As per the Census of 2001, around 55 per cent of the total population in the state, had actually never married, even after attaining a standard marriageable age. This percentage is higher in J&K than the national average of 49 per cent, depicting an apologetic state.
The total number of unmarried persons in the age bracket of 20-35 years was 8,97,289. Over these years, the sociologists believe that this number must have only increased, especially in the wake of political, socio-economic and other vital conditions which prevailed in the state.
The trend of marriage has been renounced in the entire country in the last few decades as a result of many factors. This inclination is becoming a worldwide phenomenon too.
Here are the list of reasons why this is happening:
One of the major reasons people get married is to have sex. There were times when sex was prohibited before marriage and moreover there wan’t any chance of getting the action. This has changed considerably nowadays, where both men and women are of free mind and open to relationships before marriage and outside of it too. The taboos of self-pleasure have been eradicated completely from the society, with major help from the internet and social media.
In our state too, the youth is not ignorant of these facts and are now becoming more and more open to experimenting, without finding the actual need to getting married.
The reach of yesteryear’s media, radio and doordarshan, was limited. In the absence of Internet and recreational options, marriage was, well a great entertainment. But things have changed drastically now. The present Internet era has taken everyone for a spin. A person can be extremely busy these days, without actually being married. There is absolutely no scarcity of activities one can do.
A lot of people in J&K have ended up single for the rest of their lives due to the umpteen number of opportunities they find for themselves. Many People even in J&K are transforming their passion into main-stream profession, as a result they end up marrying their career.
Independence over compromise
Marriage as an institution is considered full of compromises. And with the amount of exposure the youth are getting today, the word compromise is non-existent in their dictionary. Getting married amid the battle for independence seems less appealing.
J&K is full of people who haven’t settled on the grounds of not losing their independence to another individual. People who do marry, sidelining the concept, end up in divorces. Many societal stereotypes like dowry in different forms and illiteracy have also emerged to be some of the reasons people tend not to give up their present life style.
Self-sufficiency among Women
Women were supposed to marry a man in order to be financially dependent on him. This myth has been broken today. In the developed as well as developing nations of the world today, there is an equal chance of a girl or a boy becoming financially independent after growing up. Woman are choosing to be independent today and in every possible way can just go ahead and do it. The men on the other hand too don’t depend on housewives either.
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Education has opened doors of autonomy for women of the state. Under many workshops conducted by the Government, they are trained to be self-reliant and entrepreneurial skills are being drilled into them. This gives them opportunity to establish business of their own. Content with her attainment, women seldom settle for anything less.
The perpetual armed conflict situation in the State, plays a negative role in marriages, that is, it generally lowers the marriage rate and consequently increases the number of unmarried. Concerned experts feel that the number and proportion of never-married persons must have increased significantly in unstable and conflict-ridden State.
Males outnumber females when it comes to not having married at all. The percentage of never married male populace is 54.7 per cent of the total population, and for females it is 45.12 percent. The number of “never married” persons in Jammu and Kashmir has been on a high roll, especially for last two decades, due to the persistent armed conflict here.
This particular factor is prevalent in our state and is a major factor that has marred the normal course of marriages in J&K. With society holding employment as the basic “pre-requisite” for getting married, the drying up of government jobs – biggest employer in Jammu and Kashmir – has rendered thousands of educated youth ineligible for marriage.
According to unofficial estimates, there are thousands of boys and girls in Srinagar alone who have either crossed or are about to cross the marriageable age. As unemployment is growing in J&K, most of the hapless souls are dependent on their parents and the very realisation of being a burden on their families is stopping them from marrying and taking additional responsibilities.
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A recent survey conducted reveals that dowry and rampant unemployment were the chief reasons for delayed marriages in the state.
The trend of late marriages and never married have been on the rise in our country and more so in the State. As a result, the household population is on the decrease as a major consequence. The increase in the figures implies for an overall unbalanced demographic growth of population.