Posted in Group Discussion (GD) Topics with Answers, Total Reads: 606
Six people having discussion on the topic are Rhea, Vern, Betty, Kevin, Chandler & Peter
Group Discussion Starts
Rhea: The topic we are going to discuss is ‘Is marriage an institution that is losing its significance’. In my opinion, yes marriage is losing its significance in a rapidly growing country like India. The rapid economic growth has changed a lot in terms of our culture and the socio-political landscape.
Vern: I totally agree with you. To be more specific, I believe we have become more ‘westernized’ and our youth is more courageous than ever in voicing their opinions about this important area of marriage. They strongly believe the decision of marriage should be totally left to the discretion of individuals and marriage-the social contract should never be forced upon any one.
Betty: To take forward your thought, rather than saying we have been westernized, I would say we have been hugely influenced by western ideas and liberalisation has been the core of it. So, it is natural that we decide whether to marry or not, when to marry and whom to marry and whether to stay in a marriage or not.
Kevin: I am afraid I have to slightly disagree with you. In my opinion, you people project a slightly optimistic picture of our country. We still have a lot of arranged marriages going on and women particularly in the rural areas have almost no say in their marriage. A large portion of the marriages that happen in India are still arranged marriages where the bride and groom almost don’t have any say in their future life partners.
Chandler: Yes, less than one percent of the people practice live in together relationships in India as compared to more than 20% in USA and most of whom get pregnant before marriage. It’s a common phenomenon in advanced countries like USA but not so in our country. Even though it’s not illegal in India, still it’s socially frowned upon. So, it’s a hard truth that we are not culturally advanced as countries like USA and we have to accept it. But with rapid urbanization, we are looking forward to that kind of scenario.
Peter: Women empowerment has also been a major factor in changing the way we view and deal with marriage. Since, women have started attaining financial security, it has pushed men to give more freedom to women in marriage and they have started respecting women’s opinions and choices.
Betty: Yes and the other important factor is education. It is because we are educated, men understand women are equal to them and women realised they should not be under the clutches of men forever.
Rhea: Even though these developments are happening, still Indian parents, belonging to all economic and social classes are pressurising their children to get married. Certain sections of people accept that marriages need not be ‘arranged’ by parents but still almost all parents want their children to get married at any cost.
Vern: We are a long way from practising living together, premarital sex etc in a formal and socially acceptable manner. Even though, we have made some progress in these areas, it’s still a long journey.
Kevin: Even though, I welcome and respect people’s choices, I opine that a certain amount of societal restriction is also good for the individuals in general. For example, due to liberalisation the number of divorce cases has gone up in our country and people have filed cases for petty reasons like they want to split because they could not agree on the colour of the tooth brush they are using.
Rhea: I am afraid you are being a bit traditional in your thought process. I feel it’s better to get divorce than to adjust beyond a certain point because ultimately happiness in life is more important than anything else.
Kevin: But if we start getting divorces, children’s future might be affected if they do not live with both parents together. Moreover, the social stigma associated with getting divorces might also affect our happiness after starting our life as a single.
Vern: Yes, that is true. But children living in a house where parents are constantly fighting will also affect their emotional growth negatively. I suggest we break ourselves from these social clutches and help in building a liberal and socially harmonious society where people can pursue their choices without any hindrance.
To conclude, we unanimously believe marriage as an institution is losing its significance but it will be a long time before we actually start seeing appreciable effects in our society but we are certainly in the path towards that. We can be sure that women can never go back to the state of being under ‘subordination’. Marriage as an institution is losing its sheen and significance. This can be seen as a ripple effect of empowerment of women and the rights of women to have equality alongside men and allow them to enjoy all rights that men has. Even though there are a few negative aspects in it, we believe that more liberalisation will be for the general good of the society and certainly in the area of marriage.
Facts related to the topic
• The rate of divorce in India is about 13 per 1,000 marriages against 500 in 1,000 marriages in the UK
• Divorces granted by the family courts increased by 350 per cent between 2003 and 2011 in Kolkata, and doubled in Mumbai between 2010 and 2014
• 5.32% of marriages in rural India are inter-caste marriages and 5.37% marriages in urban India are inter-caste marriages
• Average divorce rate globally on arranged marriages - 4.2%
• Percent of marriages in India that are arranged -89%
• Percent of marriages in the world that are arranged – 54%
• Global divorce rate for arranged marriages – 6.3%
• Marriage rate in USA: 6.8 per 1,000 total population