2023 GS1 Answer

Q. Do you think marriage as a sacrament is loosing its value in Modern India?

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS1 Paper

Model Answer: 

Marriage in Modern India: Changing Perceptions

Marriage, traditionally, has been considered a sacred institution in India, often viewed as a sacrament rather than a contract. However, with the advent of modernity and the influence of western culture, the perception of marriage seems to be undergoing a transformation. This answer will delve into the reasons that could suggest that marriage as a sacrament is losing its value in Modern India.

Rise in Divorce Rates

One of the most prominent indicators of the changing perception towards marriage in India is the rise in divorce rates. Earlier, divorce was considered a taboo in Indian society, but now it is increasingly being seen as a solution to an unhappy marriage. This shift in mindset suggests a move away from the traditional view of marriage as a lifelong commitment.

Late Marriages

The trend of late marriages is also on the rise in India. Young people are prioritizing their careers and personal growth over getting married. This shows a shift in societal values, where the sanctity of marriage is being replaced by individualistic goals.

Live-in Relationships

The acceptance and prevalence of live-in relationships have increased significantly. These relationships, which were once frowned upon, are now being seen as a viable alternative to marriage, indicating a decline in the sacramental value of marriage.

Decrease in Arranged Marriages

The traditional arranged marriage system is also witnessing a decline. More and more people are opting for love marriages, asserting their right to choose their own partners. This shift suggests a move away from the traditional belief in the sanctity of arranged marriages.

Western Influence

The influence of western culture and values has played a significant role in changing the perception of marriage in India. The idea of individual freedom and personal happiness, which are central to western culture, are increasingly being adopted by the Indian youth.

Women Empowerment

With the rise in women empowerment, women are no longer willing to compromise on their rights and freedom. They are increasingly asserting their independence, which in many cases, is leading to a questioning of the traditional institution of marriage.

Legal Reforms

Legal reforms such as the decriminalization of adultery and the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights have also contributed to the changing perception of marriage in India. These reforms reflect a shift in societal values, where individual rights and freedom are being prioritized over traditional norms.

Internet and Social Media

The advent of the internet and social media has exposed people to different cultures and ideologies, leading to a change in their perception of marriage. The idea of ‘happily ever after’ is being replaced by the reality of ‘happily independent’.


With increasing education levels, people are becoming more aware of their rights and are questioning traditional norms and practices, including the institution of marriage.

Economic Independence

Economic independence, especially among women, has led to a decline in the dependency on marriage for financial security. This has resulted in a shift in the perception of marriage from a necessity to a choice.


While it is evident that the perception of marriage in India is undergoing a transformation, it would be premature to conclude that it is losing its sacramental value entirely. The institution of marriage is deeply ingrained in the Indian psyche, and despite the changes, it continues to hold a significant place in society. However, the shift in societal values and norms indicates that the perception of marriage as a sacrament is certainly evolving.

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