we are choosing our partners. The demand is high from both sides weather from girl’s side or from boy’s side. If criteria are simple then why is matchmaking complex?
It is pathetic that if we talk to most of the girls who are of the marriageable age they will definitely say that we are not employed so we do not get the nice match. Although, this is also right for the boys but the cultural norms in our society are that boys are free to take decisions. When choice has to be made towards one another the decision of the boy is always upper. The girl's decision does not matter. What a hypocrisy, that if we analyze the data in our society most of the boys in our society want girls which will work both in home and outside. It is really hypocrisy that society who teaches girls to take the religious education and do not be the nebardraw are victims of doing this crime. Looking from the prism of girls they never wants to marry a person who is interested in materialism, the basis of the argument lies in the psychology that girls have the traits of obedience, and agreeableness. But the same traits are being exploited by the men and they consider us week. If she is nebardraw then why are you marrying on the criteria of earning? If you are searching for a lady who always should be covered in Hijab then why you deny when the matchmaker is asking you to marry an aalima girl?
It is really necessary that girls should be independent financially. But what about the norms in the society which says that preaches the contrary. What about the society which is run on the modern norms. Do the regular business on modern norms. Did the religious sanction really mean anything for people or just a show-off? If earning from her hands is haram then why are you making property out of that money?
Marriage is really a beautiful combination of two souls. Let us not make it impure by relying this contract on purely material consideration. We are at at a stage where we feel that despite making so much progress the world still needs values, morality and other ideals. Like the idea of justice is basic to humanity. Change comes with even an individual effort. Let us make the moral principles core of our society. And value every girl as per her individuality. This will make her more valuable and beautiful. How the world will look like when you will not judge any individual on material basis but on the basis of humanity?
Suraiya Nazeer, Centre of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir.