I would have been talking about education as well, but being a romantic the topic on relationships makes more sense to me :). Plus, this particular post is based on an article from New York Times and an incident that recently occurred in Meerut, India.
If you are an Indian or have visited India, I believe you have been to large parks full of greenery. Grass, plants, trees everywhere. Sometimes a waterfall or two, a little bridge over a small stream, some sort of edifice at random places in the park for shelter. If you know what I am referring to then I am sure you know the trademark for all parks of this kind - couples sitting together, talking, sometimes cuddling, smiling, laughing, absolutely lost into each other. All this done under an open and clear sky. These couples are an amusement to the school children who go to these parks on an yearly basis for picnics [speaking from experience here :) - as a schooler :D]. But to adults this perfectly natural thing, done under the sun, is a crime. The word crime does seem a little too harsh, but it is the well understood truth.
The kind of scene I described above is seen almost everyday! But every now and then, when the enforcers of the law loose their minds, a beautiful day turns into a nightmare for these young couples. That is what happened in Meerut's Gandhi Park. A force of police officers rushed into the park and started slapping and verbally abusing the couples. They were asked their names and addresses, bombarded with sentences and scoldings like:
Is this what your parents raised you for? Have some shame, some respect for your parents! You come to college to study, not to do all this.
One couple ran away from their house, because all this was broadcasted on television and reported in newspapers [later their parents agreed to get them married]. A girl, who was sitting their alone, was accused of being a prostitute.
Why is India the Great intolerant towards such a natural phenomenon? Why did the marriage of that particular pair of college students in love was fixed after the incident? Why was that girl [who was there with no-one] insulted and verbally abused in front of reporters? Why do these kind of uncivilized acts continue to occur in the world's largest democracy and the seventh most developed nation?
I think the answer is relationships. Not in a good way though. Hindu textures say until the age of 25 one must lead the life of brahmcharya. From age 25 to 50 it's time for a grihasth life. Mind you, that is the only time for a life of love, physical relationship, and emotional attachment towards one person of the opposite sex (your spouse). I do not deny that this is a very good way to go, but I do object on the control that Indian parents like to feel and have upon their kids no matter how old they get.
One should not expect anyone to follow these old textures and/or their parents' ideals and beliefs on every corner. Specially not in a world that encourages self-thought and provides more and more liberty with every new action. Indian adults are scared of their children getting hurt when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, not realizing that this process of pain and pleasure is absolutely necessary in the growth of a healthy human mind.
There's a time for everything, an age for the birth and death of everything in a person's life. When that particular time period becomes a thing of the past, the individual looses out on the experience and the immense amount of knowledge that was to be gained from that experience. This age is different for everybody. The average may be on the intervals of twenty-five - 25, 50, 75 - but for some it comes early and for some late. I hope someday people will not only realize this but also let others follow their own time-table.