Marriage in Hinduism is sacramental in nature and considered a divine religious bond. As per Shastras, man alone is incomplete until or unless he marries. The wife is called Ardhangini (half of man) or dharmapatni, who shares religious duties with her husband. This paper views matrimony from a feminist lens and explores the changing ideology of marriage by drawing upon feminist theory. The study uses two novels by contemporary Indian women writers, Shashi Deshpande's A Matter of Time (1996) and Shobhaa De's Second Thoughts (1996), to explore the world of married women. These novels by Indian women express women’s viewpoints about their experiences of precarity and suffering, the subjugated world of limited choices, and conflict in married life. They extend their deep psychological insight and understanding of the husband-wife relationship. Disrupting the sacred relation of husband and wife, the husband often occupies a position similar to that of a master, while the wife is akin to a servant. Deshpande portrays three generations of common middle-class Indian women, who endure a subservient role in their marital life and struggle to adjust rather than break free from the traditional world. Shobhaa De, the spokesperson of the urban women in her novel, focuses on infidelity in the institution of marriage, a tale of love and betrayal that surfaces the hollowness and hypocrisy lurking behind Indian traditional marriages. The texts reveal that women are subservient partners in traditional Indian marriages, alienating disadvantaged women from their husbands or leading them to revolt against the social system and even reject the institution of marriage entirely.

Author Biography

Bhushan Sharma is an Independent Researcher with a Ph.D. from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (J+K, India). She has authored the book The Outsiders Within: Developing Dalit Feminist Standpoint in the Life Narratives of Dalit Women and has edited two special issues in the Journal of International Women’s Studies: Casteing Gender: Intersectional Oppression of Dalit Women and the 8th World Conference on Women’s Studies. She has also published numerous research articles and book reviews in SCI, Scopus, and other reputed journals. Email id: bhushan19smvdu@gmail.com