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Arranged Marriage in The Merchant of Venice

            "This is a book of lies," says Sandeep Kaur as she looked through her book of wedding pictures. At the age of 24, her father had arranged for her to marry Canadian, Sahil Luthra. Merely two weeks after their marriage, Luthra went back to Canada, leaving his bride behind in India. Arranged marriages should not happen because it is unfair to the individuals involved. These marriages can affect the individuals emotionally and physically and often, even their families. If you think about it, the difference between forced marriages and arranged marriages are little to none. It is tradition to practise arranged marriages in some countries but this takes away the independence and freedom of the individuals.
             These marriages can affect the family, the bride and the groom emotionally and physically. In Punjab, a northern state in India, there is at least 15,000 abandoned brides. Abandoned brides are women of India who have been arranged to marry a non-resident Indian (NRI). Oftentimes, the brides are left behind while the grooms return to where they came from. A political leader from India, Balwant Singh Ramoowali says that 80% of the marriages to NRI men in Punjab are doomed, with husbands never returning to take their brides. If these statistics are so high, why are parents still marrying their child off to NRI men? Authorities say, abandoned brides and domestic abuse come hand in hand. Sandeep Kaur is one amongst many abandoned brides while her husband demands for more and more money from her family. Every year, dozens of women in Afghanistan attempt suicide in hopes of escaping their arranged marriage. Many others try to run away, but this may lead to imprisonment for several years. Seventeen year old, Farima had attempted suicide by jumping off the roof of her home so she could escape from marrying a man she despised. She was found with a broken back and unconscious. Still, the wedding date had not been changed, even though her family witnessed her extreme actions against the marriage.

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