Unemployment delay marriages in Kashmir

Wahid Bhat|Srinagar

Marriage is the only institution in which almost all the people voluntarily enter.

Insha (35) is well educated with a degree of MSC. She is beautiful comes from a reputed family from Srinagar but Insha failed to find a life partner and that is the reason she is still unmarried.

Insha, whose father is working in Government department, could have wedded early in the usual way, except that “her parents were too hysterical about getting her married to only a doctor or engineer,” says Danish, Insha’s Cousin. While they waited for the best doctor/engineer, Insha crossed the connubial age.

Insha told groundreport.in that like most Kashmiris of their generation, my parents believe there are only two legitimate professions: doctor and engineer (not medicine and engineering, but doctor and engineer). Yes, they’ve heard of such newfangled professions as investment banking and law, but, oh, no, they won’t be fooled. Across Kashmir can be heard the refrain, “It is good match: They found doctor,” and my father expects nothing less for his little girl.

A Study regarding the number of unmarried over-aged women has shown about 10,000 girls have crossed marriageable age in Srinagar alone. Although it has not been established how many men have crossed the age of marriage yet unarguably their number would also be considerable.

Reason behind Late marriage

Late marriages here have multiple reasons not just one, but three reasons are most prominent in Kashmiri culture. These are Completion of Education, Unemployment and marriage preparation in financial context. One reason is that it is found at our homes that the talk about Nikaah is carried out late. Reason is that they must first complete their education; second that they think that for marriage there should be infrastructure the required money, house construction etc. For attaining those requirements, it takes lot of time to reach that stage of life to be ready for Psychology and Behavioral Science International Journal marriage.

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Thirdly unemployment which is very alarming as youth are jobless as there are no industrial units here in Kashmir due to disputed nature of J&K, which can give job opportunities to youth and some people consider that for marriage couples should get a level of mental maturity for they think that they are young as yet, in the process they are not able to decide an age for them to marry and they lose that prime age of marriage which become the chief reasons for the delay in marriages”.

Muneer mentioned completion of education as a very important factor in the delay of marriages in Kashmir in present times. “Some people delay marriage for completing education or just saying that they want to complete a task and then marry. There is no guarantee whether they will succeed in their work or not but they shouldn’t delay marriage.

The benefits of delay in marriage are very less in comparison to timely marriage. The impact of your delay in marriage has not only personal repercussions only, but familial and social also. We also feel so contended to help people live productive married lives. Those people who delay for rituals, we counsel them for the betterment of society in general.” But what when people don’t even think of marriage due to unemployment which is piling up due to squeezing work environment due to disputed nature of the state where the only option available with young prospective couples is government jobs. The government jobs are not sufficient too.

More than half of Kashmiri men and women are unmarried. A study conducted by the Department of Sociology of the University of Kashmir puts the percentage of the state’s unmarried population at 55 (numbering 8,97,289 in the age bracket of 20-35) based on the census data of 30 years. This percentage is significantly higher than the national average of 49 per cent. Single men (54.7 per cent of the total population) outnumber unwed women (45.12 per cent).

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Consequences of late marriage

In this generation, late marriage is no longer a rare issue. Due to lots of reasons such as high education of women or the economic pressure, more and more people tend to have late marriage. Although late marriage is a personal decision, it brings some negative effects Late marriage brings negative effects. This causes people hardest to coordinate the living style and habit with each other. Also, this let parents have bad communication with their children and delay their stages of life. So, it is better not to have late marriage to avoid these negative effects.

The worst effect is the generation gap because this affects the development of the children. Late marriage is not good for the society and the family. They may have generation gap with their children.

Besides that when the parents nearly to retire but their children still need to go to school. They still need to spend money on the children with income.


  • Wahid Bhat

    Wahid Bhat is an environmental journalist with a passion for covering climate change and environmental issues. He holds a degree in English Journalism (EJ) from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and has received Media Fellow for NFI India (National Foundation for India) and Thomson Reuters Foundation. Wahid's reporting has been published in a range of respected outlets including Earth Journalism, Global Village Space, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz, and Devdiscourse Wahidb@groundreport.in

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