Tuesday, April 7, 2015

IS DAUGHTER’S MARRIAGE A “FINANCIAL GOAL”

IS DAUGHTER’S MARRIAGE A “FINANCIAL GOAL” ?
Musings of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

This morning – in The Times of India – I read an article on Financial Planning titled: “FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL”.

[Reference: The Times of India (Pune Edition) Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Page 11 – Article Titled: “Failing to plan is planning to fail” by Sanjeev Govila, CEO, Hum Fauji Initiatives]

It is a good article which illustrates the advantages of financial planning to meet future goals.

By way of illustrative example – there is a Table with a heading: COMPARATIVE SAVINGS – which lists three FINANCIAL GOALS:

1. CHILD’S HIGHER EDUCATION

2. OWN HOUSE

3. DAUGHTER’S MARRIAGE

The first two examples are fine.

But why is “Daughter’s Marriage” considered as a “Financial Goal”?

What about “Son’s Marriage”?

If “Daughter’s Marriage” is a financial goal – then shouldn’t “Son’s Marriage” also be a financial goal?

The fact that “Daughter’s Marriage” is considered a “Financial Goal” indicates that nothing much has changed in our society as far “patriarchal mindset” is concerned – despite all the tall claims about “gender equality” in our “progressive” culture.

Please notice that the ‘Financial Goal’ at Serial No. 1 in the list: “Child’s Higher Education” is “gender neutral” – it says “Child’s Higher Education” – and not “Son’s Higher Education” or “Daughter’s Higher Education”.

Accordingly – shouldn’t the financial goal at Serial No. 3 of the list be written in a ‘gender neutral’ manner as “Child’s Marriage” instead of “Daughter’s Marriage”?

If there is no discrimination between sons and daughters in education – then why this discrimination in marriage?

Of course – the basic issue is that – in today’s modern world – where children (both sons and daughters) pursue careers and are financially independent – why should parents spend on their children’s marriages at all?

In today’s progressive society – is children’s marriage a financial responsibility of parents?

But despite this – suppose some parents decide to spend lavishly on their children’s marriages – then why should they spend on their daughters’ marriages alone?

Is it not unfair to their sons?

Why not spend equally on their sons’ marriages?

If we want to make our society progressive – is it desirable to endorse retrograde financial goals like “daughter’s marriage”?

However – if you insist on doing so – then will it not be better to specify the ‘Financial Goal’ at Serial No. 3 of the abovementioned list in a ‘gender neutral’ manner as “Child’s Marriage” instead of “Daughter’s Marriage”?

Do you agree?

VIKRAM KARVE
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