The century's compatibility yardstick
At the outset, I want to say to all who already are or soon to get married - please take no umbrage. This is just a comment on the mindset and trend in our country about marriage.
This note was spurred by the recent government decision to offer cash
incentive to men who marry widows or dalit women. The only good
thing about that decision was that it formally recognizes the problems and hardships of widows and inter-caste marriages in Nepal. But out of so many ways of recognizing and going about alleviating those problems, is that the only way the finance minister could think of?
Why are we so obsessed with marriages after all? Why do we think tying up two people together is an elixir? Some guy is in drug addiction; find him a girl. A teen is knocked
up; get her married as soon as you can. A person is in late 20s; oh find him a girl or a guy before it's too late. Too late? It made sense in the past when farming was the only livelihood. They needed as much people as fast as
they could to help them with farming (although you increase the number
of mouths to feed at the same time, ironically). Isn't about time we consider the financial stability and personal stratum to assess the time to get married instead of age?
Yes it's a shame that there are still so many superstitions and traditions that try to throttle and worse — isolate the widows. But instead of awarding the men who are apparently 'courageous' enough to have the generosity of marrying them, wouldn't it be better if we instead try to empower the women themselves? How about making them realize that they don't need a 'husband' to stand up in a society? Doesn't this award system imply that a woman cannot cope with things without a man and that government is trying to 'hire' a supporting man for them with the taxpayers' money?
And what's the deal with offering me money if I marry a dalit girl?
I would rather be offended than encouraged by that 'exchange'. If the money I will get by marrying that girl helps me go in that direction. I shouldn't be marrying that girl in the first place. How about trying to erase the lines themselves by educating people and telling them that they need to come out of the 18th century mindset if they want to share the 21st century voyage with the rest of the world?