The formation of the state-level 'Intercaste/Interfaith Marriage - Family Coordination Committee' and then dropping the intercaste marriages out of it today, again brought the marriage system into focus. With the changing social scenario, the expectations changed, but our social institutions are yet to accommodate all the changes
The institution of marriage is no exception to it. The course of events and the series of development that influence social systems changed at a greater pace. The dynamics between the generation of parents who have children of marriageable age and the children are really different from what society had a little ago. Technology, education, and money have a key role. The generation gap has always been there, but this is a bit too wide to abridge easily.
Our society needs to deal with this transformation with a deft hand. The points that need a long time solution, are usually incorporated into our education system. Awareness is created to have a greater impact. Probably we need to think on similar lines now also.
Right from the school level, awareness is to be created of many aspects of the marriage system. Especially the process has to start from the teenage. Our schools have been creating awareness about the good and bad touch, now it needs to move ahead and start conducting group sessions to understand their issues and try to help them out.
The thoughts related to relationships ( even the physical relation ) enter the world of young minds at an early stage, maybe from the school level. With their limited experience, meaning and consequences cannot be comprehended by them at this stage. One is unable to differentiate between physical attraction and love. It is really difficult to see beyond a particular point. The aim of life, the goals to be achieved, and where one wants to reach, are the questions that are totally ignored in this phase of life. What is to be expected out of it, is also not clear.
With growing age, the expectations keep changing, and many times the bond becomes hollow. Our own actions turn into shackles. One feels it is a point of a dead end, which it really is not. With a little courage and course correction, things can be sorted out at any phase of life. One has to perceive where things were misjudged, and what is the limitation of both the persons involved, but it not easy to accept and implement. One really needs to be brave and have the strength of mind to see the mistakes committed. It sometimes shatters one's world.
To be able to approach such situations, it is essential that right from the school, our system has to pay attention to it. Along with academic aspects, life skills like problem-solving and finding solutions in various situations is to be encouraged. Freedom to raise valid questions is to be given to children. Our system many times discourages independent thinking. As a result of it, the problems do not disappear or stop troubling us, but one finds oneself very confused and unable to face the problem.
Skilled and experienced counselors need to conduct group discussions to discuss all these kinds of issues. This is to be a continuous process. Teachers should also be trained to see the signs of the difficulties that usually are reflected in behavior. Such children or persons should not be just condemned, isolated, and ignored. Such individuals ought to get help and an opportunity to come out of it. School counselors should be entrusted with this responsibility. Their role is to be understood, it helps create a healthy environment in class and school. Maybe at home, there is no such person who can deal with the complex situation, but now the institution of the counselor is available. We have to use it effectively.
Even at the stage of higher education too, such counseling sessions and group discussions are to be conducted. Young students cannot get someone to discuss their issues, their peer group can support them, but a counselor's help can be more effective. The counselor can seek the help of friends and family members wherever essential.
Whenever I could get an opportunity to discuss any problem, students are really very supportive and open-minded. They don't label anyone immediately or condemn easily.
This is the stage where one thinks of future goals, so the selection of a life partner has to be carefully done. The deeper meaning is to be comprehended for the steady foundation of life. One has to answer the question, of what type of person and family one wants to be a part of. One should be helped to analyze one's future. This is a very complex issue, the decision is to be taken carefully to avoid the deadlock.
The counselors can introduce the way to approach the issue. Even teachers can help, but training should be made available. And basically, we need to accept that at the end of our academic program, we as a society want to have a well-developed and mature person by the end of this long process of education who is ready to earn and deal with life issues.
There is no simple solution or a short- cut. Changing thinking is no easy task, it takes a longer time to be able to see the expected results.