Consummation is The Ultimate Objective in The Hindu Marriage
Consummation is the ultimate objective in the Hindu Marriage.
When a Hindu gets married, his or her marriage is solemnized with rituals and the marriage gets a legal as well as a religious sanction.But the marriage is not complete until it is consummated.
Consummation of a marriage refers to the sexual union or sexual intercourse between the newly married couple. From a superficial point of view one may tend to say that after all marriage is to fulfill the sexual urge of a married couple.
But when we consider the evolution of marriage as a legal as well a social institution, we may realize the actual implication of a marriage. In a patriarchal society, the marriage was developed as a social and a civilized institution to restrict the relationship between a man and a woman so as to identify the paternity of a child delivered by a woman. Consequently, fidelity of a married woman to her man (husband) was emphasized or rather enforced.
To put it in other words, a marriage between a man and woman was performed to beget an offspring or a legal heir of the married couple. Hence, consummation was considered as the ultimate objective in a Hindu marriage.
In a valid Hindu marriage, in the absence of consummation, the marriage is voidable at the option of a person who may want to enforce it.
When a valid Hindu marriage was consummated, the marital life actually begins in right earnest.
Sometimes, due to some physical and mental reasons a valid Hindu marriage may not get consummated. In the result, it may lead to the breakdown of a marriage and it will become a valid ground for seeking the nullity of the marriage.
When we consider the physical factors that hamper the consummation of a marriage between the newly married couple, they may arise either from the husband or the wife.A husband may be unable to consummate the marriage, if he is impotent or his is unusually large in size.His impotency may cause the failure of erection and his inability to penetrate and perform the intercourse with his spouse. Sometimes, a newly married woman may be suffering from impotency. For example, she may not have a vagina that is essential for an intercourse.
When a newly married woman does not have a vagina, she certainly suffers from impotency and it will be valid ground for her husband to seek a divorce from his wife. However, in such cases, the court will not blindly grant a divorce in favor of her husband. In such cases, the courts will seek the intervention of doctors, who may have to undertake a necessary surgery upon the impotent woman to open a vagina in her body measuring 2 or 2 ½ inches. Sometimes, a newly married woman may have a very small vagina that hampers the normal sexual intercourse.The doctors may intervene to make a corrective surgery upon the woman so as to have consummation and to lead a normal sex life.
While considering the cases of consummation, the courts will simply look into the matter, whether consummation was there or not. But the courts will not take into account or look into the degree or level of happiness in the sexual life of the concerned couples which was rather immaterial.
When we consider the mental factors that cause the impotency on a particular person, they are nothing but the non-co-operative mental attitude or unwillingness on the part of a spouse to indulge in the act of intercourse. In such cases, the courts may again seek the help of a medical expert who may have to find out the actual cause behind the unwillingness of a spouse to consummate the marriage. Sometimes, a mere fear psychosis may cause such problems. Hence, the court as well as the medical expert may have to offer their counseling to the concerned couple to dispel their doubts or fear-psychosis.
Despite seeking the medical intervention and giving treatment besides offering their counseling, if consummation of the marriage is not possible, the courts will have no hesitation in nullifying the marriage of the concerned couple.
Therefore, consummation is the ultimate objective in a Hindu Marriage.