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Updated: July 23, 2012 15:42 IST

The Aamir Khan Column: It's your entire life — not just an event

Aamir Khan
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Actor Aamir Khan.
Actor Aamir Khan.

Let's give marriage the importance it deserves — in every sense, financial, emotional, mental.

Marriage is a terribly important part of life. It's a partnership you form, a companion you choose, hopefully for the rest of your life. Someone who helps you, who supports you and vice versa. The way we view marriage and the way we approach it determines how our life could end up being.

Today, I want to largely address youngsters, because most of you who are older are already married and for better or worse have already made your choices.

In India we spend so much of our emotions, thoughts, time and money (that which we have, and that which we borrow), towards marriage. But do we actually spend all this time, effort, money and emotion towards marriage? I think not. In fact we concentrate all of these resources not on our marriage, but on our wedding day.

Bade dhoom dhaam se shaadi,” is probably one of the most common phrases in India. There's so much of emotion, thought, focus, all concentrated on the ‘event': “How will I look on that one day?” “How will society perceive me and my chosen partner?” “What will they say about the wedding arrangements?” “What will they say about the invitation card?” “What will they say about the food?” “What will they say about the clothes?”

Now, this ‘they' we refer to are our friends, our relatives and other people in society whom we are acquainted with, and whom we hope to invite. And most of our energy goes towards making this one day a success. Often, even our choice of spouse is in some way linked with the driving need to make the day perfect. Haven't all of us heard these statements: “Meri beti engineer se shaadi karegi.” “Meri beti IAS se shaadi kar rahi hai.” “My daughter is marrying an NRI.” We imagine that people admire such choices, and their admiration makes us happy. We allow our choice of spouse to very often be dictated by how people will perceive us. But the hard truth is that ‘they' are not going to spend the rest of their life with the groom or the bride.

Sometimes we simply choose the ‘khandaan,' the family or the aura surrounding the family, and not the individual himself or herself. “My son is marrying so and so's daughter.” “My daughter is marrying such and such's son.” We tend to focus, not on the groom or bride but on the label attached to him or her.

Now let's examine a few other important aspects of marriage.

Time

After we've spent the bulk of our time worrying about others' perceptions, we spend tons of time deciding what to wear. We do intense R&D on honeymoon destinations. We spend time discussing arrangements, menus, guest lists. All of these are great cause for arguments. All this time is being spent in preparation for ‘the day.' But how much time do we spend on the most critical decision — selecting the correct life partner? Who is the girl I'm marrying? Who is the boy I'm planning to spend the rest of my life with? Don't we want to know them as human beings? Understand his or her nature, value system? Are we on the same wavelength? Is there compatibility? Does he or she have a sense of humour? Is this the person with whom I want to spend the rest of my life? Instead of taking ample time to make this very crucial decision, very often, marriages are fixed after just one meeting. “Chalo baat pakki hogayi. Muh meetha karo.”

In India, most marriages are arranged. We check on the prospective groom's/bride's family, caste, home, education, income, bank balance, appearance and complexion. But all of these things are purely superficial. Why don't we utilise the same time and effort in understanding the human being we are about to (hopefully) spend the rest of our life with?

Should you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone just because he/she carries an attractive label such as IIT or MBBS? Is one marrying the person or the label? Shared interests, like-mindedness, companionship, shared sensibility, sense of humour — shouldn't all this matter?

Money

We spend a lot of money on the wedding day. The rich spend beyond measure — each competing with the other in extravagance. The middle class or working class pours all its earnings and savings into the wedding. If you have the money, by all means decide how you want to spend it. But for those who are not wealthy, for whom every rupee earned is precious, for whom a daughter's wedding means pouring everything you have earned, or saved, it means breaking fixed deposits, selling assets and taking loans. Instead of spending all that money on the wedding day, why not decide to take the amount set aside for the girl's wedding and give it to her to use to kick-start her new life with her spouse? Instead of that lavish function, why not just have a simple, sharbat wedding and give the girl the money instead? It will be so useful for her life? I believe sharbat weddings are a great idea. Call as many people as you desire, serve them a soft drink and say thank you for coming and for blessing the newlyweds.

Have fun. Enjoy the day. Make merry. But with simplicity.

Youngsters, tell your parents, “We don't want a big function. Let me use the money for something important that helps my life. Let me use the money to invest in building the foundation for a happy married life.”

Emotions

All our emotions are trained on ‘that day.' What will happen on that day? What will people think and say? How happy will I be that day? Will the day be memorable? But instead, should we not be thinking of how we will feel for the next 40 years of married life? Let's not barter one day of happiness for a lifetime of unhappiness. Our emotions need to be invested not in that one day, but in a lifetime.

Think about life ahead, not just that one day. Let's give marriage the importance it deserves — in every sense, financial, emotional, mental. Let's give it our time, emotions and energies to plan those years that lie ahead. Therefore, the key is the person you have chosen as your life partner. That is the only element you should be thinking of and no other. And please take your time over that decision. Understand, probe, check, go deep. The better you do this, the happier life is likely to be. Take the step of marrying only when you are fully satisfied about the character and temperament of the person you are marrying.

Dowry I am totally opposed to. This is a retrograde practice, and also illegal. Think about it — can a relationship, built on the foundation of money and greed, ever be meaningful or beautiful? Should we not invest in our daughter's education instead of saving up for her dowry? Make her so accomplished and independent that she is capable of crafting her own future, and becomes the master of her own happiness. Then she won't need a greedy, useless groom to complete her life. Let her marry a person who respects her. Let her marry a man who she believes is worthy of her. Whom she is happy to spend the rest of her life with.

Satyamev Jayate!

(Aamir Khan is an actor. His column will be published in The Hindu every Monday.)

More In: Columns | Opinion

i agree with Amir khan statement ,i like particularly line that the money spend on the occeassion off marriage is not good activity but person whom married says to his parents that let me give the money i use that money in secure future and used in a perticular business .
and secondly thing that people thinking on the partner not on that day celebration .because life staret and ahead life live with partner

from:  ashok
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 16:16 IST

Dear sir i personally love&respect you as you really deserves to be perfectionist in whatever you do.Your column on 'it's your entire life & not just an event'the approach you have adopted is very emotional & practical but applies to the shining India as the fact and ground reality is that on this very juncture of event of marriage where the parents has to decide the fate the problem lies severially on part of the girl.As after pouring the entire money collected for dowry ,giving the daughter in ultimate is the result of lottery. If you are fortunate you got a good family otherwise you and your family is ruined for the rest of life economically,mentally,emotionally,physically. You and your famiy then lose the concept of 'LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL'.
Therefore i pray and request everyone that love,respet,care and provide everyone the environment conducive to develop the one to its full potential and enjoy the life. Explore and change the world dipped in gender bias.

from:  subodh kumar singh
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 10:53 IST

Dear Mr. Aamir Khan,

Thanks for taking such an important issue which has troubled we Indians for a
long long time... I really appreciate you for this... I a guy am totally against dowry and believe it be root of most of the evils we have in society today... even the topic of female foeticide is mainly because of this... and we should collectively fight against it by saying no to dowry...
But lately there have been many cases where a groom or his family member have been falsely accused of asking for dowry by the bride or her family member to torture or harass the groom or his family members... I believe that nowadays as laws have gone strict and mainly against the groom's family side, many brides and her family members use this as tool to torture the groom as well... I know the cases are very less, may be 1% but they are gradually increasing these days... I
strongly feel that such cases also have been discussed on your show, though
insignificant, but surely can destroy a persons life.

from:  Anonymous
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 10:12 IST

Request to riches people in our society help to our country people let them to show you are rich but you are going to marry a person simple marriage not to show off business....now in India marriages business follow bollywood style.....give message to ordinary people that life is beautiful not just for one day all your life make colourful choose the right partner give time to him know him more about like or dislike make right combination ....if you are wrong in past but try to change for him or her...in present make future bright don’t look face family status look the person you are going to spend all life for each other....family status can’t change men or women habits...nothing belong to that...so rich or poor no matter make if you both are good enough make life better together... not waste time to planning for wedding expenses for one day...keep saving for future what now you need to decide....big fat Indian wedding or your life partner !!

from:  tia
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 10:06 IST

I appreciate Aamir's programme Satyamev Jayate. But is it AAMIR'S STARDOM or the REAL ISSUES which is getting so popular? Before this also many such programmes used to be there on TV but hardly anybody cared. Even now it's only the stardom which is speaking louder but let's see how many youths of India follows Aamir's words of Sharbat Wedding, Stopping Girls' foeticide etc.
I would like to bring to everybody's attention which I assume everybody knows that it's mostly the literate (so called educated) class who practice girls' foeticide. Really shame on such literate class people. I think the right kind of education is lacking in India. We can shout about the great past of India but it's only past no hope is left for current India. For the change we should come out of blogs & we must walk on the ground to change reality.
Words alone are not going to bring the change. We can't expect change to happen by itself by keep on blogging. Let's face & change the DIRTY reality of India.

from:  R Brio
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 09:28 IST

Well Said,thanks to Hindu for encouraging such good articles.

from:  Preethi
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 09:05 IST

Eastern traditions or western, marriage is tough. People change and their perspective on life and others change. Also, living with the same person for several years day in and day out cannot be all that interesting. Marriage as an institution is going to die. I am not saying this is good, this is just the way it is. But hopefully some of the social evils such as dowry will die too.

from:  sri
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 03:13 IST

Dowry -originally I think the practice would have started as the very "Kick-Start" fund for the newly-weds Khan is talking about. And from Girl's side since the it would have been only the groom who used to work. A tradition now corrupted and abused like many other.
Philosophically, marriage is a step towards a greater ideal, if you can unconditionally accept, understand and cherish one stranger in your life, you can extend it to all world.
So as with most things in life it is contextually to the individuals.

from:  Raghu
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 00:54 IST

Good topic, but may be from a wrong person who divorsed his wife after several years of marriage. Marriage is all about trust, not for finding new love. I believe he performed in enough number of love oriented movies before first marriage. Keeping his personal life aside, parents always wants to select a proper groom/ bride based on personal experience so their selections should not be painted with a single view. 20 something is hardly a decision making age specially when it comes to marriage. It is planned for rest of life, not until one is interested. Dont know the success of a premarriage love, but cent percent sure about success of post marriage love. Sharbat dawat may suit people away from social fabrication, but for middile class ppl like me, its the time to meet and share hapiness with friends and relatives for several days. After all its once in life time. You can always make money but not share those precious moments with your loved ones.
Satyameva Jayate.

from:  sangath mukherjee
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 00:53 IST

You are correct AK, its the time now, we should follow on this line.
This thing is on my mind from so many years. My concept is, if both
boy and girl they know that, he or she is the one for them then they
should do a simple wedding ceremony(if have to go for some kind of
ceremony) otherwise you have the option of Court/Register marriage.
Because either the boys or girls family will have to bear the cost for
Wedding hall, the music, shopping for the wedding and this cost is too
much at present. Instead what my suggestion is, after court marriage
donate some mount to the Orphanage/old age or some kind of charity.
And invite your friends and family for a nice lunch or dinner(a small
get together)
Thanks AK for presenting this topic and a humble request to everybody
out there to give a thought on this :)

from:  Santosh
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 00:50 IST

I agree with the need to stop this showing off of one's status. Indeed
all pretense should be made redundant. It is very hard in India to find
two soon-to-be-related families which believe in simplicity and no
pompous shows. Therefore the realization has to come to most people
first and that will take one generation atleast.
All things said and done, there is still some issues that noone has
mentioned, but which exists. Today's girls become smart early on that a
family can be started well with access to money. So many of them want
dowry in their marriage. It is not just the boy's family, but the girl
too.
The second aspect of Indian marriages is that the family spends money
in marriage of a girl because they don't want her to ask for her share
in the family property later on. Though the law gives them equal share
(in Hindus) in family property but after marriage generally girls don't
press for their share because they received their share in the past as
marriage expenses indirectly.

from:  Bharath
Posted on: May 25, 2012 at 00:00 IST

Hello Dear Aamir,

I couldn't really go through the whole article as I didn't have much time however, I am proud of you as Satyameva Jayate seems to be finding a real meaning of it in this world, all the best for your efforts you are putting in to bring us to brightness and hope that you will find more areas which needs improvement for the human being and for the humanity, this article is just an example, there are more things to change in this world.. We need many Aamir's to improve many areas, it's not just enough to read and forget, but we need to implement the same, people please co-operate.

from:  Shailesh
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 23:06 IST

Aamir sir, you have touched upon a phenomenal practice, which in many ways only leads to wastage of valuable resources. This all becomes more monumental when words like 'pride' and 'prestige' are thought to be taken more care of. Apart from the appreciation, I would like to answer those narrow minds who took time to criticize this attempt or rather the whole idea this column supports. Yes, I agree to not degrade our culture but certainly this can't be done by not allowing the involved 'future-couple' to go in depth about each other. And even the idea of arranged marriage baffles me. For the whole before-marriage-lifetime parents ask the child not to talk to any stranger while in a moment they decide with whom the child will be sleeping thereafter!

from:  Guarav Mishra
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 22:24 IST

I am a working woman in late 20s and I took a loan of 10lakh rupees to spend on a moderate marriage in Hyderabad. I cut down most of my needs for clothes, jewellery etc and spent most of the money on venue, food, decoration etc.

It took me 4 years after my wedding day to repay the loan and had to put actual needs like buying a home, having kids etc on the backseat. I completely regret spending all that money on my wedding day.

from:  Sesha
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 21:53 IST

Wow! This guy's really turning preachy! while his starpower does attract the junta to go gaga over these common-sensical issues and solutions, I'd much rather he "show" and inspire than "tell" people what to do. Please leave the quest for the truth for every individual herself. For after all there are as many truths as there are people - whose "satyameva jayate"?

Rang de Basanti "showed"; 3 Idiots "told". I wonder if his Holiday sermons will have any more impact than those given by the church!

from:  suited viewer
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 21:04 IST

I partially agree with you Aamir ji. I think there has to be balance
between spending vs knowing the person. Men are from Mars and Women
are from Venus. The two species are totally different and in the
indian setup of arranged marriage its not possible to know the other person completely without living with them which is strictly No-No in india. Even with Love marriage its different after marriage and kids. People change, Harmones change with life stages and i would say that "Love and understanding between the couple" is what will sustain the life's changes and circumstances.

from:  Harish Kondapalli
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 20:13 IST

Truly great.....You have a very clear and logical ideas and thinking. Probably this is the result of the extensive research you have done for making this show and support from the country is overwhelming. 242 Comments in any article of The Hindu is an achievement.

from:  Abhi
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 19:44 IST

Great to see that AK uses his capacity and popularity to discuss such relevant matters. Need of the hour.

Some of us here argue that he is portraying a western view towards marriage: We Indian's have great culture blah blah.. Let us face the truth: there are lot of bad things we have got from west. But we have not learnt any morals from them such as personal respect, discipline, punctuality, etc. The primary reason I find is that Western culture is based on an individual. That is why they can even challenge the government for personal welfare. Our culture is based on a Society. We accept most things saying what is accepted by society is good for me. As a result of this we have so much tolerance that even bad marriage can exist for several decades. We accept things which are forced on us or ones which are AFRAID to question. Although Family is the basic bond that keeps India Strong, there are lot of loop holes - dowry, horoscope-not-person-matching. It is times we fix them.

from:  M Jayakumar
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 19:28 IST

Jahapana tussi great ho !!! Very well said..lets not just read this column but also practice it.

from:  Neha J
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 18:46 IST

Hats off to you Aamir! Happy to see u doing something good for our nation. We require people like you. You will be our inspiration. Good luck!

from:  Bini Siva Kumar
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 18:29 IST

I agree with Aamir but to be very honest, it is now become the system. I belong to north India, where parents given birth to boy means they have great great assets. Even the boy is not doing anything or just done his schooling or graduate (in other words, the boy doesn't have any income), they ask for 6 to 7 lacs (it is 5 to 6 years back). Even the parents who are teachers, doctors, lawyers etc, they are asking more than that. They know that asking dowry is crime, but they have do that. This is my experience for my sister's marriage. I have also seen, when any of mother give birth to baby girl, the grandmother start crying, am sorry but this is true.

