Though the work is a thesis for the award of a degree of Ph.d, it is useful for the society as a whole. The author has based his study on Bengal, yet all the Indian provinces have been discussed in this context. The author has taken many concepts-arranged marriage, dowry marriage, marriage through advertisement, court marriage and reforms needed in marriage laws. It dates back to 19th century and covers the beginning of 21st century. Many of the ills are prevalent even today.
In the present scenario the institution of marriage has become very important. It is generally said in India that marriages are settled in heaven. But marriages sometimes are failure. This view may also coincide. In India, the concept of marriage is considered to be a sacred one even though the concept of “divorce” has also come into existence. The phase of temporary marriage has also become an alarming issue in the context of Indian scenario.
Today it is not important as to how marriages are arranged and settled but it is equally important as to how they result in success or failure. The study concentrates on this aspect in Bengal only. This state has been most notorious in the context of dowry deaths, though this menace existed everywhere. This issue has been taken up by various authors/writers/ newspapers and is still fresh in the minds of the people. In India many cases related to dowry deaths came into light from 1980-1990. The Government of India made many laws to reform the system. The author has critically examined them. Stories written on the subject by authors such as Oldenburg, Bose, Ranjiv Sheel, etc. have also been critically examined by the author.
The author classified marriages into teenage and willing without caste, with dowry or excessive dowry, the harassment of parents and the bride in an extensive way. The use of the term within caste marriage seems to be most appropriate in the sense whether it is an arranged marriage or marriage on the basis of advertisement but on certain considerations.
The author also discussed the financial aspects of this type of marriages. Dowry marriage was not bad when it was upto the consideration of the bride’s wishes but when it becomes a consideration it becomes harmful.
The system of marriage has been changing from time to time. The author has discussed all the aspects, even the vulgarity surfacing in the marriage system. He is in favour of rituals but is definitely against the rituals which confuse others. He decries the pandits who can neither read Hindi or Sanskrit nor can translate Bengali into these languages. Thus the third chapter in second part is most relevant and scientifically deals with the issue.
The fourth Chapter in the second part is very relevant. Besides discussing the various types of marriages, he also discusses the positive and negative aspects of marriages in the joint family.
After discussing the social problems connected with marriage the author discusses the need of reforms in marriage systems, so that marriage becomes successful. In order to remove the menace of dowry, he even discusses Hindu Code Bill. This was again a temporary relief and increased the problem. He has also discussed the Hindu Marriage Act on marriage of a minor and within the same gotra.
The conclusions are more apt with social changes. Many other changes would definitely come; now a new system of marriage is internet. It works both ways, social change is the spice of life and with this even the institution of marriage can become successful if proper laws are enacted. Social awakening is more important than law marking as the approach of society should be towards considering the family system rather than breaking it.
It is a critical study which is useful for the entire society. The approach is historical.
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