Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 60 – Q 4.

Q4. You belong to a traditional Indian middle class family. Your parents hold Indian values in high esteem and have taught you and your siblings the same. Their emphasis on good ‘sanskar’ means that they intend to marry you to a cultured, traditional and devoted girl. They have their expectations spelled out clearly to all the families and prospective brides they meet with. One family fits in perfectly in their matrix of expectations. The family is deeply religious, visits temples regularly, eats only vegetarian food and in certain aspects outscore your parents’ ‘sanskar’ parameters. It makes your parents really happy and they fix a meeting immediately. They also decide that you should meet with the girl to know her and have some level of acquaintance before taking any decision.  

On the day of the meeting, the expectations of your family are not only met but exceeded with the hospitality offered by the family and their display of ‘sanskars’. Gauging the expressions of your parents, you have realised that they are really elated and would fix the marriage then and there. You are a bit sceptical as you don’t know the girl yet. However, once you meet he girl, all your doubts start vanishing. She is the perfect match for you as she has interest in football that you are crazy about, she likes adventure sports that you are so passionate for and above all she does poetry in which you are so good at. Everything starts appearing like a dream to you and you tell yourself that you have found your ‘soulmate’.

But then, there comes few shockers from the girl. Before tying the knot with you, the girls wants to reveal few truths about herself. She tells you that she has been in many relationships before and had even been physical with her partners. She also lets you know that she loves tattoo art and intends to have a couple of them on her neck and forearm and that one day she wants to become a tattoo artist herself. She also wants you to agree to the condition that she won’t take your title after marriage. Finally, she expects that in return of the respect, love and care that she would bestow upon you and your family, she shouldn’t be prohibited from doing what she wants, be it her choice of clothes, her aspirations of a good career or her desire to have a baby or not!     

While her truths and demands hardly make a difference to your liking for her, the thoughts of your parents start popping up while you are still chatting with her. In no way, the girl you like fits into the  parameters of a ‘sanskari’ daughter-in-law that they have always wanted. You are sure that when they come to know about it, they wouldn’t let this marriage happen. But that would leave you broken hearted.

Now answer the following questions:

  1. What would you do in this situation? Discuss.
  2. Why do families in India have such values? Are such values compatible to modern life? Critically examine.


Above case reflects parents want for a girl who is traditional, cultured and devoted to family which is likely to clash with western culture and modern values the girl holds.

Stakeholders: Me, Girl and Both families.

1) What would you do in this situation?

In given situation, I have following options

  1. Tell parents about the demands of the girl so that marriage will be cancelled.
  • This will be safe for me as well as both families as it would avoid future strain in relations due to difference in value set up.
  1. Hiding from parents about the girls’ demands so that marriage would be fixed.
  • This would allow me to get married to a girl of my choice.
  • However, it has cons of being untruthful to parents and likely negative future consequences.
  1. Tell parents about the demands of the girl but still try to convince them for marriage.
  • This would be in the interest of Me, Girl and both families.

I would go with option ‘c’


  • Liking for a girl as our interest match.
  • Girl being openly honest.
  • I see nothing wrong in the demands of the girl. In a civilized world everyone including women shall have Freedom to pursue their interests and engage in job of their choice.
  • I will remain true to my parents.
  • Likely possibility of parents agreeing to marriage once I inform them about life-style of today’s generation and it would also prevent future chaos in the family.

2) Why do families in India have such values? Are such values compatible to modern life? Critically Examine.

Impact of globalization like spread of modern values, infiltration of western customs into Indian society is more pronounced in last 3 decades, which resulted from major economic reforms carried in 1990’s.

Unlike new generation, our parents and elders who have grown up with more traditional, religious Indian culture and customs are more likely to show negative attitude towards modern values and western culture.

In the above case, parents’ are searching for traditional, cultured and devoted girl. They hold such values due to following reasons:

  • Traditional society personifies women as ‘Mother’. Her job is to bear children, look after elders, husband and thus nurture the family. Thus they want her to be devoted to family.
  • Honour of the family is related to culture of women members of the family. Thus to have social acceptance and social respect they want a cultured girl.
  • Anything that is new to already established order (here customs, values) is bound to trigger negative reaction. Here elders are sceptical of western culture.

But, in modern life, men and women are treated alike in accordance with values of liberty and equality. Today women’s participation in social, economic or political sphere is highly encouraged. Thus there is increasing awareness about women’s individual rights. In line with this, girl talks about her economic, personal and reproductive rights.

However, these values are likely to create compatibility issue with the values our elders’ hold like women’s role is to bear children, take care of the family members and being subordinate to men.  Therefore, her demand for choice of clothes, her aspirations of a good career or her desire to have a baby or not are likely to be opposed by family members.

While values which help in betterment of family are welcome, in the name of family values one should not impose their wishes on women. By virtue of being, they have all the liberty to accept or not to accept these values.

Best answer: Shalashu

Print Friendly, PDF & Email