I hope this will end very soon. Signing off

from:  Manojkumar Pandey
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 17:58 IST

wow sir amir khan's column................ thank u so much the HINDU
THERE IS ONE MORE NAME YOU HAVE ADDED IN YOU BEST COLUMNIST'S LIST.
IT IS GREAT PLEASURE FOR US TO HAVE WRITERS LIKE P.SAINATH AND
SIDHRTH VARDARAJAN AND NOW AMIR KHAN.

from:  reshma
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 17:52 IST

Aamir, I like the simplicity with which you make your point but after watching 3 episodes of SJ, I think have premeditated view about topics and my comment is more pertinent to the latest episode of marriage. A point well made that rather than focusing on frills of marriage, concentrate 'who' are you marrying but tell me this, do people stay the same way throughout, don't they change with time. If knowing someone was all, where has all these live-in led us to...to a ssituation where everyone wants to have fun but noone wants to take responsibility for things. It is like two people holding a colorful rope and swinging it together, moment one sees a more colorful rope with someone else and an opportunity, s/he leaves the end they hold and move on. Even until now, it is fine but where does that leave you with the environment and situations in which next generation is born and grows up. On the dowry front, I believe that our religious institutions across communities down.

from:  Abhas
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 17:09 IST

I think time, money, emotions permitting, one should devote on both - the 'event' as well as 'life' after that. There is room for both of them to co-exist. What lacks focus in many marriages in India today and need corrective steps are:
a) getting into a wed lock without knowing the other person well (not that it will ensure a successful marriage but definitely increases the probability of success)
b) spending beyond ones means in the 'event', thereby getting into debt trap and related issue; so, the point is - spend but within limits
c) dowry - not to give in to dowry demands before or after marriage. If there is harrassment after-marriage, have the courage to report it appropriately. Not reporting is NOT saving the marriage anyway. Reporting will atleast save the worst case scenarios....

Aamir's point of view on the neeed to channelise time, money and emotions for a lifetime is appreciated. But if someone has the resources to do the same for the 'event'as well, nothing like tht

from:  Subrat
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 16:47 IST

The article is very significant in our modern society. Personally i can use knowledge on knowing your life partner literally but when it comes to have sharbat wedding, its not possible. My parents will can never see this happen. being their only son they are using me to fulfil their 'duty' towards marriage.its so difficult and complicated in modern society to have simple wedding.

from:  Amandeep Singh
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 16:38 IST

the said social problem will not leave us soon.Aamir Bhai is speaking for the vox populi.the fact of begetting a boy iself is testimony to being at the originating end. no one asks for cash as dowry.it could take myriad forms.ask for rooms to stay. when that is provided ask for more rooms to spread out or more comforts like AC or cots for each person etc.the sadist in them will never die though they may live and die as misers.only when the folks of the bride and groom see eye to eye will the problem seeem to subside.

from:  revathi s
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 14:16 IST

I really appreciate Aamir Khan's views on marriage - mental, financial
and EMOTION, it is good to see such a influential personality
highlighting the issues but I think these coming from a divorcee himself
doesn't add weight to the views. I am not a cynical but nobody knows how
Aamir's first wife Rina went through her divorce from him and how his
children from Rina took their separation.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 01:04 IST

When people ask for money to get married they are asking for dowry but dowry has many
other forms .in the name of the culture girls parents are made to pay for a lavish wedding.In
the name of 'shagun' or riwaz asking of gold jewlery is also a form of dowry.
What happens after marriage,women are happy to look after inlaws but if they want to help
their parents financially they need to seek the permission of their husband which is denied
most of the time,even if the woman earns.this financial exploitation roots from the lack of
respect for women in our society. As a woman we should raise out daughters to respect
themselves and Sons to respect women.

from:  M.Torane
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 14:29 IST

The issues being taken up are really needed to bring in the notice of society.All of us are aware of the issues but pay no heed towards them.its a fact that it is very difficult to eradicate these evils. But discussion on these issues can make people to think over it & i hope many of will also follow this.In our society the major drawback is that people want other people to follow against evil practices but when their turns come they just avoid it. We have to be practical in every sense not only in our comfort zones. please think over issues introduced by show.

from:  Anjali Gautam
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 13:22 IST

Really nice article. My wife & myself have created a website in 2011 named nodowrysaathi to promote no dowry marriages. Another point which we tried to highlight on advise page on our website is not to rush to produce children immediately after marriage and giving some time gap.

from:  S N Gupta
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 13:00 IST

Dear Aamir, I totally agree with the idea of Simple Marriage and most of the money and time spent on arranging the same can be utilized later in life!! I hope and wish many youngsters like me will take this step and make life Simple :) I Thank you for bringing this up to change the society..

from:  Deepti Javali
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 12:23 IST

awesome article.. every individual should read it.Parents should educate
their daughters rather than wasting money on show-off

from:  jaspreet
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 12:02 IST

True what you have said is that we spend all our time and money on that very single and most important day of our lives called-marriage.But isnt it a celebration?isnt any celebration in India done with furore be it festivals or events-they are all very lively.I'd beg to differ a bit.I'd say a dhoom-dhaam wala marriage is not bad as long as neither of the parents are stressing out on the account of resources to please each other.Why wouldnt a bride dream of looking beautiful or exquisite?Its her special day.you cant treat emotions with management and business pragmatism and tailor-made it.But yes as long as its not done with force and demand,not even in the subtlest form or indirectly..i think whatever is done wholeheartedly must be acceptable.But yes the focus must be on choosing the right partner.The foucs must be on what gives us true happiness being together.I wouldnt sideline the dhoom-dhaam part as it is just a way of expressing joy but not at the cost of parents and emotions.

from:  Vaishali Adwant
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:59 IST

Mr.Hariprasad has mentioned about the 'Self-respect' marriages. I am afraid that the present self-respect marriages have very much deviated from the the original concept. 1. They are also arranged marriages which are finalised after some negotiations . 2, The parents go by their status , caste etc. 3. Very much dowry , status based 4.In many cases, they follow their traditional practices and later call for some political leader to solemnise the marriage. 5. Most of the cases( with some small exceptions) go for Mangal sutra( Thaali in Tamil) 6.Instead of paying to the priests, they make payments of hefty sums to the political leader who graces the occasion for a short period of time. 7. Invariably, there is a heavy meals and other celerations witha lot of fanfare, depending on their purse strings

from:  Ratnam
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:57 IST

To all those who wish to debunk what AK is saying as a "Western"
concept: Ever heard of the Swayamvara? And again, the so-called
"stability" of the Indian marriage is a big myth, because there is no recourse to divorce, and the woman is put to severe disadvantage in a rigid and chauvinistic society such as ours. If married people were to express their views openly and without fear, I am sure most have no choice but to continue. Arranged or non-arranged, that is not the point. Is the individual free? Does s/he have the liberty of choice? Unless wo/&men in our country are free (Tagore's poem"let my country awake..") our society will always be stunted. People who take such an extreme stand on the article also ought to ask themselves why female foeticide, honour killing, dowry, caste discrimination and inequity persist in our country.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:42 IST

I just wanna ask you people, who are thinking that its our culture to conduct marriages in a lavishing budget and telling that conducting marriages in a simple way is western culture, Do any one of you really know what was our culture?.First try to learn wts our culture. actually conducting marriages in such a big budget only adopted from western. We people used to conduct marriages in very simple way with only family members in a temple or in home itself.
we started copying everything from western people (Anyway its not a bad one)and now we forgot our own tradition and thinking that conducting marriages in a bigger way only our culture nu, How sad?. Soon we may even tell that wearing blazer and shoe only was our culture and we adopted dhotis from western people. After all we have created all the formalities for our own convenient, when time and need occurs we gotta move on.Its time to change.. Think of it. Again tons of kudos to our beloved Aamir for everything...

from:  Thylesh
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:35 IST

Dear Aamir, First of all hats off to you. i am really your great admirer, not only because of your films but the humanity, maturity and taking responsibility towards the society. hardly very few celebrities come out of their stardom and do such deeds, i think its only you and our own Kamalhassan who can top the list. Your show is simply awesome and very educative, sometimes quite shock too.Please continue your good work until ever.And regarding your article about the 'Sharbat' wedding its just thought provoking and makes everyone's eyes open.But unfortunately our people will hardly accept the fact and can't come out of the narrow mindedness. its helpless as its in our blood for some centuries.
And for people who're telling that its our culture to conduct marriages with lavishing budget,and thinking that its western culture to conduct marriages in a simple way, i just wanna ask you a thing, Do anyone of you really aware whats our culture really?.

from:  Thylesh
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:07 IST

Attention marriage certificate holders. So far we have been commenting on the day when the real knot of life-long relationship is tied between a girl and a boy ,What about the rest of the life where demands ,abuse,insult,physical and mental torture a girl has to bare if the money is not brought by her for the so called Indian (never ending )festivals. A girl married to an NRI has to wait until and unless her inlaws permit her to go along her husband.
In the absence of her husband (gone abroad) she has to spend the days ,months, years with inlaws doing household duties,taking care of same age group brother and sisters and so called old parents who are unable to grab a glass of water by their hands after their sons marriage.I don’t understand is marriage a culture of bringing a well educated maid in family and imposing the burden of duties on her young shoulders. Why not an understanding develops between the relations on the Principle of Live and Let live and let her do what she wants to .if you want to be happy let others be happy too. But No India a land of sacrifices will never let a girl walk on those grounds .Sometimes I think women is her own enemy.The day when women starts thinking about other women all the discrepancies in relationship will go away.and there will be a new world of relationships which will not be dependent on emotional atayachars and life will be better and worth living.

from:  sonu
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 11:03 IST

Good One Aamir! His generic observations on the tradition versus intellect can be an eye opener to many, yet the yesteryears would not completely agree.
As an individual I perceive dowry as a virulent practice, yet people spending all their savings to secure the future of their kids is a pure personal choice. "Sharbat Wedding" .. lol Aamir guess ur last wedding was one of them, but we Indians no matter what believe in living life king size and eating nice!! Practicing Austerity is again a personal choice and hence cannot be imposed on a community .. and I am certainly not attending a Sharbat wedding !!

from:  Padmalaya
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 10:14 IST

I agree with Aamir, on all counts except maybe for a something 'Sharbat'
wedding (Aam ir, you are a brand loyalist, aint?).

The self-respect marriages in TamilNadu were all about this and more.
With a Youth icon endorsing something closer to it, maybe it is for us
to reestablish the self-respect movement.. for a progressive egalitarian
tomorrow.

from:  Hariprasad Chennai
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 08:37 IST

208 comments and counting. this has been the most exciting opinion column in The Hindu for some time. Is this the threshhold that Indians were waiting for to change their attitude towards keeping prestige for the sake of prestige and losing a lot in return? Wake up call. Keep life simple.

from:  Vinod
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 07:42 IST

Dear Aamir, Though I am a massive fan of yours and have always admired that you raise important subjects for discussion, I am inclined to question your line of argument. Over the course of years one has many experiences and no subject can be looked at in isolation from a single standpoint. I feel that your argument is one sided and doesn't necessarily consider the circumstances under which marriages take place. You have looked at just a few layers and I am afraid the debate is incomplete when all angles are not looked at. You have only drawn limitations of the current practice of marriage but not at the variations and benefits and disadvantages. In short, I would like to say that, life partners are chosen for a variety of reasons. You are right in saying that many factors, especially deeper ones need to be considered, however you have just dismissed marriage as something that happens frivolously. Let,s always dig deeper.

from:  Divya g
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 06:35 IST

There is a saying in Sanskrit called "Ati Sarvatra Varjayet", so taking things to a degree where they make sense and where they don't. In case of marriage too, knowing a partner to an extent is fine, but knowing too much to leave a very small place for partner as in individual has the opposite effect. Same goes for wedding planning and functions. I believe to be spending money in wedding what you can afford is good. In China there is a concept, usually every guest helps with the wedding expense. So the bride/groom arranges marriage and the people who come are close relatives who give red envelopes for each table booked. So the function is shared and sometimes in the end there is money left. Why we always need to look at US or West for insipiration, why not on our east, south and north as well.
Whether arranged or not arranged there is no guarantee individuals would remain save. We change and with that our relationships also go through transformations.

from:  Incheon Korea
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 04:42 IST

In India and I have observed even in US wedding is an important event.
People do spend a lot of time, effort and money in making that day memorable. So, I guess its not wrong celebrating unision of two people amongst close family and friends.Back in days men got married even before they turned 20.They lived in joint family and whatever assistance the girl's parents gave for their future development was considered dowry. However, like any other logical custom, this was screwed up very well by some greedy Indians and well followed by some wits. Even they train the girls the more jewellery or money she has the more she is respected. It is so sad to see that well educated women of today do not respect themselves. I am not saying to start mistreating the husband or his family. But demand equal respect because that is your right. Behave in a way that will earn you that respect. Learn to be independent, that is why your parents educated you with so much hardship.

from:  Siri
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 04:30 IST

Dear Aamir,Kudos! Your efforts are already showing impact. I believe your show on child sexual abuse have made the politicians moving fast on the issue, as you pointed out there was no law existent so far. See the news published in today's Hindu:
"Nod for Bill to protect children from sexual abuse:
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011. It provides for stringent punishment for offenders and setting up of special courts."
For those being critical of Aamir's ideas/article, I want to say that his initiative has at least stirred the conscious of the society and people are now talking about those issues. People can decide what works for them,but at least things will change for good, inshallah! Satyamev Jayate!

from:  Kumar
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 03:16 IST

Agree 100% percent on this blog content. The to be married minds should give a reasonable amount of time on this life changing decision for good !!!.
I am a person who lives a happy marriage (arranged) fortunately, the very few. But would strongly suggest my fellow humans to know/understand/feel with heart before you jump in to this wonderful half of life.

from:  Raj
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 02:28 IST

Its a relief to see that someone feels exactly the way I feel, and every Indian should feel. I do not want to blame the parents here, as in the recent years I have also come across many people of my generation who think or care the least about maintaining the purest forms of marriage - probably it has become a mad rat race where everybody just wants to have money(dowry) and a big fat wedding !!. The real meaning is lost. India needs to wake up big time - every single person to understand what it means to choose and live with your partner.

from:  Priyanka Bansal
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 02:00 IST

so now Amir wants to tell us how to get married? If i flunk in exams, would you listen to me if I spoke on how not to flunk in exam. Mr Khan divorced his wife and mother of his 2 kids for another woman. So much for marriage for life that he talks off.
Also, we Indians are cynical, the reason for elaborate weddings 1. Its a celebration and yes, done once in a lifetime for most . 2. In a traditional form Marriages are a huge social gathering, where people network with relatives for marriage, business, jobs etc . How many people would you attract in a sharbat wedding? I am by no means advocating selling your house for weddings or giving any kind of dowry but buy not even spending what you can, it would weaken our family system, an industry(how many ppls lives depend on it)

from:  kallan mian
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 01:52 IST

Though Aamir had a lavish second marriage, he is insisting us good things. These things are much needed for society. People may not accept it easily. I wish a few would follow this. The idea of "Sharbat Wedding" is good & it can be a trend if Bollywood do it. People follow their style. I wish Aamir gets a chance to do it or show it on movie. It is a nice idea & people would accept it.

from:  Chirag
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 01:29 IST

I wonder what's new in this article? I felt as if the author was forced
to write something on The Hindu rather than wanting to write. The
article lacked depth. The author suggests that partners should understand each other before marriage. Does it mean he is supporting love marriage over arranged marriage? If not, what is his proposal? The author has not clarified
his stance on it.

