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Focus: Arranged marriages

Marriages in several Eastern cultures have traditionally been arranged and to this day several people still choose getting married via similar arrangements over love marriages. But how fair is the concept of arranged marriages? Are parents better placed to take such decisions for their children? If not, how much freedom is advisable when it comes to a person choosing their life partners? In this week’s debate, Gulf News readers joined our online forum to share their views. If you want to be a part of a similar discussion, write to us at

  • Fatima Suhail Student living in DubaiImage Credit:
  • Lakshmi Ajay Pupil living in FujairahImage Credit:
  • Ramachandran Nair Manager living in Ruwi, OmanImage Credit:
  • Salim Mohammad IT analyst living in SharjahImage Credit:
  • Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury Pupil living in Abu DhabiImage Credit:
  • Shiuli Dutt Teacher living in DubaiImage Credit:
  • Shivshankar K. T. Corporate Sales Manager living in SharjahImage Credit:
  • Suman Shafi Student living in DubaiImage Credit:
Gulf News

15:38 Gulf News: Do you think a young person has the right to choose their own life partners?

3:42 Ramachandran Nair: Considering today’s changing perceptions on life and living, yes, young people do have the right to choose their partners. In earlier times, when arranged marriages were taking place, there was still an opportunity for either gender to decide on their partner. However, in most occasions the girl was almost always willing to go with her parent’s wishes. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with that as long as the girl or boy is comfortable doing so.

15:43 Lakshmi Ajay: I believe that they do have the right, since they are the ones who have to live with – and are the ones most affected by – the results of this decision.

15:47 Shiuli Dutt: Youngsters may have advanced in their lives a lot more today compared to their forefathers, but material progress does not always guarantee mental or psychological maturity. Elders know what it takes to create a lasting relationship. They see beyond physical attributes, something most young people are ill-equipped to do!

15:50 Shivshankar K.T.: I don’t see anything wrong with arranged marriages as it is tried and tested. But it still is debatable. The situation has changed, women are independent and most of them are doing well. Naturally, they will have their own opinion and requirements when choosing their partners. If the parents can understand this, there is no problem.

15:51 Fatima Suhail: I believe there is a misconception in our society where parents and elders feel that their children cannot make the right decisions in life. This myth about youngsters is what leads many people to commit to arranged marriages.

15:53 Salim Mohammad: Arranged marriages make relationships more systematic, which again does not mean that love marriages cannot be successful. I think that it differs from society to society . If you go to the West, you hardly find people considering arranged marriages, as they are more often given the freedom of choosing their partners. But in some places in the East, love marriage may even be considered an anti-social activity.

15:53 Ramachandran Nair: Using their life experience, elders want their children to be in safe hands. So, their involvement has relevance when trying to find a better partner for their children.

15:55 Lakshmi Ajay: Parents also presume that with age comes experience and with that comes knowledge. But what they fail to realise is that each person has a different personality and what the parents might find suitable is not something their children can adjust to.

16:00 Gulf News: Do young people prefer arranged marriages because they feel they have a shot at getting a better life partner?

16:03 Shiuli Dutt: Not entirely. There are those who believe in the enigma of love and prefer to find their own soul mate. But then again there are those who would rather play it safe and trust their parents instincts as they feel age and experience has an upper hand in life

16:04 Lakshmi Ajay: To be very frank today’s is a world of failed marriages. Everywhere we look, all we see are failed relationships with unhappy spouses. So today’s youngsters — tired of drama —wish to lead a peaceful life and they believe to have a better chance at that under the expertise of their parents who might have been part of an arranged marriage and are quite happy living in such an arrangement.

16:05 Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury: Looking back into the lives of my parents and grandparents, certainly their life is very smooth. But that doesn’t mean that all arranged marriages will be peaceful or all love marriages will be stressful. So, for getting a better life partner the couple should know each other well, rather than the parents.

16:11 Gulf News: Do parents choose to select their child’s spouse as it gives them a sense of control over their child’s life?

16:12 Fatima Suhail: Most parents feel that nobody understands their child better than them and therefore, assume that their decision concerning their child’s marriage will prove right and in his or her best interest.

16:13 Ramachandran Nair: No. Basically it becomes part of parents’ responsibility to identify right partners for their children. I don’t think there is a control aspect exists in this concept; rather it offers more comfort and security to the whole family. Though there is a change in the concept about marriages among the youngsters today, parents do involve in the search for a suitable alliance for their children.

16:15 Suman Shafi: Only if parents give a sense of freedom to their child will the child understand his or her own self. A freedom that allows the child to know what they are exactly doing and the parents should help the child instead of controlling their lives and every movement. Every child should be given a chance of seeing the world from their own eyes, and parents should limit the control they exercise over their children. Controlling a child is only making a child’s life worse!

16:20 Shiuli Dutt: Why not look at it from the children’s perspective? Why belittle the decision of a young man or woman who trusts his or her parents for the selection of his or her life partner? I have been married five years and mine was a love marriage. The one thing I have learnt is that the learning never stops once one is in a committed relationship.

- Compiled by Huda Tabrez/
Community Web Editor


Gulf News asked: Which do you think is better for society?

Arranged marriage 50%

Love marriage 50%


Gulf News asked: Which do you think is better for society?

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