Kerala is taking an important step towards improving the foundation of marriage unions, especially when human relationships are becoming more complex. The State Human Rights Commission has asked the Director of Collegiate Education to provide a report on the plan to offer premarital counselling to college students in the state. This has sparked a much-needed conversation. Varghese Mathew, President of the Kerala Unaided College Principals’ Council, is the pioneer behind this program that offers a new and progressive approach to preparing young adults for the journey of marriage.
Premarital counselling is not merely a fleeting fad but a dire need of the times. Acting Commission Chairman K. Baijunath has accurately acknowledged that the delicate nature of marital relationships and the human rights breaches within marriages are significant concerns. Marital discord and disputes drive demand for family courts, stressing the need to recognize and address family issues early enough.
Mathew’s petition highlights a crucial aspect of college life – the opportunity for students to gain practical knowledge about marriage without being influenced by religious beliefs. Many students complete their studies by the age of 20 or 21 and rush into marriage without a clear understanding of what to expect. This lack of insight often leads to failed marriages, extramarital affairs, and strained relationships.
The main point emphasized is that college life offers a critical opportunity for students to gain a scientific understanding of marriage, free from religious bias. Many students complete their studies at a young age, around 20 or 21, and rush into marriage without knowing what lies ahead. While some Christian communities require premarital counselling, other religious groups often lack it. Mathew’s proposal addresses this issue by making premarital counselling mandatory for final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students, regardless of their caste or religion. This approach ensures that every student receives a strong foundation to build their married life.
Interestingly, the Kerala Unaided College Principals’ Council has meticulously devised a 10- to 12-hour counselling module. This curriculum offers students the understanding and skills they need to negotiate the complexities of marriage successfully. It is worth noting that the Kerala Women’s Commission recommended a similar legislation in 2022, which has yet to be considered by the appropriate authorities.
Kerala has taken significant steps towards revolutionizing the concept of marital relationships by introducing premarital counselling that emphasizes the importance of information before making a commitment. This initiative is a step forward in uncharted territory to transform our society one heart at a time. Let us acknowledge and appreciate this remarkable effort.