Later, the author moves over to condemn the practice of dowry. Agreed
but is he accusing anyone who accepted dowry as greedy and useless? I
assume everyone has personally seen atleast one instance where the
groom never expected anything from in-laws after marriage. Isn't that
true? What is the author's take on such instances?

It is definitely an applaudable effort from Aamir Khan but in future,
he should add more depth to his articles instead of writing articles
that only scratch the surface.

from:  Yagnesh
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 01:21 IST

My opinion - it is his opinion. I may agree with him but that does not mean it will apply for everyone.
Life is cyclical. The practices we adhere to is a snapshot of what we think as improvement based on the existing practices and our decision making ability. We call it growth, after certain point, we often end up repeating the actions of the past and still call it growth.
An example, in his earlier para he says "Instead of spending all that money on the wedding day, why not decide to take the amount set aside for the girl's wedding and give it to her to use to kick-start her new life with her spouse?" This was considered a better practice and followed in olden days too, which became dowry. His own column says
"Dowry I am totally opposed to. This is a retrograde practice, and also illegal"
Yes, Dowry is bad how did dowry come ? When the first step became a norm. It is all cyclical.The same could be said for 'each' of his point. I see this as his personal opinion, may not apply for all.

from:  Karthick Krishnan
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 00:59 IST

Its a great job Aamir. Our country needs awareness and the media is
always a better source. With the help of media you are doing a fantastic
work. Marriage is a not only a bond between wife and husband but also
between two families. We want our people to understand the what will be
better for our daughters in real term and should not think as a burden
or liability, dumping on some other shoulders. And at the same time
values of bonds should not be deteriorate.

from:  Tejal Panchal
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 01:00 IST

Dear Aamir
I Agree with you, my name poonam verma and I doing Phd from university
of lucknow (U.P),my topic"Violence against women"
Please accept my heartiest wishes from introducing this incisive and
though provoking column in the Hindu,I'm a big fan of youe work and your
amazing tv series"Satyamev Jayate",

from:  poonam verma
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 00:43 IST

So, as per ideal marriage we need not consult our parents, elders or friends. All we need is to focus on our would be spouse, but how to know that the somebody is perfect for us? should we live together for some time like live in relation and take decision? if we don't consider prospective groom's/bride's family, caste, home, education, income, bank balance, appearance and complexion then what to do?
Why Aamir khan divorced his first wife Reena Dutta after 15 years of marriage and remarried? I suppose he was not arranged by somebody else to marry Reena.
In india, girls do not share the property of her parents in spite of legally entitled to do so. So there is nothing wrong if parents give her jewelry or cash until forced to do so.
Those who party every night will never understand the feeling of common people having high dinner on somebody's marriage. Don't make marriages so simple (sharbat marriage) that even friends never know when you married and when you divorced.

from:  ashutosh sharma
Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 00:41 IST

@ Rohan Kumar: You missed out the fact that child marriage was the
norm in the ancient India. Many marriages were with in the close
family and married child just adapted mother in law as mother and the
problems causing maximum stress in married life of today had no
chance to exist. Education and societal awareness did not exist among
female members nor was the world fully interconnected.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 23:12 IST

Amid dowry issues on ‘Styamev Jayate’, another sensitive issue was raised that was ‘Pakwda Vivah’ prevalent in North Bihar. Dowry can be the one of the reasons but not the sole reason behind Pakdwa vivah (forced marriage). The main reason is getting social recognition, marrying off their daughters to sons from socially respected families. Generally economy is not the problem for the girls’ families and they are capable enough to meet the expectations of boys’ fathers.
Such custom dominates in the families where money is amassed through questionable means and they find hard getting desirable match for their girls in respected and educated families who normally avoid making relationships with them, even under the compulsion of huge dowry.
The mighty people on gun point kidnap the boys and forcefully get them married with their daughters. They threaten them with dire consequence if the boys /grooms refuse to accept the girls after marriage.

from:  Rajeev Kumar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 23:05 IST

does amir khan know concept of marriage and why it was introduced into
society?

in ancient india ,opposite genders like men and women never had chance
to meet in public and socialise like today's modern india.since indian
civilisation was the best in world,they had principles how to manage
society and future generations.since men and women can't socialise or
had chance to meet at any public platform,they introduced concept
called arranged marriage to keep future generations evolving cuz
parents don't live forever to give company to their offsprings.in
business management we have lot of subjects how to govern any kinda
business,same is with marriage to govern healthy society.dowry was not
mandatory,it was only to keep couple financially stable cuz they din't
had occupations like today.
marriage was meant for ancient indian society where men and women
din't had chance to socialise.well indians kept following certain
principles of ancient society blindly without understanding its logic.

from:  rohan kumar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 20:42 IST

Very well written.But I , true to the Indian way of life, am a little skeptical.
What is the use of such a good article, addressed to a section of the people while a large part of the country is still shrouded among the colonial way of thinking. They will watch his programmes , say 'ha-ha', and continue to do what their grand father did.Anything will be termed 'Ghar ki Izzat'.Hypocisy is what we preach.
A Thamizh saying is - a conch blown in a deaf man's ears'
However, the wfforts have to be lauded and we shall wait with a ray of the hope for the light in the tunnell

from:  Ratnam
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 19:16 IST

Adding up some more questions/suggestionbs to Mr. Khan's shouuut..

1. Is it the responsibility of gal's parents alone to help the newly married couple financially?

2. Infact why do the parents need to support them financially, when they are confident enough that they can hold the marriage responsibilities..They are old enough to hold such a huge responsibility..but can't the couple manage financial issues....If the parents keep on doing so....richer becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer.

3. My desparate plead to this society.....pls pls pls don't ever discourage a gal who don't want to give dowry in any form..I am a software engineer,earning a lot,my parents have money..but I didn't want to give dowry..but society chased me and my parents...but atlast my honesty helped me..And my story turned up in a positive way..

4. Whatz important is..u need not have ur own shadow as ur spouse.It is good enough if u can respect his/her feelings,thoughts.Though u may not have d same

from:  Kathyayani Katari
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:51 IST

Hi Aamir, I am not just a fan of yours but also an ardent admirer of your approach to creativity, professionalism and now social issues. We live in a society dominated by the thought of how we would be perceived and that's the thought which is burdening most of us. It cannot be curbed soon but I don't know how many of us will be willing to agree to Sherbat weddings? It's again because of how we will be perceived? Miser, affluent or whatever! I feel the society needs to grow and mature and law plays a huge role in putting things in place. The most unfortunate part is that the political parties themselves play on this card subtly, terming them 'culture' or else dowry related issues could have been dealt by now. I feel once the dowry system is completely taken out of system, the girl child abortion rate will proportionately fall. I would take this opportunity to thank you for your initiative. Satyamev Jayate

from:  Suvajit Mustafi
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:34 IST

India is driven by the three letter word 'ego'. Some one commented about half the people divorced in America, but failed to see the other half. It is how to say 'Half full' or 'Half Empty'. I live in USA and work with people who are married and celebrating 30 years, 40 years, 50 years of wedding. If America is such broken society, How come it is the world leader ? Why majority of Indian is looking to come to US ? Let me give another simple example: Last week my client person's son got married. All he did was to take Friday off and was back to work on Monday.He did not distribute invitation card to everyone in the office. If this would have been India, I would have got an invitation to go and eat my dinner and donate Rs.50 to a pool, where each plate would have cost Rs.100. Who is spending the rest ? Ofcourse, every Indian know the answer. Please try to correct yourself first, before pointing fingers. Learn to save and not waste.

from:  BK
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:25 IST

Thanks. coming from Aamir hopefully the last para on dowry will ring in the ears of the retrograde barbarian Indian groom whose numbers even today go by hordes.

from:  P Avinash
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:22 IST

Can we do away with pompous marriage, will take time, but a beginning can be made, by ensuring a single day marriage and keeping the lighting to the min and the most important aspect is making sure that no one waste any food on their plate, am sure if we follow on this points we would be definitely come a long way. Am sure Aamir just kindling our mind to ensure some of us follow.

from:  venkat
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:13 IST

Certain facts are quite obvious to every normal human being. Its the society and it's existing customs that blocks the 'common sense' of an individual and compels him to practice the conventional predominant procedures. When apparent facts like "Dowry is wicked, evil and immoral" is emphasized by a cult figure like Aamir Khan, people embrace them wholeheartedly and tries to follow them passionately. So kudos to AK for creating an awareness in the society. Every individual can contribute in obliterating 'dowry' from our society simply by not taking or offering it.

from:  Nabajit Baruah
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 18:12 IST

hello Amir, Though ur article suggests us many good measures to curb the evil of dowry but one thing that does not go down well is the sharbat wedding u proposed to follow.Simply telling people to do that will not help.I would suggest the billionaires and millionaires of this country should implement that and set an example for everyone. Infact, ask ur fellow film and TV actors to do the same.And i m sure many will follow. Hopefully, u wud succeed in convincing at least one or two such people.

from:  Manisha Kukreti
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 17:46 IST

Excellent thoughts Aamir!You have done an excellent job by using your fame for betterment of society.I will like you to take up issue of liberal education and how philosophical studies from a young age can guide both children and parents to become better human beings and live in harmony with the world around.By philosophical studies i mean anything from the learning of Gita,to the wisdom of Plato and Albert Einstein. Good Luck

from:  Deepa Roongta
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 17:17 IST

Would really like to know if this same column had been written by some social activist, would it have got so many comments?

from:  Indranil Majumder
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 17:15 IST

Marriage performance can be simplified with one time ritualistic marriage and a reception in the evening for friends and others and we should root out extravagance spending on show off and multi days marriage. Sharbath marriage will not be accepted in the next one decade. Root out dowry system, bring law to register the dowry given and taken so that brides do not fall prey to greedy in laws. Let every mother & sister teach their son how to treat a wife and let us get away from the tradition of girl moving to in laws house after marriage which incidentally is the biggest reason for all atrocities. Give the bride & groom a space for themselves to understand each other and live in mutual inter dependence.

from:  Viswanathan V
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 17:01 IST

Most Indians are conditioned, mainly by our mores and culture, to give importance to the prospective groom's/bride's family, caste, home, education, income, bank balance, appearance and complexion. The amount of significance we attach to these 'superficial' factors is determined in part by one's social and intellectual maturity and in part by societal maturity and attitudes. Right education and right models can help us in broadening our awareness on this vital issue. This article is spot on and has begun the same in earnest.

from:  Sreehari Pusuluri
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 16:51 IST

This is a simple & natural truth which Amir has showed each one of us and we should truly think & adopt this culture to make our life successful & beautiful.

from:  pankaj sharma
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 16:42 IST

Good article. But in the end, societal and peer pressure envelopes almost everyone. As Indians, we tend to be very social in nature, which ultimately leads to showing off and competing, worrying only about what others might think, while not deliberating upon the correct thing to do.

from:  Mayur
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 16:23 IST

Aamir Khan is one among the few Nationalist Indians who seldom forgets his service to the Nation in his capacity.I really again appreciate his TV serial 'Satyamev Jayate'.I have few points to make 1,Dowry and fat weddings are two different issues as for the rich but it joins together and make a bigger evil when this trickle down and becomes a big evil called Dowry.So to make it short majority of evil like Dowry starts at the door steps of the Rich which is affordable and a sigh of status symbol,power and showcasing of their success to them.This is aped by the middle class and poor which is unaffordable and hence becomes evil.So the Rich has a social obligation by being sensitive to the society at large.They should 1st stop the display of their dirty wealth.

from:  Venkatesh
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 16:17 IST

Too often, I see people trying to make 'India' a simple concept, where everyone has the same values and culture. In fact, the first thing Aamir Khan should understand is that India is not a country, it is a continent. It is impossible to speak to the whole country anymore, without being completely out of sync with many sections of our people. As a person who has lived in USA for 10 years, UK for 3 years and India for 29 years, I say this with authority. There is no perfect recipe for marriage. Dating has its own issues, but 'knowing' your partner is no guarantee that a marriage will succeed. First, people should be brought up in a culture where they can respect the other person, genuinely. In India, we are a society that loves to talk about whether the baby is fair or dark, what caste, what religion they are, and often the lavishness of the weddings are desperate attempts at asserting ones 'social status'. You can't change that in a lifetime. Let us first learn mutual respect.

from:  Rajeev Jayadevan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 16:08 IST

It's a wonderful article pointing the core values of marriage and family life.This article is worthy for both the youths as well as the elders to think and change the mindsets regarding the same . kudos for the Hindu news paper for publishing this article which is having a good social and psychological value.

from:  Muhammed Shabee K
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 15:45 IST

Amir, I cannot believe that you would show one side of the coin on SMJ. You have shown that there is dowry harassment. No doubt, it does exist in India. But haven't you heard that nowadays some of the so called educated independent women in big cities are misusing laws for the protection of women (like 498a, DV, 125, etc) as an extortion tool to get money from men in the name of marriage, most of the times to hide their own mistake (affairs etc.). The ease with which these women protection laws can be misused by crooked greedy women had made the lives of scores of men and their family (including women in their family) miserable. It's high time that you show this side of story too - the misuse of women protection laws especially dowry (498a) by educated women in cities.

from:  rohit
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 15:21 IST

Men and Women are not equal.In fact women are superior as nature chose females to be an active participant in the process of evolution. Having said that, the economic and societal compulsions in the way we conducted marriages are no longer there. The onus to usher in change lies on each one of us as a parent or as a seeker. If the foundation of the building is weak, its going to collapse sooner or later and its manifestations are not only physical separation but could be mental and from a long term perspective the upbringing of children. Great programming.Damn the cynics, even a small step forward is in the forward direction.So even if SMJ makes a diff to 100 people its worth it. We need people who will take these small steps and not sit and deride the efforts and attempts of those who do.

from:  Ashish Khushu
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 14:38 IST

Really Ameer Khan ... Nice one need to take it up from our society and stop thinking of dowry think about education..

from:  Jayachandra
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 14:32 IST

What about your case?
Why did you left your first relationship then?

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 14:04 IST

Its good to do Sharbat Wedding rather than a Expensive parties becoz what matters is our emotion but will our community accept and Implement it. Begining has already been done. I am thankful to read and understand this as I was in need of.

from:  Gomathi
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 13:52 IST

Lots of thoughts on the article. Lots of Pros n cons. However, I fail to understand why we forget to understand the issues raised in the show. They are not our issues in person however the same has been happening around us. Having a lavish marriage is not the issue AK has stated, having a lavish marriage just sake of show off or to gain respect in the society is the issue. Understanding the spouse is much better way than to cry later. And those who says, relationship does not matter much in Western country, Let me tell you , Western people respect human being in general, relationship just could be by blood or by choice, but they do respect the human in general.

from:  Vikas rattan goyal
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 13:44 IST

Delighted that finally the educated are talking about these issues that are so intrinsic to the Indian social and cultural fabric that most people just ignore and live with it.

from:  Pavan Shinde
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 13:15 IST

Finally after scrolling through multiple comments extolling Aamir's virtues I was glad to read the comment by Amrit Juneja just above mine who is making some sense. Frankly the article did not really impress me or talk about something great. Really how many people those who would be reading this article online / in The Hindu would only look at whose son / daughter it is or what the degree is? Don't belittle elders who have the best interests of their children at heart. Even in arranged marriages, the elder also investigate the character of the person. And now the boy / girl do get to talk before finalizing. In any case, I do not get the point of the article. I personally do not know anyone who would say for example "I am marrying an MBA even though he is a drunkard." For his point on time - Life is but a series of events you look forwards to. Not impressed!

