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Under the system they advocated (sometimes called Manuvad), women were stripped of their traditional independence and placed permanently in male custodianship: first of their fathers in childhood, then of their husbands through married life, and finally of their sons in old age.

Early marriage, in which girls were married before they reached puberty also became prevalent, though not universal, over time.

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Some were unique to the region, such as Swayamvara (which was rooted in the historical Vedic religion and had a strong hold in popular culture because it was the procedure used by Rama and Sita).Sometimes the father of the bride would arrange for a competition among the suitors, such as a feat of strength, to help in the selection process.Another variant was the Gandharva marriage, which involved simple mutual consent between a man and a woman based on mutual attraction and no rituals or witnesses.As with other cultures, levirate marriages (where the brother of a deceased man is obligated to marry his widow) also became customary in some regions for all religious groups, partially to ensure that clan alliances and clan ownership of land rights remained intact even if the husband died.With the expanding social reform and female emancipation that accompanied economic and literacy growth after independence, many commentators predicted the gradual demise of arranged marriages in India, and the inexorable rise of so-called "love marriages" (i.e.Where potential spouses for sons and daughters were once identified through family and social relationships, they are increasingly being solicited through advertising because many urban parents no longer have the social reach that was a given before the rise of nuclear families in India.With the advent of the internet, this has led to the rise of matchmaking websites such as (shaadi is the Hindustani word for wedding), which claims to be the largest matrimonial service in the world.The family expresses their criteria for a good match to the matchmaker, which is usually heavily influenced by family considerations but also includes the personal preferences of the son/daughter.These considerations vary but can include The matchmaker identifies a set of potential matches and, based on mutual agreement between families, it is customary for an exchange of photographs and some documentation of the factors being considered (for instance, astrological charts or a resume/biodata) to follow.Where specific alliances were socially preferred, often an informal right of first refusal was presumed to exist.For instance, marriages between cousins is permissible in Islam (though not in most Hindu communities), and the girl's mother's sister (or khala) was considered to have the first right (pehla haq) to "claim" the girl as for her son (the khalazad bhai).

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