The kinds of weddings that we see today were not how weddings
were celebrated in yesteryears. The various social customs and rituals, which
were associated with marriages, played a very vital role in deciding the
marriage between two families. That time the consent of the family and parents
were more important than the consent of the bride and bridegroom. The custom of
arranged marriages have been a part of Indian culture since the fourth century.
The practice of arranged marriages began mainly to maintain and unite the upper
caste families. For maintaining their family traditions the system of arranged
marriages started. Along with the concept of arranged marriages the dowry system
became prevalent in medieval India. Today this custom of dowry is one of the
major social menaces in the path of India's growth. It is a burden to the
bride's family and it has gone up to such an extent that ever year reports of
thousands of dowry deaths of newly wedded wife are heard every year.
Like dowry the custom of sati, which used to prevail earlier was another such social hindrance. Sati was self-immolation by a widow today the practice of sati is illegal but still there are places in India were cases of sati have been reported. So it shows that India is still not free from the clutches of social evils. Today we owe the abolition of sati to Raja Ram Mohan Roy the social reformer. Just like sati our country had another social evil called child marriage. Though history tells us that child marriage was not prevalent in ancient India the custom started mainly during the medieval India as medium to safeguard the interest of the high caste people. They practiced child marriages so that when their children grew up they don't marry in some other community or caste. So it was a kind of a weapon they used to protect the interest of their community and class. The custom was so rigid that many marriages were performed during the Middle Ages in the cradle itself. It was mainly the role of the caste hierarchy in perpetuating such a system. To stop the marriages between different caste and communities this system of child marriages was followed. Even today also in the remote villages of India the custom of child marriages is followed.
So from the broader perspective it may seem that social evils like child marriages, sati, and dowry have been eradicated from the society but actually these practices have been so deep rooted that until we ourselves take effort to eradicate it from its root it will be difficult to fight against these social menace. Today when we see the wedding celebrations in the cities it reminds of the gloss and glamour of Hollywood movies. Even the middle class families celebrate their weddings in Bollywood style. Today just like any other commodity in the market weddings have also become commercialized. There are people to plan your wedding you don't have to spend extra time in thinking about the menu or the venue of the wedding.