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:46 IST

Amir sir, you are great. I belong to a small village in uttar pradesh and two years before my sister got married and my father have spent all their money whether in bank or invested in insurance and we had nothing more than 5000 rupees for food only due to dowry. I had the same kind of thinking and after the support of amir khan i am firm determined that i will choose my dream partner only on the basis of her nature and kindness and nothing else should matter. Thank you very much sir for the great support.

from:  pankaj kumar mishra
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:41 IST

Kudos to you sir! very well composed! Thanks for showing such responsibility towards to the community and we, who look up to you and admire you on the movies will definitely make a note of this! :)

from:  Poornima Tharimela
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:29 IST

The last para where you say that keep aside some money to give to the bride so that the couple can start a good life on their own is again a veiled acknowledgement of relevence of dowry. If such idea is welcome, then why not dowry in open?

The last two episodes are sensational though, but the issues they address are endless. There does not seem to be a good solution around.

I request you to advocate for a cause only after understanding it properly, from different perspectives and for a good length of time.

from:  Sushanta Sahu
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:07 IST

Aamir this composition of yours is great, well written. But the point
of ostentatious wedding day and preparation that you have made, does
not it apply to you as well? Don't you think when your son Junaid
would get married you would prefer to celebrate that day with great
zeal? We as a society indeed play individual roles that contribute in
making this all a society but why should not one consider society? Why
do we not think what society think as of us on our spending for the
marriage? And I appreciate your point on uprooting dowry system and
investing in a girl's education! What do you have to say on this?

from:  Hina Fatima Khan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 12:05 IST

Hi Aamir, i am completly convinced with your concept on Indian Marriage.Thank You for writing such a blog on this topic.Really we Indians need to think about it.But the problem is what ever Mr.Aamir said now is very tough to get implemented.We educated people have to take some initial steps to make this happened in our society.I just hope your article will change peoples way of thinking. Every youngster Must read this blog ..!!!!!

from:  Anil Kumar Deependra
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 11:55 IST

Good article...

from:  Bhargava
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 11:55 IST

Aamir Hats off to the courage you took in putting such a sensitive topic forward. It is really the need of hour for people to understand the importance of marriage and not just the function. It is really easy to sit in other countries and boast about the high moral values of India but in reality marriages in India are much worse because the two individuals are just compromising their whole life just to stay good in the eyes of society. And its really easy to say that we are not like that but maximum portion of the society is.

from:  Ankita
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 11:40 IST

@Amrit
Devorcee doesn't mean that he has taken dowry or it was dowry harassment.. it might be the mutual understanding or pesonal. then main point here is not abt divorce. the point is dowry cases and the parents who suffered to meet the groom's expectation. Do not blame blindly someone. Appreciate atleast he is raising his voice.

from:  Suvarna
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 11:39 IST

So true, but tell this to Movie makers also who are showing such extravagant weddings in their movies.The girl, on your show,says she wants a Yash Raj style wedding for herself!!Hindi movies have a lot of impact on our society today. We need more Aamir Khans to make a difference.

from:  renu
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:55 IST

I wonder how no one has found it funny that this article is coming from a divrocee. I really appreciate Amir's abilities as an artist, but his terming of the expenditures made on a marriage as worthless is just not done. For many in the middle class, marriage is probably the only occassion that they actually 'throw a party'. The poor celebrate loudly at every festival they can get hold of, the rich have classy parties behind closed doors, and you expect the middle class to have a dry wedding in a temple. All this in the name of protection of women's rights. For those of you who don't know, or are blinded by your love for Amir, I would like to point out that marriage expenses these days are shared equally between both parties. Highlighting the fact that prosepective couples 'waste' a lot of time on planning ceremonies and dresses doesn't mean that they don't think of how their future lives will be and whether they're compatible with each other. The young generation ain't foolish Amir!

from:  Amrit Juneja
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:28 IST

I agree with you, Sir! I am a guy from Gujarat, working in Dubai. I am in relationship with a girl. We love each other. Know each other from last three years. Just celebrated our third anniversary on 26th of April. We want to marry but her family is just like what you described. They are more concerned about the caste and that's because of the society. They think about 'they'. What will they say? How will they react? Will they give us same respect as they are giving now?
The same 'they' you are talking about. Her family is more interested in getting a rich reputed family for her, not interested in the person she gonna spend her life with. We believe in same religion. Have same rituals and way of living. But our sub-caste differs. My beloved loves her parents( we all do) and she dont want to spoil their reputation by marrying me(Guy who is not her sub-caste).
Hope they understand us.

from:  Sagaran
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:20 IST

Completely agree with AK. Really appreciates the concept of "Satyamev Jayate", by bringing up important social issue in public on national television. Wishing you grand success of TV show by having impact on society & would like to read more articles like this on every Monday.
Every yougsters should read this article.

from:  Dr Shreyansh Shah
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 10:14 IST

I appreciate your and your team effort.You are an ispiration to the youth. I agree with your each every point. Hope the society welcomes all your suggestions with open arms. Yesterday I was discussing same points in my office with my collegues, they are IT professionals. But I felt very pity for their thoughts. I felt they are one among them who wants dowry ( sorry they dont say word "dowry". they say ki "agar kisiko pyar jatana hai to you should gift something. )Educated people thinks in a such a way.
Other things we discussed ki why you need big fat wedding? The answer was to showcase your "status". How well of you in this society.again i felt really bad!! We ended our discussion after 2 hrs .. But I couldn't convince them. They only conclusion i made is they are born in such a family , ki for them all these customs, showcase is mean to world.This how they live there life.
I just hope they should not be a another example.

from:  Suvarna
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 09:57 IST

thanks aamir for bringing out our feelings to the world in such a digestatable & convincing way.. thank u.. before this no one understood my this point.. thay felt i was being miser in saying that..but......

from:  nabaneeta
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 09:52 IST

I totally agree to some parts like dowry marriage cost and what you want to spend the money on but totally disagree with what amir terms as superficial. Every one has their own superficial definition depending on what is their status in the society. As a simple example financial stability gives more comfort to a middle class bride or a groom.But for a upper class bride or a groom it is the emotive aspects. For amir khan as he has money only emotive aspects are more important that money or the position.So his thought process in this article is driven by that.

from:  Ram
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 09:19 IST

Dear Aamir,

It's definitely good to see the amount of effort you and the rest of your team have been putting in to raise the social awareness of us Indians.

When you say that families, especially the ones with less money, should strive for simple, frill-free weddings, you should also note that the ads that celebrities including you feature in, encourage consumerism to the hilt - whether it be ads for jewellery, watches, and all the seemingly finer things in life. Poor people also watch these ads, you know. Of course, one could argue that people can decide for themselves - but we all know how coercive and persuasive ads starring credible celebrities can be :-)

from:  Shainu
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 08:52 IST


Well done Amir! God bless you with further good success.

from:  muhammad ahmed
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 08:43 IST

@Aravind: The issue here under discussion is not to create an embargo of sorts to prevent elders from attending marriages! The issue here is the colossal wastage of food, power, money and time in planning elaborate weddings and then what? Do you think 100 years back Indian marriages had expensive over-the-top stage decorations, exotic flowers or cuisine in AC marriage halls with designer bridal trousseau? Also, nobody cares if you are wealthy enough to afford such lavish weddings. But what about the middle-class people whose entire life savings vansihes in a matter of couple of days? Think!

from:  Divya
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 08:08 IST

Dear Aamir,
Excellent. Kudos for your initiative to take these perennial issues head on and making the society to talk about it and bringing the much needed change. As long as we have people like you, there is still hope. I have become your ardent fan- you have a heart of gold. You are like a fresh fountain of hope in otherwise depressing times. I think there are several people who have a strong mass appeal and there are several others who are helping with social issues, but you are some of those rare people who have a wonderful combination of intellect, boldness, creativeness, and above all a passion to bring a positive change in the society; and of course the icing on the cake is your appeal-each single word that you say or write has a tremendous impact! Your program has already ignited the change- people are thinking and discussing these age old issues with renewed interest and optimism. You are such a genius. May God bless you. Please keep up the good work. Satyamev Jayate!

from:  Kumar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 07:41 IST

I agree 100% with what is covered here. I also want to add few
observations here which I had in my society.

I know couple of cases where my well established friends strictly
denied accepting dowry during marriage. But in our foolish society,
girl's parents were hesitant to highlight this as an example to be
followed. Rather, they started telling lie in society that they have
given a huge amount and felt dignified. Usually, our damn society
comments like " Free mei wo apni beti ki shadi kar raha hai. Road
chhaap ladka hoga kahin ka". Believe me, those guys did not get even
proper respect from girls family after marriage. But again if the girl
who is going to spend life with him is understanding this wise
decision then other social factors, though impact, hardly matter.

One of my friend proposed to marry in a temple and save money and
time. This is one of the wisest decision but no one from girl's side
agreed on this even though they did not have enough money to waste on
show-offs.

from:  Madhav
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 07:28 IST

Amir , Your views on anything, it alwasy inspires us as to how we should live the life.This is full of inspiration .

from:  Kedarnath Thorat
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 06:49 IST

@ aravind ramaswami: Real part of the marriage is to get the
blessings? Real part of the marriage in India is to milk the poor
bride by bride groom, all their savings in many cases rendering
them paupers! Blessings bla bla are mere incidental . “Tradition”
calls for continued fleecing the girl’s parents even after years
after marriage like during first child birth etc. Thanks to Western
influence (borrowed culture as you call) there is considerable
moderation in Sati like culture. I dare say but for the enlightened
Western influence through Ram Mohn Rai, India would have continued
with “ancient tradition” of burning the widowed bride in husband
funeral pyre.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 06:44 IST

Aamir Khan has not touched upon the need for adopting an understanding attitude towards a newly married girl entering the threshold of entirely new surroundings in her life and trying to adapt herself to the changed atmosphere. Often the boy's parents and sisters look for an opportunity to find faults with the new entrant the same way the existing employees to one entering from a different background and try to make life as miserable as possible for the poor girl. The boy out of his traditional respect for his parents and other elders acts as a dumb cow not knowing how to offer solace to the girl which in turn affects the conjugal relations adversely.
Among the middle class dowry is no longer an issue as the girl's parents are asked to perform the function within their means and when the boy's parents provide this free license to the girl's parents the girl's parents go all out to make the function a grand success without any feeling of deprivation.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 06:42 IST

I completely agree with the fact the unnecessary expenditure of money is not wise.. but shouldn't the film fraternity change the way they waste money on thier ocassions and functions?

from:  Shoeb Khan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 05:43 IST

I believe the author is trying to draw attention to the materialistic
and symbolic nature of the actual marriage rather than comment on
arranged marriages . Even in arranged marriages the prospective bride
and groom have the opportunity to get to know each other before the
actual nuptial date . However any kind of marriage whether arranged or
otherwise tends to become over the top with a lot of unnecessary
discretionary expenses that are part and parcel of todays marriages
and that can be avoided. The lesson in the article is to save the
money and give it as a lumpsum to the bride and groom rather then
spend it all before their life has begun. I would also suggest making
donations to a good cause instead of spending it all on dhoom dhamaka
weddings where each family tries to outshine the other.

from:  Venky Iyer
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 05:29 IST

Admire your efforts on social causes both on TV and print.Please
continue your work to highlight our social evils...you have our support.

from:  Sriini Kannan
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 03:42 IST

Very well written article by Aamir, I wish it reaches to a larger
audience. Hats off to Aamir for his efforts. This article couldn't have
come at a better time for me, as I am going to get married soon. Though
I never supported dowry, now I will make a point to ask absolutely
nothing from my in laws. I am already getting a gift for my life and my
love, I cant ask for more....

from:  Shishir
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 03:13 IST

Dear Amir,
Your points are valid and I think it's worth if people really take it seriously and start implementing. By the way I have some quetions to ask:
A) Have you got married the way you are telling? b'coz your last marriage was not a simple marriage and can you tell us how much money was spent on cards, gifts,Buffet, Honeymoon etc..,? You will be just a hypocrite if you don't do it for yourself and just preach others!
B) Similarly, can you tell people not to drink coca cola which is bad for health? I bet you wont! b'coz you don't want to loose money!

People just talk for few days and forget it within few days as you have big fan following and I see lot of comments appreciating, Big Stars like you should show it in action rather than talking and if this is for popularity sake then this is worthless!

Makara

from:  Makara Dhwaja
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 02:49 IST

I'll make my marriage a different and better one. Hope my parents will understand and help me to be a starter for this event.

Thanks THE HINDU for the wonderful article.

from:  Fredrick J S
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 02:41 IST

well said. hope more people can realize this. we have been brought up the same way and my friends look at me weird. hopefully they will understand that i am normal!

from:  Siri Aoom
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 01:27 IST

@D Mahapatra
I'm replying because I think you appreciate that me and others like me
have read your reply. Let me just say, that I had already thought
about this from your angle and I don't see much of a disagreement with
what I've said. Imagine how bad the parents would feel knowing they
ruined their children's lives by controlling them and turning them
into helpless sheep who can't face the world. Both this and what you
said can happen; but since our world is changing so fast, I will bet
on my worst case scenario.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 01:12 IST

Thanks Hindu for publishing such column bringing positive messages from such leading
personality like Aamir which wil have impact on larger society.
Amir, I feel closer with your ideals though physically miles away. This is a great service to
society if it changes few people and in turn the society.

from:  Sundar Rengaswamy
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 01:12 IST

Thank you for exposing the ills of our society Dowry, Child abuse, female infanticide etc. I am hoping you to expose even more pressing ills of our nation such as political corruption, lack of national integration plans to handle rural and urban sewage issues, traffic, Integration of rivers to eradicate floods and famine etc. Majority of our fellow citizens are good natured and one can mold majority of them to even better citizens with right message.

