While browsing through some news article on my Google Reader, the following ad caught my eye:
A quick Google search, and I bumped into so many matrimonial sites that cater to divorcees or widowed persons who seek another chance at the altar – SecondShaadi.com, Thesecondmarriage.com, doosravivaah.com, indiaremarry.com, and so many more!
So, is India ready for “I do”, a second time?
I will park aside the age-old debate for and against matrimonial advertisements – It makes for a separate blog entry, if at all. I am a fence-sitter as far as this issue goes – At an obvious level, ads seeking “grooms from respectable families with over 5-digit salary” and “fair, homely and convent-educated girls”, seem to commodify and commercialize the institution of marriage. But then, how is it different from going out to a singles’ club, blind dates or dates fixed by friends etc.?
Society makes marriage a complicated affair – So I will move past this discussion.
Does this spurt in such sites that are tailor-made for second marriages indicate that finally our hypocritical, closed society is trying to open up? Or is it simply a case of market dynamics – websites giving second marriages a fillip?
Whatever be the reason, I see this as a welcome dimension in our society. Inspite of increased awareness and education levels in our society, divorcees, widows and widowers largely remain outcast! If we, as a people, accept that we cannot snatch away the choice of a second innings from someone, I view the growing popularity of these sites as a mark of a more mature social structure that is moving away from the rigid beliefs and traditions and paving way for a much more inclusive community living!
Another interesting article that I came across mentioned that even though the second marriage market appears more skewed to men, there is also a considerable number of single/divorced/ widowed Indian women of the age of 50 and above registered at this site. This is a very heartening fact. Traditionally, re-marriage of women has always been a taboo. But, guess no longer so.
In this age of skepticism, it seems like the value of the institution of marriage, which is nothing but a socially acceptable form of mutual companionship, is here to stay - so what if a little handholding from the marriage portals is required! :)