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Panel Discussion: Is it ethical to arrange marriage of your children ?

This week we had our panel discussions on ethics. The focus of our panel was is arranged marriage an ethical thing to do. We had four panelists (a male teenager, a female teenager, a parent, a family councilor) and I was the moderator for the panel discussion, the panel discussion lasted for almost 30 minutes.

Arranged marriages used to be the trend during the days of our grandparents that was the common form of marriages. Love marriages were a rare thing those days. However, in the current world we are living in, it is the common form of marriage. Despite this there are still places where parents force their children to marry the persons of their choice instead of allowing them to choose their suitors.

In the first round of questions, all of the panelists gave their opinions on the issue, the teenagers both said that it is not ethical to have arranged marriages, as they should have the right to marry the people they love. The parent however disagreed to this notion and said that parents should be given the right to choose the children as they have more experience and would be able to identify suitable suitors for their children themselves. The counselor did not support either sides but insisted that actually both parties should come together, discuss and try to come to a win-win situation in these types of scenarios.

In the second round of questions, the discussion kept on evolving while the panelist kept on exploring the issue from different angles like religious views, view of the society. Here I would like to discuss some of the key points from round two that are worth mentioning. Why the children should be allowed to marry the people of their choice is that today the world is experiencing globalization and we are all interconnected, distance is no more an issue and the children may fall in love with someone outside their territory. Unlike the days of their parents, the parents used to know to whom their children interact with and they are easily able to choose the suitors that would suit their children, but today this is not the case. Another point raises is that all religion says to follow the guidance to parents and refusing to marry someone their parents have arranged for them to marry would be a sin to god in addition to disrespecting the parents.

            The panel discussion was concluded with a summary of the discussions that were that there should be a say in both the parents and children when finding suitors for the children. In case there are differences in opinions between the two parties they should try to find out the root of the disagreement and then analyze it and come to a decision which both parties can agree and would make both the parties happy.

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