I can not thank you enough for the service you are doing to our Nation. My special thanks to you for exposing issues related to the fair sex (Our daughters, sisters, mothers etc) of our nation. They are the once who help keep our families strong so is the nation and deserve all the attention and respect from each and every one of us.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:53 IST

Marriages are no more made in heaven.There is a big marriage market
now where boys and girls are the stocks, stock prices being regulated
by the parents and relatives and the stocks play up and down in the
market.End of the day,when these stocks ceases to exist,nobody comes
to rescue!We have to realize that marriage is a private affair between
a guy and the girl and not between the families.Families should be
open to the views of their children rather than looking from their
point of view.When marriages broke,parents cannot do
anything.Therefore,One has to be left with the choice of choosing
their life partners at any point of their life.It's a hard mitten fact
that almost a good proportion of people in arranged marriages are just
living their life just for the sake of it.Live to love and love to be
lived,then life becomes meaningful.Always be truthful to the one who
loves u or to whom you love the most.Marriage is a commitment and You
can't be committed to multiple people in yr lives

from:  George
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:47 IST

Bouquets to Hindu and the writer for the new column. Mr khan has shown the pathway to
the youth of India and we expect such golden thoughts from activists for the betterment of
Society. C.P.Chandra das from USA.

from:  C.P.Chandra das
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:41 IST

Dear Aamir

I am great fan of your movies where you choose your subject carefully, mostly conveying a social message. And, it's no surprise that you chose your TV debut to be something as relevant and meaningful as this. Coming to Marriage - yes, I agree with your viewpoint that we spend way too much money in organizing a grand marriage function and invite all kinds of people - whom the bride and groom would hardly be known as well. However, the only issue with "taking own sweet time to decide your partner" - it would come with its own share of problems (delayed marriage, getting emotionally connected over time only to see that the other person was not serious etc.) It's typically seen that all successful marriages have couples with contrasting traits - may be that's how horroscope match is done. If individuals look at like mindedness, it might lead to further clash. So, our formula is time tested - the only thing is it should be minus dowry or extravagant spending on fucntions.

from:  Avinash
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:27 IST

Aamir saab, The episode was wonderful. This is one of the kind TV series that would bring all the people in the country together. This is not an easy task. And this can only be done by a super star like you with a great charisma. hats off Amir ji...

from:  Prasad
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:14 IST

Aamir, young and emerging peoples of India moving fast towards nuclear family from last deacade, Girl or boy, both want to be supportive, whether financially or for family. Definately points you bought will be visible in next 20 years. Its slow but change is/will be there.

from:  Jagjit Singh
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:14 IST

Salaam Aamir SIR,

Welcome to my favorite Newspaper.
Very happy to see you on India's only Newspaper in TRUE SENSE.
Nice column and well written. Hope everyone will try to avoid this bad
self-made custom of dowry. And specially the youngster should take
initiative and make their Marriage life beautiful and meaningful.

Thanks SIR
Awaiting more................

from:  MUHAMMAD SANAULLAH
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 00:03 IST

Amir Khan's column was thought provoking,and his views are
appreciable.Adding to his views,the happiest person on the earth is
one whohave good wife, neighbour and spacious house.While selecting
life partner we need to concentrate on her/his virtues rather than
her/his social status,qualification and family name.

I appreciate The Hindu for providing platform for social cause by
means of Amir Khan's column

from:  MUSTAQ KUNNUR HUBLI
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 23:43 IST

Good Vision and big thought.
clear idea about the wedding day and rest of the life.
This is a great article

'Satyameva Jayate' is an amazing show.

from:  Priya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 23:33 IST

I am 200% with you AK. I really got shocked, how come you tell all my thoughts. Thanks for your message for the youngsters. It will be great if 1 of 100 can take your message, adopts in their life. We can easily change our india. Salute to your thoughts and efforts for changing the society.

from:  Surendra Reddy
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 23:33 IST

Your voice is needed right now for India,, let all those who have some senses come forward and start a movement for a new India. Its not the corrupt bureaucracy that our basic problem is, its the attitude of own people.

from:  Sreerag A S
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 23:20 IST

Appreciate Aamir's views. The essence of his views are, the subjects
of marriage namely bride and groom should know what they are upto and
if they are compatible. Most of these mature thoughts occur beyond the
age of marriage for an average person. Hence it is mostly physical
attraction(chemial locha) that triggers the process of marriage for
these individuals. MARRIAGE IS LIKE A SURPRISE, like life in general,
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHATS COMING, without knowing the details and depths
of the other person and how you overcome any problems you encounter
with that person. If both are of similar mindset with mutual respect
to individuals, they surely will succeed in enduring the course, come
any problem whatsoever. Surely we can think of AVOIDING the VANITY
part and PRESERVING the TRADITIONAL/RELIGIOUS/CULTURAL parts, which
can eliminate most of the ills of marriage system in India(read
dowry).

from:  Divyakumar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 23:16 IST

Way to go, Aamirji !!! Hats off to you !!!

from:  Antony Rajan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 21:05 IST

I am thankful to Aamir for waking up the concepts which are really thought provoking. I wish this program reaches its goal by awaking people from dark to enlighten them. I request all the educated (to be so called themselves " Qualified") be a part of it by contributing for the welfare of society.As we are part of society and its our responsibility keep our family healthy in all the aspects which would by itself will be a contribution to society.

from:  Sowmya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:52 IST

Amir said that before marriage both wife and husband would be understood well.Then what happened for Amir,his first marriage was love marriage,but after several years it collapsed.So it is nothing with arranged or love marriage,it depends the person who can sacrifice for other.Husband has to sacrifice for wife and vice versa

from:  Ameera
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:48 IST

Wonderful Article from AK. True from the heart.. Liked it very much. Mine was an arranged marriage and am very happy it was arranged. I trust my parents very much and they found me the correct life partner. They knew what / who was compatable for me from the outset and only looked for a girl from that background. I think its a culture thing and would reccommend parents to continue this tradition. I agree with AK on dowry... Thats one thing I regret about thinking about my marriage in Hindsight..

from:  Sri Raja
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:46 IST

Hi Mr Amir Khan, Thank you for the article, though I enjoyed your
article much which has a rebellious tang to it, like your movies and
the show you have put up on TV. I agree to one of the gentleman above,
your show or this article lace sincere depth. 1. Agreed, we need to
know our will be spouse in advance. Which is relatively new concept
until hundred years ago, I suppose. My point is a relationship
flourishes not because you know the person before hand and make a
living accordingly. I believe it flourishes with cumulative
discoveries about each other. 2. This concept has not earned any great
deal in any society. On the other hand arranged marriage has been
successful at the largest part in every society, predominantly here.
3. If someone is MBBS, an IAS or engineer that is not just a bad thing
to know about someone and to be proud of. We just can’t take
competitiveness from the society; which you meticulously enjoy too. 5.
Isn’t the day one of everything in our life very very import

from:  Kiran
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:40 IST

A big fat Indian wedding does not make any long term impact and dowry is a blot - agreed. But how do you expect a person to understand his/her potential partner? Through cohabitation or live in relationships? Indian system of marriage is not fundamentally wrong or broken, except that it requires a bit of fine tuning. Article is superficial and does not offer any viable alternatives.

from:  Vikram
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:33 IST

Firstly, I wish to convey my heartfelt respect to the people who boldly came forward to share their personal tragedies as well as personal fights, Amir and all the people who made this show possible. You are true heroes. The common theme of Satyameva Jayate is to stand for what is right. The problems are diverse, so are the people involved: the victims, the bullies and the silent onlookers. They are all part of the problem and the solution. Many times we let ourselves be abused feeling we owe our lives, or our career or some aspect of ourselves to the abuser. Remember this: 'Bite not the hands that feed you, but do not let them strangle you either. Your dignity is not for sale.' This goes for every suffering man, woman and child. Many times we turn a blind eye because its not 'my' business. There is a way to feel human again. Remind yourself 'To Be just, don't just be'. To bear or to bare, that is the question. Amir has clarified his stand. It is now our turn.

from:  Aarthi K
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:28 IST

I am continuing my views:

Caste: I am not condoning this and caste has got a bad word because of its bad use in past and even today. However, for marriage, people use caste to narrow down the differences. Let us be honest, people of same caste have similar habits than with different caste.

Education: People choose education to find similar background. Even in a western society like the US, where people choose partners on their own, it is found that higher educated people marry higher educated people.

Income/Bank Balance: If there is big disparity then clearly thought process of each one will be different. This is not a bollywood movie. A friend of mine lost $1 million because his wife from poor background took money and ran away with her lover. These things happen!

Finally, if one has to be scientific then one has to find reasons behind such a low divorce rate (2%) in arranged marriages (high prevalence in India) compared to love marriages (50%) (high prevalence in west).

from:  Ashish Continuing
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:15 IST

Mr. Aamir Khan, I am very happy to see someone making an effort to change the society's way of thinking. I totally agree with your views on marriage and I live in the USA and have a son. I am a very strong believer that my son should marry the person whom he likes and we hate the dowry system.
Once again keep up the good work and please do continue your Satyamev Jayate.

from:  Roselene
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:07 IST

WOW! Thanks Amir. such a true article. And so many comments! - I read them all with great
interest and I learned more about our country. In the end it is the improvement of our living
standards from one generation to other. And by that I mean enhancement of our values like
honor, education, health, prosperity, prestige, fame etc.,.often prestige is mistaken for
honor. Never should one borrow to get married. The whole point of starting a new life loses
its point. It is our values which will be our strongest weapon for survival. Indians have great
values and Amir's article has just strengthen our belief in the right things. Truth that is always
victorious. Yes Satyameva Jayate! Just another funny point I noticed. America - a
technologically advanced country - based on its better understanding of Science which
equates to Satyamave Jayate - writes on its currency - IN GOD WE TRUST. On the other
hand Indians who are more generally more religious write - Satyameva Jayate. I like it this
way

from:  Vinod
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:06 IST

AK great article except for this line "We check on the prospective groom's/bride's family, caste, home, education, income, bank balance, appearance and complexion. But all of these things are purely superficial." I do not think these items are superficial. Men and women are already different in their thought process at a macro level. Therefore, people use these "so called superficial" items to narrow down the differences. Because unless you are super rich and your money masks these differences, these differences slowly become huge issues in a 50 to 75 year married life. Example: Groom's and Bride's Families: People do not visit each other's family for free snacks. It is to check each other's food habits, behavior, how they treat each other and even maids, who makes decision in the family, bride will have career opportunities, how conservative is the family, dressing sense, etc.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:04 IST

Good article. No boubt. Hats off. Valued article. Doubtful?

from:  Sumesh R bhat
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 20:05 IST

@everyone who claim western countries with love marraiges have high divorce rates -

I would like to ask you if it is better to have the right to get out of an abusive marraige rather than stay in an abusive marriage because you have no choice. Just because India has a lower divorce rate than western countries, it does not mean they are ideal or happy marraiges! Quite the opposite, in fact. Resentment!

from:  Hari
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 19:25 IST

As usual master stroke by shri Aamir Khan ji.....

from:  Kannan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 19:23 IST

Darn True.. !
I am a way too happy to witness such a bold initiative...(Specially for
going considerably against the typical Indian mentality)
T H A N K Y O U AK !

from:  Abhishek Magji
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 19:19 IST

completely agree with you on the topic of marriage you raised in this
week's show.... hope people understand what you want to convey and
learn something... and hope we can together change this world to make
a better place to live in.
its not only a boys parents who sometime force to give dowry or do
agrand marriage... but also most of the time girl's parents by
themselves feel it below their standard levels to "not" to do a grand
wedding... or they feel that if they do not do a grand wedding that
means they do not love their child enough..... i feel it is more
important for people to come out of this feeling of showing their
standards and comparing and weighing feelings with money they spend on
their child......

from:  Vinita
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 19:08 IST

My dad, like any parent, had stashed away money for my marriage.
In the course of life, there came a time when he had a chance to
buy a plot in a good location at a bargain price. I asked him to
buy the plot and later on if he wished he could gift it to me or
take care of his retirement, but not worry about my wedding
expenses as I could take care of it myself, since I was employed.
He refused, saying that he had gone as an invitee to all of his
relatives weddings and it was now his turn to invite them over
and it had to be a repayment kind of sorts. This sentimental
approach is what weighs in during any decision making more than
sensible outlook.

from:  anagha
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:59 IST

Really happy to see your column Mr. Khan in Hindu paper and raising
simple problems which really effecting the country future. Not sure in figures but in India we are spending nearly 2000cr/ Inr for marriages.

from:  Arun
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:58 IST

Wonderfully written article Aamir. Still the people take pride in claiming so so is the NRI groom. The craze for going abroad is blinding for the parents. People do not invest sufficient time in understanding the wife/husband to be instead look at superficial elements that give them temporary pride. While it is true that one should take time in understanding someone before marriage. Ensuring that the marriage lasts is also in the hands of the couple as many times people change with time.

from:  Kannan K
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:57 IST

I have read all the comments.Most of these are wishful thinking and show different mindsets of the people. My thinking is that we should select a bride or a groom for a boy or a girl with his or her approval. And once this is done there should be a frank discussion with the opposite party on the type of wedding.Each party should understand others difficulties and try to accommodate as far as possible . Two families should develop an relationship with equal respect for each other without importance to education,monetary or social status.Conflicts should be avoided .Ways to strengthen the bond between two families should be sought and implemented.

from:  MANDLIK ARUN KUMAR
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:51 IST

This is a failed and stinking western custom. There are several things
why indian marriage is so custom-ed. Although it is commercialized
now-a-days, still those india marriage customs were created for the
same reasons to "understand each other". Sharbat marriage will be good
for saving money(I should call miser marriage) .. but the real part of
the marriage is not the stuff you spoke about.. It is about getting
blessings from elders.. silly .. yea.. just think... the best thing
anyone can get from their closest ones are blessings(aashirwad).. even
you want to get blessings from god you need to offer something. Same
way we offer to the elders to get their blessings.. Don't try to just
westernize youngsters thoughts.. have some deep thought and research
why these customs are designed you will never even think about these
borrowed concepts. Research before you present something and let those
words be sensible. (Money is not everything as you said. the money is
just a confidence thats it.)

from:  aravind ramaswami
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:50 IST

So nice of you to write your wisdom here and also really revealing a
Hidden Truth in this.

So, you do agree that the objective of a girl's family is to get a
"ISI Stamped" groom or a well paid groom.

So when such kind of wishes are "MET" for girl's side, isnt this DOWRY
on it's own given by groom's side to the girl?

You may think that this article is not about any particular gender but
unfortunately, you have yourself spread gender bias into the society
by only showing that women are victims of Violence.

ARE YOU AWARE THAT THE HUSBAND WHO COMMIT SUICIDES IN INDIA EVERY YEAR
IS CLOSE TO DOUBLE TO THAT OF WIVES (not including those who are
murdered).

But even then, you chose to show a gender biased episode on SMJ for
women victims. Not your problem, we are Tuned to do so. We all believe
only men are perpetrators.

If you want us to read your thought without any gender in it, PLEASE,
try to show truth behind 62000 Husband Suicides in India & 98% false
Dowry cases in India.

from:  Ankush Verma
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 18:14 IST

This column can be austere and can do without that pretentious photo of Aamir
Khan. Why is this random column taking up space on The Hindu's Oped. Isn't that
space sacred? Why this blemish then? The topics brought in by Aamir both on the
show, Satyamev Jayate and this column hold good, what denigrates them and in fact
trivialises them is the lifestyle-esque fashion it is being brought out in. The Aamir
Khan Column, goes best with that pretentious column, with the years of The Hindu's
values and principles of journalism, it doesn't. As a voice of the younger generation,
yes The Hindu is too verbose for an early morning, but the quality of journalism is
top-notch. Pray tell, does bringing The Hindu to the youth mean dumbing down? We
want readable articles, but with content that hits us spot on. Don't employ cheap
tricks to make us want to lap up the centre spread.

