Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Marriage Institution

 How did the marriage institution arise ? There is no such thing as marriage among animals ( though there is pairing in some ). Marriage is something unique to humans.
 It can be shown that the marriage institution is directly connected to property.
 After the coming of private property in human society, which can  broadly be said to have begun when jungles and forests were cut and agriculture started, man was seized with the acquisitive instinct. He wanted to acquire property, and retain it even after his death. One can retain his property till one's death, but how can one retain one's property even after one's death ?
 The answer is that one can retain one's property even after one's death if one's property goes to one's child, because one's child is in a sense part of oneself.
 But how could one be sure that a particular child is one's own child ? There were no D.N.A. tests until recent times.
 One could be sure about that if the woman with whom one had sex relations was not permitted to have sex relations with any other man.
 Thus, exclusiveness of sex relations was the basis of marriage.
 That is why till the middle ages adultery by women was most cruelly  and savagely punished ( e.g.by stoning the woman to death, tying her in a bag and throwing her into the Bosphorus, etc ), because it amounted to denying a man the right to pass on his property to his child after his death. An illegitimate child was looked down upon, e.g. Karna in the Mahabharata.
 Where one did not have a child one's property devolved after one's death to one's other relatives ( because they, too, in a wider sense, were part of oneself ). That is why inheritance laws went into such minute details, and were of the utmost importance.
 Recent times have witnessed a loosening up of the marriage tie, particularly in industrialized societies e.g. North America and Europe, where the divorce rate has gone upto 50% or more.
 In India among Hindus no divorce was permitted,( except where a custom in the caste permitted it ), till 1955 when the Hindu Marriage Act was enacted. Thereafter by amendments in the Act divorce was made easier.
 Today law courts in India, from the District and Family Courts to the Supreme Court, are flooded with divorce, custody,and maintenance cases. There is tremendous amount of social churning ( manthan ) going on in Indian society as India passes through this transitional era. Old values are collapsing, but new one's are yet to be firmly established.


  1. This is the nice post and this post is really appreciable and informatics .I like this post too much Legal Advice Chennai

  2. Sorry Sir, but I am not agree with you. Marriage can't be solely described on property inheritance or exclusiveness of sex. It is more than that. It is also about feeling of security, love and of course legalizing or social acceptance of sex between two people. In tribe where property is still community based and private property is absent, there are rituals which allow two people to live together i their personal life and have children to continue their existence even though there is no personal property even their hunting equipments belong to community. And having our ancestor tribal in ancient time, we can assume same for us. Even animals does not fit in your story. We know that Tiger, Chimpanzee, Monkey and so on lives in family. And don't know much about other but monkey strictly follow their family structure. We have seen this example in our vicinity. Sparrow , Parrot and other birds are also known for their family structure and behavior.
    We marry to have family and legalise or for social acceptance of our sexual relation. We need family to have sense of security. Security of getting love in all situation, security of protection in case of aggression by other, security of survival.

  3. Nice Article. I m always Read your articles. It's realy Enjoyable. Thanks For Sharing with us. IBPS, UPSC, Govt Jobs

  4. I'm not sure if the marriage institution started with property in mind. However marriage provides stability and support for everyone throughout their life. Read more on Matchfinder, Marathi matrimony site