Describe the changes in the institution of marriage in India. What accounts for it?
Marriage is a central institution in all societies, more so in. Yet marriage in India is also changing. Indian marriage is affected by prosperity and technology and they are eroding tradition, largely.
Traditionally, marriages were almost always arranged. Dowry payments were widespread. About 90-95% of the time Hindus married within their broad caste group. But these features are changing distinctly.
It used to be that parents and elders fixed marriages but these days the offspring are finding their own partners, but parents may veto them. Marriage is still a family decision. What has changed is who is driving the process.
Through websites like Shaadi.com, youngsters are seeking partners for themselves, not by their parents or brothers. They access the website via smartphones. Tech-savvy Indians can now find out all about potential partners by tracking their digital traces through social media, or just by texting and telephoning. Parents come into picture much later. A quarter of young Indians were in tertiary education in 2013, according to the World Bank, up from 11% a decade earlier. Education and control over marriage go together.
Although caste still matters, it is gradually giving way to money. Jobs and mobility are important.
Some north Indian village elders have chosen to relax caste and village rules, because so many single men are in search of wives—a consequence of sex-selective abortions.
Popular culture is driving change too.