This column is a good idea walking down a beaten path: what this needs is a
makeover. Asap.

from:  VishnuP
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:53 IST

Impact of amir khan's effort will be far better than those government
programmes to address these same issues on whom government spend
thousand of crore rupees without getting desired result.Hat's off to
him.

from:  ALOK KUMAR
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:50 IST

Great piece of writing... Hope all youngsters would read this and get influenced

from:  Krishna Chaitanya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:50 IST

Mr Amir Khan
You are speeching for marriage and its benefits. also dowry. Do you know how many womens misuse this law against Husband and in laws. In 2008 about 75000 Cases are filed and 135000 peson most of them MIL and FIN were arrested and put into jail without bail. even supreme court and various high courts many times told it is leagal terrorism. Most of the cases women misuse this law taking revenge against the in laws. New modern girls are not ready to adjust the IN laws house and she want to kick them out from the house or she need to seperate with her husband. If the things not come into her way she will file dowry, and d.v laws. I request you to pleas study the actul number of real/ and misuses. Otherwise you are doing injustice to old mother in laws without any of their fault. Modern educated women misusing the case more often than use. I would like to request you to make another episode of Women misusing the provision and In Laws pain also.

from:  kevin
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:40 IST

Hello Amir,

The revolution has to been changed particularly in our country. Due to one day expenditure entire girls family is getting suffered. My point of view the bride should against on dowry and heavy expenditure on marriage. In our country symbol of marriage is status. If, we think about status for one day and tomorrow no-one will help you.
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from:  Lakshminath
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:30 IST

his explanation is very simple but the truth is very powerful....the idea is to spend more time on finding the right partner and trying to be right partner once made a decision...some times our culture prevents us from finding a right partner...friend(female) of mine who's father thinks that girls are not allowed to decide on choosing bride(because he thinks that she don't know anything) even in case of arranged marriage...he wont discuss and wont mind to know the views of her daughter on her future partner...

from:  karthick
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 17:25 IST

Aamir I really go along with you on the points that you have raised on Money, Time and Emotions. But I do have some points to add on to it. Indian Marriage system has been proved to be a good because of its stability. Family is responsible for finding a right partner but we have to invest our time in understanding our partner, be faithful to partner and divorce should not be the final judgement of once married life. If we start searching people who are compatible for us it may be a task that may not be accomplished in most of the cases as no one is perfect. Divorces are mostly seen in people who are educated as they are not ready to adjust with their partners on any case and these belong to different categories of financial back grounds. Once your family is seeing a Girl/Boy don't go by their physical-beauty/financial-status/Green-Card/Caste/Religion. Try to talk to them and know how he/she thinks /communicates/behaves with you and outside world.

from:  Harish
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:54 IST

Dear AK,
Well written, I must say! But as Indians we are very proud of our big
fat weddings. We are known for it all over the world. The amount of
money spent on the wedding is considered as a measure of the father's
love for his daughter. It is this notion that has to be undone. It will
take time. Maybe you can start by DE-glamouring the weddings in movies.
Greta initiative. Keep it up.

from:  Achal
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:51 IST

Aamir is absolutely right,the Indian Marriage is all about hype and extravagance.So,it is the right time for the Indian Parents and Relatives to know the real value of the marraige and not to go after the fame acquired from 'The One Day' as said by Aamir.The onus also lies on the Indian youth in understanding their life partner rather than judging them superficially.

from:  abhilash
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:33 IST

Dear Aamir Khan,
Absolutely awesome! Breathtaking clarity of observations
especially when you say of marriages san “Shared interests, like-
mindedness, companionship, shared sensibility, and sense of humour”.
You are also very correct in observing that most people without
rhyme or reason worry about others opinion with no ethics or logic.
India marriages are total waste, most of it going through the
meaningless motions with the bride groom family having whipping
hand and bride’s parents under dread every moment. The wretched
“traditions” continue to haunt the poor girl’s parent long after the
marriage. It should surprise none as the reason for female
infanticide widely practiced in the land. Only way out of the curse
is the spread of scientific temper and questioning frame of mind and
accepts nothing under the guise of tradition without scientific
proof.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:33 IST

Beautifully written ! Hope it comes into practice too.

Thanks Amir !!

from:  Sudha
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:32 IST

@ Aamir and The Hindu...a great initiative...
Probably one Raja Ram Mohan Roy stood against the sati pratha and the rest is history...Hope there is another revolution...Wish that this is not forgotten as an episode or an article...people understand... they change...make more wiser decisions and stop these lavish wedding instead use this money wisely to settle down...Wish to assure that I and my family will stand up with you for this sensible cause...

from:  Lavanya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:31 IST

Dear Aamir,
'Satyameva Jayate' is an amazing attempt to bring about change in the Indian society by motivating people to 'be the change' themselves. I have a lot to say. Maybe some other time. As of now, I would like to suggest you to address an important issue sometime in your show... 'The Exploding Indian Population.' I have done no surveys and I have no statistics. But in the last few years, as I have grown from the age of thirteen to twenty, I have seen astonishing increase in the number of people on roads and the railway stations. See the increase in the number of students sitting for entrance examinations every year! Of course unemployment will be an epidemic in our country! Obviously crime rates will rise higher as the resources are limited, while consumers are increasing like viruses.

And there are several reasons... since I have limited space here, I cannot go to much detail. But I feel it is the cause of all evils in the Indian society.

And your work is commendable!

from:  Nancy
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:26 IST

Dear amir, good points applicable everywhere. I suggest you not use hinglish, that might hamper readability. I perfectly understand, but know many who don't.

from:  Justin joseph
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:23 IST

I always thought Aamir khan is a creative and emotional person but I never knew that he is so wise and thoughtful.I am a 19 year old boy and I feel deep down in my heart that whatever he has written in the article are true and most importantly should be practiced.

from:  Parthasarathi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 16:13 IST

Mr Amir Khan is more an intellectual than a Bollywood actor. I wish him all the best for his thought provoking articles in coming days. Mr Khan is a unique person with tremendous potentialities.

from:  M Vishnumoorthi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 15:48 IST

I cried my eyes out while watching your show. I was born in a family where my mom is from andhra and my dad is a tamilian. Trust me even thought they had a love marriage,my father was able to convince his parents about the dowry and paid all the expenses for their marriage with his own money and married my mom. I see people expressing their views about our older generations mindset and I say their mindset is far superior than our present generation. They have better understanding than us so called literates. when greed is the only thing people know these days how can we expect to have an understandable livelihood.... Lets change our attitude towards everything around us.... Do not expect miracles to happen overnight....

from:  Malathi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 15:12 IST

Congratulations to The Hindu for once again leveraging a powerful platform for introspection. Kudos to Mr Aamir Khan too, for his honest and forthright articulation on a very thought provoking topic. He is rightly perceived to be a thinking man who has the courage to stand by his convictions and I salute that. Having said that, I would like to add some of my thoughts for introspection. How many of us really know what we want? And, even more importantly, who we really are? is it not really just an amalgam of our socio-cultural conditioning and a set of beliefs that we accept - more often than not - because we are not taught/allowed/encouraged to question? It is my firm belief that the root cause of this malaise lies herein. After all, our choices and how we live are a projection of how we think. Most of us don't. because we have been too deeply conditioned about WHAT and not HOW to think - It takes courage - to venture into the unknown, stand alone.

from:  Vineeta Ganju
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 15:12 IST

This is my answer to all those who are diluting the spirit of the article or the program Satyamev jayate by saying, "lets also implicate girl for the malice, only "sharbat parties" are too insulting an arrangement to have on marriages." Please don't say lets hold girls or boys culprit for this malice. Its a social disease which has its effect on every Indian family and is engulfing lives of boys, girls and their families. This malice does affect the life of both the families involved irrespective of who is the villain and who is the culprit. Lets not, at least, specify the gender of the devil. And talking of sharbat parties. Please leave the decision of this to would-be bride and would-be groom. I know and so do you that today Indian youth have enough discretion to decide what is good or what is bad. It's because of this punctuating, persuading and compelling vicious social dogma that the youth of this nation knell down to. I hope all our respected parents understand this!!!

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 15:06 IST

I very much agree with Amir. This is really a great article to understand the real meaning of marriage. Thanks Amir for sharing this with us. Keep up the good work.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:57 IST

Aamir Khan is known for his social awareness programs, be it his debut directoral venture or his initiative on 'athiti devobhava', all are eye openers. On his recent initiative 'Satyamev Jayate' is bold and awareness creating program. Hats off to Aamir Khan and looking forward to more of these kind of been discussed on the national television which educates lot of people and hopefully we can see changes happening in the society at large. Aamir Khan is the real 'King Khan'. Regards, Sathya Narayana, Bangalore

from:  Sathya Narayana
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:53 IST

Dowry I am totally opposed to! Well statement sounds nice but the problems behind should be solved I guess. Why this is happening? Fathers want to marry off their daughters to well off Groom even if she is not a match to him in education, job, earning etc.,therefore the competition. Women are not given equal property even now and with little dowry the business of marriage is settled. I guess Fathers should be fair to their daughters. They spend lot of money on sons education but not on Daughters. They should treat both of them equal, much better one child policy!!! Ban scanning. Empower both Genders equality in all spears like in western world.

from:  Ravi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:49 IST

Kudos to you Aamir.. Now you're the sound of India... Keep this show going for good... :)We support you. Thanks to THE HINDU for publishing this column... Satyameva Jayate!!!

from:  Priya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:47 IST

A pleasant surprise to see Aamir's article. One request to Mr Khan to follow up on the issues that you are tackling. An issue that is raised should not be forgotten instead tabs must be kept on that particular issue and people must not forget to take a stand

from:  sandra
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:37 IST

Banal, condescending and overrated. I suppose he'll make a TED Talk out of it next.

from:  Jayaprakash
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:35 IST

Very well articulated Aamir. Elders and youngsters both need to appreciate the concept of marrying the right person rather than marrying the social way. I agree it is difficult to know the person's character in a few meetings but I guess, our instincts and our own character will guide us towards the right person. It will not be easy to convince your family or relatives but if they love you enough, they will see your point. By god's grace my own wedding was a simple registered marriage with a lovely lunch (all at our own expense)for our closest friends (unfortunately parents refused to have anything to do with us, due to caste and other social barriers) It has been seven years - with all happy and troubling times we have been through we have faced it together and all along I feel lucky to have found the right person.

from:  Sumi V
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:34 IST

Dear Aamir Khan, I watched Satyamev Jayte on marriage and also read the article in "The Hindu" and comments by the public. While congratulating your efforts and thoughts, I want to point out that the whole programme in a way suggested that it is only the boys or his family who is the culprit (they may be in majority of cases), but what about some girls/women who are responsible for the failure of marriages just because of their nature, attitude towards husband's family. This may look like a small thing, but it is not. When a girl move to another family, it is expected of her to change and adopt to the ways of the new family and nobody should mind if she suggests some improvements in the day to day life. I know there are many who wants to do things in their own way and end up destroying the harmony in their lives.

from:  Hardeep Singh
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:32 IST

While Aamir is right in emphasizing the need to think about more than just the marriage day, one needs to also consider that marriages in India were never meant to be between the bride and groom but more between two families or clans. As such, the priorities of the actual couple were irrelevant to most people. Now that things are changing, at least for the urban middle classes, one hopes that they try to follow the advice given above. However, the above recipe does not succeed as long as marriages are arranged. You cannot get to know someone unless you live with them and that in our conservative society is a no-go. So that would be a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Also, divorce rates will rise, simply because women now are becoming increasingly independent and earning their own money. As long as they were dependent on their husbands, they had no choice but to put up with everything. The low divorce rates are not a reflection of some virtue of our society!

from:  Vivek
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:19 IST

it is very right to think to find out a groom / bride that is more closed and more attached to you by way of emotions , faith , desire, compatibility , sacrificing for the parter's happiness. I completely believe in the column of Mr. Amir khan.

from:  VIJAY KUMAR
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:18 IST

very good thought. i was deeply inspired by the way of thinking. what i believe is that these kind of thoughts can change the overall thinking of people in our society. they think simple wedding is just an example of stinginess of parents towards their daughter but they are totally wrong they don't think about the financial status of the family. these kind of people are just a bad example for us 'the youth' of India. i totally support the cause.... thanks 2 Aamir

from:  gaurav goswami
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:11 IST

Nice written article.. Dowry is one big ailment of our society that needs its own full length coverage article. Hope you cover the topic in the subsequent edition of Satyamev Jayate!

from:  Ra. Nagarajan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 14:02 IST

Hi Aamir, I have been seeing your episodes. Hats off to you for taking up such sensitive issues so strongly. Wish the message reaches those who most deserve it and I only wish those who have done such damages atleast for once feel guilty after seeing your episode. Can't wait to see your remaining episodes.

from:  pushpa
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:55 IST

Marriage depend upon the mutual understanding, trust, love towards each other. Sometimes this happen in the form of love before marriage. Even in arrange marriage also if you trust, love, compatible, mentality matches with your partner, you can sort any kind of problem with simplicity. It's doesn't matter the kind of problem or whether it is from parents, relatives or society. Also, irrespective of culture, tradition, nation etc......

from:  RAVINDER
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:53 IST

Cannot agree more. I want to congratulate the entire team of Satyamev Jayate for coming up with a Series of its kind focusing on the issues in our culture & society which we often fail to ignore while chasing things that would not matter in the long run. Despite being based in Germany, I received recommendations from my friends back home to follow Satyamev Jayate. Such is the popularity that the series has gained within a short span of time. I am sure that the educated youth from our country would be more than willing to support this campaign. Really appreciate the great work. Hats off!!!

from:  Rupender Kaur
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:50 IST

Very sweet looking article by Aamir Khan . I agree with most of the points like simplicity , no dowry , no wasteful expanses, no show off, etc. However , in our culture marriage is not merely a union of two individuals , but of two families . The most revered aspect of marriage in our society is a strong family system . The same is not present so strongly in Western Society. Hence , there the marriage is a temporary affair between two individuals , though not in >all case , but in a large number of cases. It is not necessary that only a love marriage can provide understanding. Marriage requires commitment, faith and understanding. This can easily come with an arranged marriage also where parents look for everything though with a bit of compromise . let us not dilute our Sanskriti for the sake of Western life style.

from:  dr t s daral
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:48 IST

In earlier days,a major chunk of marriage expenditure went into purchasing of gold and other household items. While Gold acted as an investment,other household items helped the newly wed couple start their 'grahstha' jeevan. But in recent times,the extravagant spendings on irrelevant things for the sake of show-off has increased exponentially esp. in the well-off section of the society.The impact on not-so-well-off section is imperative.One of the major reasons of this spending is the unaccounted money with people. Marriage is one occasion where unaccounted money can be utilised for raising the status bar in the society.It has become a norm in the society where status of a family is seen in direct co-relation with the amt. of spending in the wedding.Though it does not affect section with good fortunes,household with low incomes pay the price keeping up with the existing norm.Change has to start with the well-off families and sharbat wedding is one great initiative they can adopt.

from:  ankit
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:38 IST

@Rahul: I am not being personal, but trying to address a point you have made, which I know many young adults feel. I surmise from your post that you are not yet a father. If so, you will soon enough discover that every parent, when she is blessed with children, is also cursed by the Gods to 'keep worrying about them', the whole life through. Not because they are 'slave owners', but out of 'perennial, life-long, unselfish, LOVE'. Most parents are painfully aware of their own shortcomings, and most worry whether they have given the best advice to their children, or done the best for them. And when something does not work out for their children, they rarely forgive themselves! One would not be a young adult, if one did not think that s/he would never be as stupid as his/her parents!! It is only when they are parents themselves, that they slowly learn how to be cruel to be kind. Tagore wrote a poem, 'JUDGE', which you may like to read. Good luck.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:36 IST

Aamir is spot on about the weddings but on marriages it's Jack Dorson's comments above that is worth the Gold.....the focus should be on being the right partner rather than finding the right partner. Contrary to what many believe, most youngster's turn to arranged marriages today not out of force but because they think that's when they get the better deal. Right or wrong reasons, a better deal seems to be the motivation behind their choice....

from:  venkatapathi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:32 IST

The article was a excellent read in follow up to the episode yesterday on Satyamev Jayadev, on dowry. Its so true that marriages today have become very extravagant with each person trying to outdo the other. In hindsight, all that expenditure does not seem money well spent and often you wish you had been wiser at that point of time. The practice of dowry is detestable and should be shunned. Rightly said, I think the groom should be ashamed that he is unable to support his future spouse and family. Though it is difficult to really "know" your husband and in-laws , given the arranged marriage culture in India. But definitely those greedy,dowry seeking families should be done away with. The world would be so much better if we could have more Rani's who expose the lot of these! Kudos to her as well. Really appreciate Satyamev Jayate for touching on sensitive issues that plague our country.

from:  Sanjana Gorti
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:06 IST

Wonderfull article, I thank Aamir for bringing such issue to the limelight. The guys to be get married should feel the pain of the girls parents to whom you are getting married. They are giving their dil ka thukda to you and they are already sad this day. What respect you will get from the girl when she is seeing her poor father in pain on one side and you on the other side. Those guys demanding dowry will never get respect from his wife for the life time...

from:  Shaffiullah
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:05 IST

Dear AAmir, Very well written blog and your initiative to showcase the evils within society definitely needs 3 cheers. However, regarding dowry system, you may also want to know that the dowry harassment law is probably the most misused law in the country today. This has been branded as "legal terrorism". There is a section i the Indian society who are or have not taken any dowry, but some women have abused the law to achieve their ulterior motives just because : to settle girl's parents, cover extra-marital affairs, indulgence of in-laws in husband-wife affairs etc. Such laws without proper enforcement have caused great trouble to several other women besides the husband and the male members.You will be surprised to know 92 year olds and infants also have been accused in dowry harassment. The show would have been complete if you would have researched and showcased this side of the story.

from:  Tapan Garg
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 13:00 IST

I am happy to read this column by Aamir Khan. It is about time, we take his suggestions on this matter,seriously. The concept of "not wasting money on a wedding day and investing it in the couple's future life" makes sense. How can anyone label it as WESTERN. A "sensible concept" should be adopted for the benefit of society, irrespective of which direction it comes from,east or west. The only ones who can guarantee if marriages will last their lifetimes, are the couples themselves. The chances must definitely be better, if "money spent on the wedding day" is NOT part of the equation. I am all for a sharbat wedding, Aamir ! Love you my child, God bless you for putting these thoughts on paper. From a grandmother.

from:  Prema.
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:59 IST

Completely agree with everything Aamir has said--except the sharbat wedding bit! Come on, Aamir, that's too simple for a momentous occasion like a wedding. Even a birthday party has more than sharbat. But, yes, I get the spirit behind the words. Have a simple wedding plus simple wedding feast/meal/whatever one's purse can afford. These are tough economic times, when a wedding is not the be-all to life. After a family wedding quite often the parental coffers are badly depleted. And to put a figure to food--Chennai's caterers do wedding deals (involving food for 2 days, plus thambbol bags, flowers, seer bakshanam, the whole jingbang unnecessary lot)--for figures that range anywhere from Rs 4 Lakhs to 7 and beyond, depending on the style and splash involved. Add to this another two lakhs minimum for hall , saris for bride, relatives, clothes for groom, relatives--total bill not less than Rs 10 lakhs--for a modest middle-class wedding.

from:  Lalitha Subramanian
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:59 IST

Dear Aamir, I totally agree on eliminating dowry from marriage system. But checking family background, education is also important as it gives guaranty of good future for bride and groom. Also understanding each other before marriage is hardly possible in arrange marriages so the family background plays important role in such type of marriages.

from:  Amol Rajgure
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:39 IST

Dear Aamir, First of all, congrats to you for your usual "out of box thnking" - you totally deserve the appreciation for your extraordinary efforts from all over the world. Whenever the topic of marriage is touched in any gathering, most of the people conclude that it is the game of destiny and therefore we should refrain from poking our noses into this divine scheming of the Almighty - I myself am not completely convinced about it as i think it would be injustice which is definitely not the characteristic that can be attributed to Almighty- The most wise. I personally think that this aspect of marriage should also be given due consideration in order to clear this wrong notion that marriage is the union of two souls set in heaven and there is nothing that a man can do about it. Although there is an element of destiny in it too, but that does not mean we should completely rely on it.

from:  Yaqoob Ahmad Rather
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:36 IST

Thank you again for challenging questionable social customs and practices. Many may hold views similar to yours, some may try to practise but do not succeed in persuading others, because most people are afraid of perceived social pressure, even social stigma. Mahatma Gandhi (and others before him) used to say: "Be the change you want to see". If enough people, with influence, could practise the change THEMESELVES, and over a sustained period of time, and if people are persuaded that they will not be ostracised, or suffer social sanction, a ripple effect in society may start. Just advising/cajoling others to change, while not changing oneself, does not bring about change! People who succeed, PRACTISE the change they want to see, without worrying about whether the good idea will gain public acceptance or not. Good luck to everyone who wants to "live the change they want to see come about in society".

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:29 IST

Everytime I hear the sentence "Your parents will be disappointed ..." I just say, they are my parents, not my slave owners. They want me to be happy ..

from:  Rahul
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:20 IST

Hi Amir , You are doing Good i am proud of you, as an actor you are doing such great-full things.May God bless you. Please make a episode on carnages due to corruption.It is heart breaking to see such kind of destruction of lives of Innocent Honest one's.

from:  jyoti sharma
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:20 IST

First of all, Thank you and congratulations for your support and work on Social issues our country facing today. Celebrities like you can create an impact on people and of-course media which will take the things to next level. I like few points you mentioned in the article like mutual understanding before marriage, low cost weddings. But If we start talking each other before marriage each one will start impressing other and true nature of the person will reveal only after the marriage because of possessiveness. So Its all about mutual understanding and adjustment.

from:  Venkatesh G
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:13 IST

I completely agree with AK while wish to elaborate a point. Simplicity should not be interpreted in a way that you do not celebrate wedding at all. Extravagance is only an issue to be neutralised. We live in the world where despite communication revolution our connections with each other are growing fragile day by day. Attending marriages or other (good and bad) family events should be looked upon as reciprocity than a mere formality. True Relations are built on reciprocity and not pampering. While exaggerated interpretation of simplicity can imply celebrate the weeding with a few near and dear. But marriage to survive it requires invisible blessings of many and grand gathering of family and near deal one's should not be compromised. It will never be for economic reasons as if feeling reciprocity is there then acceptance is full hearted too.

from:  Jayesh
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:09 IST

Thanks to the "The Hindu" for bringing Aamir to our doorsteps every Monday morning. Aamir, I love the way you write.Your column embodies truth and simplicity.With regard to the subject you have dealt;I'm ashamed, I did not stand up against all the lavish spendings on my wedding day.I know farmers in my village who go beyond their means and spend for wedding.Sadly the debt pressure takes a toll on these farmers and push them to extremes. Jai Hind.

from:  Balasubramanian.V
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 12:04 IST

Each and every word is vividly accurate. But being born and brought-up in an environment we do tend to prioritize our priorities. The mentality needs to be changed, and this needs time. I am sure, with initiatives like this we will be in a better place to at least ask ourselves that what we exactly need. The pragmatic, materialistic happiness or an eternal happiness... :)

from:  H M Badruzzaman
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Kudos to the team of Satyameva Jayate for highlighting the evils of our society.I fully endorse the view that marriage celebrations could be made a simple family affair.Nowadays we see that after spending lavishly on the wedding the marriage itself breaks down.What a waste of money! We say that in India marriages are between two families so why not the concerned families share the expenses rather than having the brides side bearing the entire burden.

from:  Kalpana Sriram
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:49 IST

Its a fantastic, pleasing deja vu whenever I have the chance to watch your programs or movies. And its no different experience to read your article in The Hindu. In your program yesterday and article you have said many many things. I just want to share my own filling. I am student of journalism and unmarried. My mother always has been saying in bhojpuri "naukari lag jaai ta khub tilak liai" Once you get a job we will ask for huge some of dowry. Before her eyes I laugh off this matter but in private whenever I think of this believe me my body temperature rises not in anger but because of some hormonal activities inside that I am unable to check. I just wonder how poor my life would be to say my wife I Love You when I have her as my life partner not because I feel for and love her because she is somebody's daughter who could afford to buy me. Where will I get the passion for romanticism in my married life. How will I be able to shed the feeling of suffocation. I won't do it anyway.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Dear Aamir, I watched this show yesterday. Your article more or less emphasizes on the same facts. Please note that checking the family background, job in some ways do reflect upon how the individual (bride to be or groom to be) might be. While this should not be the only criteria, it cant be ignored either. Our culture has arranged marriages for a reason and there is nothing wrong in that. Marriages, love or arranged, should be a well thought step but then, it is and always be a gamble. WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS THAT DOWRY SHOULD BE ELIMINATED.

from:  George Cherian
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:40 IST

Good initiative. But would like to add something nowadays what I had notice is that young generation are against of dowry etc but our parents or some1 aged people are in favour so we are compeled by the elders to keep quit in this matter so I wanna say that instead Amair should focus more changing the mentality of elder one's. He should invite more of the elder people in show as comparative to younger one. We need to change their mentality first.

from:  Geetika Bansal
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:37 IST

Hats off!! for bringing the social issues like female foeticide,child sexual abuse and dowry in front of everyone and giving each and every Indian a food of thought about what is going around them.
But when i look at case of a person from Bihar,which was brought forward in 'Satyamev Jayate' aired on May 20th, who was allegedly kidnapped and forced to marry with someone; I see that it was projected in a wrong way as if the show was supporting the kidnapping for marriages done without dowry no matter the couple is living a happy married life. If we are against the atrocities done against women for dowry, we should also be opposing the acts like kidnapping of a person and marrying him/her forcibly.

from:  Ankur
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:32 IST

The topic is very well treated. AK does not talk about love or arranged marriage, he talks about understanding the person you marry, this concept is neither western nor Indian, this is just a requirement for a happy life.
The problem in India is that we give a lot of importance to societal whims and jail our independence in the process, the problem in western countries is that their independence lacks direction.
I hope Indian individuals evolve to accommodate independence of thought but at the the same time they should be wary of aping western ways as it is.

from:  aditya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:21 IST

i liked the article and hope the upcoming episode of Satmavejayate includes more social issues relevant to the society and make aware & force people to make the change from himself then to society. Lots of wishes to satyameva jayate team ... keep it up...

from:  madhusudhan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:18 IST

Aamir you just struck the right strings that foments the youth of India to think in the righteous direction .

from:  Md Javed Iqbal
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:17 IST

Dear Aamir,
I am a follower of your new show. I appreciate that you have really gone into the details of this article. this big weddings, Ring ceremony etc etc are really hitting the ex chequer of a father who has daughter/s. We dont understand the emotions of a father who has taken care of his beti for 25 years is traded with jewellery kapda and other articles. The father and mother should also learn to say a BIG NO when any demand is made. I always listen the song 'BABUL ki dhooyaein' from NILKAMAL film sung by RAFI saab this song really bring tears in my eyes.
I would like to you to write an article on post marriage life of a couple which is also a need of the hour as no of divorce's are on the raise.
Regards
Kamal

from:  kamaleshkumar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:15 IST

Excellent concept. The young minds to realize the basic things. Everyone have to LEARN to live their life for them self only. we expect more from KHAN.

from:  Rajasekaran
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:12 IST

Timely piece - consider how the new billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg's wedding was conducted in his backyard with just 100 people in attendance.

the biggest social evil in india is lavish weddings with tons of food wasted right in front of the poor and starving.


from:  Sankar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:12 IST

We are focussed on making others comfortable, satisfied and appreciative of our spouse choice. It is too worthless a thought compared to the life long association that we are entering into.

I agree with all that Satyameva Jayate said ...

from:  Selvamani Jagannathan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:12 IST

Aamir, I do agree any sort of dowry is bad but marriage is also an adjustment where you give and take, so accept the reality. Please differentiate the formal dowry (agreed before the proposal finalised) and the demands made after the engagement. Most of the problems we face (or you showed on your program) are where there is no formal dowry and people making demands as and when they wish.

from:  Giridhar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:02 IST

Dowry finds itself as the root cause of so many social evils, its very important to address this issue. My heartiest wishes to Satyamev Jayate Team and Aamir for bringing up this at nation stage.

from:  Krishna Kishor Bhat
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:00 IST

This is a very relevant topic. Hope this show can make some people to change their mindset. Life is not about marrying a rich guy/girl or showing the richness on the wedding events. It is all about living happily as a single soul afterwards. Thank you sir for such awesome article..

from:  anjana
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:53 IST

This has been a constant fret for a long time ... i remember my dad saying that during his time some people had started this trend of having a simple wedding over tea and biscuits ... but that obviously did not catch on ... Some thoughts on the why's and how to's would also be appreciated .. that would mean some more research but it would give that critical someone who is watching the show a way out instead of just the burning questions ...
do a generation of good work ... and even if there is one in the million who will act on it that would make this all worthwhile ...


Please raise AS MUCH NOISE AND IMAGERY as possible around the issues you chose to push. Appreciate all the great work ..

from:  Arun
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:48 IST

Let this bring change the society..

from:  Sushma
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:45 IST

Excellent concept but nothing can change the society unless the individual is willing to change the mind set. Marriage itself is for the society but for two individual Love is more than enough to be happy. The moment you develop a doubt in the other person, feel insecure then you need bondage by entering into a contract. Marriage is done for the convenience to get respect from others and society. Life partner is more relevant than marriage. For legality or for others you do marriage. Hence, dowry can never be eradicated from social marriage. We can talk but nothing will change since we all see education as an investment so that you get returns in the future. In the same manner, What is wrong in dowry marriage? People always try to secure their life with some kind of investment.
Education is for knowledge and it is not an investment. It should make us more sensitive and emotional towards nature. It is the root cause of all the evil in our society. Let us see it from right perspective.

from:  Manikandan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:39 IST

Dear Author,
Thanks for such a nice article. Food for thought !!

from:  Sowjanya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:35 IST

Well said Aamir...Its such a thought provoking article...Hats off to you for Satyamev Jayate!

from:  Nithya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:27 IST

Satymev Jayate, when we say these words, it feels like very proud & great. It's really a great programme which amir khan handled. It's just not a reality show. I also feel like that and I also do some activities.If i get chance with you to do these activities I feel very honour.

from:  S. Vinayak
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:24 IST

A thought provoking article! We think about what we should wear,how should we look like and how grand our wedding will be, but seldom think about our partner's character,his/her qualities,abilities etc. An article which our parents MUST read.

from:  Gayathri Ganesh
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:24 IST

In India this is mainly the case with the Middle class families,who are doing this regretful act. There is kind of competition between the families about the best marriage ceremony. They want others to talk and discuss about the money they spent on the ceremony ,jewellery ,furniture,electronics,car etc. and every thing they gifted/exchanged.They feel kind of proud in it.Even though they know that they are going to put themselves in big debts.Which in most of the cases ruined many families. Need to think upon it.We need a better life Which is not possible by just one day happiness.Happiness is directly hinged to mutual understanding of the couple getting married,not on the mutual big (and of-course bad )investment on the lavish marriage parties.

Thanks to Aamir Khan for such a insightful Show- Satyamev Jayate!

from:  Manish Kumar atri
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:22 IST

Changing the marriage system is the need of the hour. We should work towards making a world where parents should not be crushed by the expenditures and lose the fun and happiness of adding new horizons to their relations. But this is a slow process. It is not only the youth who has to change, it is the elders also who have to understand the new wave. They have leave their orthodox thinking of showing up to the society and try to be more logical in handling such events. Even if a boy or a girl does not want such marriage arrangements, the parents force them to all this and all that they can do is that they promise to themselves that they wont let it happen in future with their kids where they have full control of decision making. I appreciate this initiative but it will be a gradual process and it may need atleast one generation to see the complete change.

from:  Naveen Raina
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:14 IST

Thank you for bringing up this issue. The bride and groom's opinion about each other should take precedence over all other issues. This brings up another important issue that I think involves something that most of us lack to a certain extent. The issue is how well can we accept failure? What I mean is that if after the bride and groom have met and spent time and eventually one has made a decision against this relation, how well are we "programmed" to accept this rejection with grace? We have come across several incidents involving vengeful behavior as a result of such situations. The idea of competition and no scope for failure that is imbibed into our framework and the way it develops as we mature results in this behavior. As we initiate the increase in "TIME" that the couple spends with each other, it is essential we promote a sense of acceptance of rejection to make sure this does not result in the increase of people dealing with "anger management" and other unforeseen crimes.

from:  chirag
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:13 IST

Perfect column and i am totally agree with his opinion.People in India are in competition with each other, how much they can show off as compare to other. Dowry and expense on marriage is root cause of other problem also like girl infant. So our thinking should not be limited only for the one day but it should be for next time of our life.

from:  Vikash Shukla
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:10 IST

At long long last someone has spoken up against the great indian wedding, I have been screaming my lungs out against it for years. I hope Aamir has better luck communicating.

from:  Arjun Nair
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 10:09 IST

..some of the above, we know..but somehow, hearing it from Amir Khan, I feel elated and hopeful. You are like a beacon..and you truly will Do It Your Way :) Thank you for this article, this subject, relevant to me today..

from:  Aswati Maria Jose
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:49 IST

fantastic article.....

from:  madhan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:35 IST

I hope you also blog in vernacular language sites, since the point is to reach as many people as possible.

from:  Ankit Chandra
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:33 IST

I'm sure it will change structure of indian society in a positive
way . New and noble ideas must be adopted .
Thanks .

from:  tukuna patro
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:33 IST

Its not about finding the right partner, its about being the right partner. Everyone evolves throughout their life from childhood, to teenage, to adult, to oldage - you evolve in every stage of your life - by each day. Something/someone you find compatible today may not be in alignment with your thoughts tomorrow (as each person evolves). The success and stability/longetivity of the marriage is being the right partner instead of finding the right partner.

from:  Jack Dorson
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:28 IST

A very genuine thought. The truth of marriage lies behind the couples emotions for the lifetime and not in extravagance.

from:  Dipti
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:28 IST

Very nice insight given by the author. Even in the age of ipads and iphones the society is still being governed by the age old orthodox prejudices.Marriage is not the one day T20 game but a life long test match which requires good team understanding,faith and trust. What is required is the change in mindset of the society that human relations cannot be laid on the foundations of money,but on the love and trust.
Satyamev Jayate !

from:  abhijeet
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:25 IST

In most Indian families - If you re a good child, you do what your parents tell you,' and the parents need not explain themselves. From what you eat to what you wear, to what you study. As you grow older, instead of being asked what you want, you may be asked, 'How will you make them proud?' The perception is that your parents, and elders in general, will show you the right way to live your life so that you will be protected from making a costly mistake. But, sadly, even parents or elders can make a costly mistake.

from:  Niharika manchanda
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:26 IST

Parents give what the Groom has studied or his job a consideration because it gives an hint towards whether he can support their daughter. The daughter considers it because it can be a common interest between them. They also think of what the family is because the daughter doesnt just marry the boy, she marries the traditions & lifestyle of that family to which she marries into. I understand the author is trying to say that seeing these two factors alone isnt enough. But these two are the only two things that are quantifiable. What I feel as a woman is Ask the girl what her choice is after she's working, after she learns to live on her own, handle her expenses, after she sees the world, and its people and not hand held by her parents, not when you are fresh out of college. THEN - she will be able to see all those things you have listed in your article.

from:  Gomathi G
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:23 IST

Aamir has explained all the evils of rich culture of India,where people can die for their emotions but they can't live for them with same rule in Religion.Spending on education of girl is big issue because it doesn't depend upon only parent's will,financial resources but also quality of education and children's response to parents.Degree without knowledge and Parhe Likhe Anparh is famous for indians.Useless spending on wedding is our theory to satisfy others instead of ourselves as we are doing this from birth.Is marriage really important for coming generation?In metros where more than 50% college students who come from outside are in living relationship in their graduation, locals of metro's before 10 class they have sex,is you think he/she will be mature,competent,reliable,faithful partner.Marriage is for Human's emotional and physical need.In materialism no place for emotions,family,human values only money and for physical now they don't have to wait for marriage so matter is over

from:  Jyoti Kamboj
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:18 IST

I totally agree. More power to you Aamir Khan!!!

from:  Shaival
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:14 IST

Aamir Bhai,
Thanx for raising another pertinent issue. But such social changes need a lot of courage as also overcoming pressures from the peer group. It is very difficult for anyone to declare that he will have a <'sharbat' wedding even if he wants it from the heart. Of course any use of force will not help here (for eg, during the terrorism days in Punjab, the terrorists prescribed that all marriages should have only 11 baaratis and minimum fanfare. This was about the only thing that I liked about terrorists, as for the most times our interests conflicted, my father being an IPS officer fighting them).What is required is not force or revolt but a change of heart (by making the society accept this). Here, role models like you can help. If you attend a couple of such 'simple' marriages and declare your support for others through e-mails/congratulatory messages to the concerned, then more people are likely to volunteer.

from:  Ajay Aswal
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:10 IST

Nowadays marriages have lost their meaning to greed.I think a groom/bride shouldnot succumb to the ambitions of their relatives,their known ones.They are not the ones whose life is gonna change/AFFECT.CONSENT of the groom/bride should be utmost priority.They should make their decisions slowly and sensibly.HASTE MEANS WASTE.Marriage to others is just an outdoor lunch/dinner.At last I just
wanna say CHOOSE WISELY,LIVE HAPPILY.

from:  jaswant malik
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:07 IST

awesome........satyamev jayte is seeming very helpful in educating people in my village. because they think 'Amir khan bol rha hai to sahi hi hoga'...THANX for changing their mentality....

from:  megha
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:01 IST

Dear Amir, Thanks for raising an issue which is very vital for today's scenario. Whatever issues, you have raised, has been in the public domain for a very long time. Many educated people do agree with your opinion. But the problem lies when it comes to the implementation part in their respective lives. To be frank, I am one among them who had this ideology but could not implement for various reasons. I hope things will change in future.

from:  Srinath H K
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:53 IST

I hope people atleast now think what a huge waste of money lavish weddings are. Great going Aamir!

from:  Divya Srikanth
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:51 IST

Aamir is being politically correct.
(1) In love or arranged marriages, people try to get what they want and try to get into a marriage that seems most likely to succeed. All those points which are labelled as 'purely superficial'unfortunately play a role in deciding that success factor. That is reality. (2) It would be lovely if one could understand one's partner well before the wedding. It is usually impossible. What happens before and after the wedding are quite different. (3) The wedding, for large sections of society, is a social gathering. Unfortunately, relatives, friends and neighbours have to be invited and fed well. It is also self-promotion, like pre-release advertisements of a movie. Will Aamir keep that simple?

Youngsters should certainly think a lot before getting married. They should give as much thought as for a job interview. It is after all a new job that could make or break your life. Also keep in mind that quitting that job isn't easy.

Satyameva jayate, indeed!

from:  Swapna
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:48 IST

Very relevant isuue. Great that Aamir has taken it up !

from:  arun
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:42 IST

Good one Aamir

from:  Ishk Rasool
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:10 IST

Hats off to this column!! Thank a lot to Aamir Khan and Hindu!! Expecting more kinds of similar columns in future!!!

This triggered my thoughts on marriage. I agree that we spend more on marriages however it is our peoples mindset which stuck to this tradition of spending more on marriages.Till date, even i was saving a part of my income on my marriage.However i cannot start all of a sudden by spending less or conducting sharbat wedding but we can start to spend less on unnecessary items such as Invitation cards,decorations,etc.We should try to identify areas wherever we can spend less or ignore them.Slow and steady change can bring a change in future as well.

Once again thanks to Aamir Khan and Hindu.

from:  Ashok Chandran
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:06 IST

While I agree with Aamir on Dowri, I dont agree on 'sharbat' wedding. Yes, time needs to be spent on understanding the bride/groom etc. But Wedding day is a very important occasion. This is an event where plenty of your 'long time no see' relatives meet and come from long distances. Not providing food will not help them by any means as they are our guests and in India we know how to treat guests. Its not because we treat them as they may feel bad. But also we honour them. So although, in theory your comments are agreed upon, there are some practical difficulties. I am still against lavish spending on A/C hall, buffet menu, expensive gifts, gold jewels around the body, etc. I hope readers agree with my point.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:40 IST

I love the paragraph: We don't want a big function. Let me use the money for something important that helps my life. Let me use the money to invest in building the foundation for a happy married life.

I already told the very same logic to many of my relatives when their kids were getting married. I asked them to have a registered marriage followed by a simple tea party to close friends and relatives. Some of them obliged and some laughed at me.

Looking at your article, I really felt very happy. I have two sons brought up in USA (both 20+ years old). God willing, we will come to India to select girls, which will never cost even a single penny to the girls' parents.

from:  Raja USA
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:37 IST

Amir,

Totally agree. Not sure if many would. I had three sisters and watching their weddings resulted in a single conviction. I will not accept dowry and I don't want any gold from my wife.

I ended up marrying a very sweet lady. I am more than 50 now and I can tell you that every moment of our life is worth it. She was an engineer at the time of our marriage in India and after our marriage she finished her masters in Computer Science from University of Colorado. Of course, there were lot of sacrifices but it really paid off.

What was better is that ours was a low cost wedding with each invitation costing 50 paise in the early nineties. I even photocopied when I ran short. We married in the pandal in front of my my village home and it is a custom to feed the entire village but that cost was only 8000 rupees. Not expensive.

Immediately after the wedding we invested in real estate in the city. Even though everyone throws garbage in our plot in has multiplied in value quite a lot.


from:  Kumar P
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:29 IST

Dear Aamir,
Please accept my heartiest wishes for introducing this incisive and thought-provoking column in The Hindu. I'm a big fan of your work and your amazing TV-series 'Satyamev Jayate', which, I'm sure, would prove to be a grand success and a guiding beacon for the society in these turbulent times.
Kudos to The Hindu for inviting such a distinguished and multifaceted individual into their newspaper.

from:  Harsh Pandey
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:24 IST

I myself spend a at least one month on researching on honeymoon plans. after four years of my marriage i see how stupid i was, i could have spend my time and money on many other important things in my life than just honeymoon. I advice youngsters to save the money instead of spending on honeymoon and lavish dress and jewelry.

from:  dilip
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:22 IST

Most important issue & most sensible education for India.

from:  MSR Ayyangar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:19 IST

Simple truth said in a stunning fashion to serve the cause of society.All singles!! stand up and applause this Satyamev Jayate statement and stand by it. Get married for ones own sake not for everyone else sake!

from:  Balaji Sankarshanan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 07:05 IST

Aamir, you're a true hero. The questions your making us Indians ask ourselves are very tough ones indeed that no wants to address. How did the the land of Gandhi, Tagore and Azad left all its morality behind? Your show will not only infuse better ideas in youngsters like me but you know what? this will be on the internet for the youngsters of tomorrow to watch. You've done this country great service. Satyameva Jayate! Many many thanks Aamir!

V Roperia

from:  Roperia
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 06:03 IST

Aren't the Hindi/Bollywood movies that promote those opulent, lavish, weddings and soapy-syrupy love stories and dahej stories ?

from:  Mohan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 05:57 IST

Amir khan is talking from his heart what an average middleclass person thinks today. The lavish weddings of the rich sometomes portrayed on TV makes girls and their mothers wish for grand planning for the oneday affair. IT is argued by some that the spending spree helps economy
Has anybody done any reseach.. definitely the 5 star events go to make the rich owners richer

from:  g.swaminathan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 05:18 IST

I was a bit surprised and excited to see an Aamir Khan Columnon the Hindu today! Mr Khan is thought to be the most 'intellectual' among top bollywood actors and with a social conscience. It is not surprising that Aamir chose Hindu for his columns- a newspaper that has a long reputation for unbiased serious journalism. I am looking forward to reading Aamir's columns every week since I believe as a top notch bollywood celebrity Aamir's words count and can have an impact on our society!

from:  Prasanth Nambiar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 05:13 IST

A nice contrast between the wedding day and rest of the life. Any meaningful relationship (between two individuals - siblings, parents, couples) depends on mutual love, trust and respect. Finding the right partner might be one part of it, but it takes real effort from both the bride and the groom to keep that mutual love, trust and respect for a whole lifetime. ON spending time to know/understand prospective partner: You can know the real 'someone' only when you interact with them for prolonged periods of time in a completely natural setting like office or college. When two people start interacting because they want to get married, they might try to impress each other rather than behave honestly. So, arranged marriage, inspite of spending ample time to 'figure out' your future better half can get quite complicated.

from:  Sudarshan Ramenahalli
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 04:54 IST

i echo your thoughts Aamir... Thank you for this well articulated article. I'm sure this will serve as a beacon for thousands of youngsters out there... Thank you again.

from:  Ali Hussaini
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 04:27 IST

Mr. Amir Khan is one of those rare individuals who not only excel on the screen but also excel in social causes. However i beg to defer with his comment about understanding your spouse before marriage. This concept is purely western, none knew about it even a few hundred years ago, I live in the USA, more than half the people i work with have remarried, had serious mid life crisis with their spouses and split up in bitter divorce settlements, all of this after so called understanding each other and living with each other before wedlock.
Granted many families in India that go through arranged marraiges have their own issues, but that cannot mean we abandon our culture to something that not even works but looks and sounds good on TV and films. There was a strong reason why elders looked at the families of bride and bridegroom, it automatically guarenteed that the children of such families were brought up with right values.

from:  Suresh Kumar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 04:25 IST

Watched this weeks show. Completely agree with you. Hats off to you for bringing this and every other social issues to the attention of all. Keep up the good work.
Varadha, Ireland.

from:  Varadha
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 04:20 IST

Excellent article! Will be looking forward to many more every Monday!

from:  Mansi Shah
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 03:57 IST

Dear Mr.Aamir Khan, While I appreciate your efforts in reaching out to the society, I must sincerely tell you that I find most of your views lacking depth and thought. Especially this column on "Marriage". Traditionally in a country like ours, relationships are so strong that westerners try to learn from our system (let it be in any religion here in India). For example, in a country like USA, marriage and relationships are some of their weakest areas and several people suffer from depression, drug abuse, and end-up taking medicines just to treat these symptoms. Now, here in this article you are just suggesting, or rather simply aping several western views. If youngsters revolt against their parents, it causes more pain to the parents and leads to a society that is ultra-nuclear and self-centered. There are several problems here in our country...but let us also realize our strengths and focus on preserving them.

from:  Srini
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 03:50 IST

Agree with AK 100%
We spend way too much money, time, effort into something that doesnot matter at the end of the day (which is 'what will other say or think').
Rather then What do I think.
Off-course everybody wants a big memorable wedding because its the beginning of a long life ahead. but often we tend to go outta control about this whole thing.
In addition to our culture and society, one big reason why this is still happening is because bollywood tends to sensationalize big fat wedding is the only way to status etc. I would really love to see a bollywood film where a small, intimate weeding is as good as a full blown circus.
Anyways just my few thoughts.

from:  mohan chhetri
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 02:47 IST

Aamir Khan...you are wise !!!!. Cheers from Canada

from:  Abner
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 02:26 IST
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