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.
500BC), the social ideas advanced by Manu gained prominence, and large sections of Indian society moved towards patriarchy and caste-based rules.
Manu and others attacked the Gandharva and other similar systems, decrying them as holdouts "from the time of promiscuity" which, at best, were only suitable for small sections of society.
where the initial contact with potential spouses does not involve the parents or family members).
Child marriages are also in steady decline and deemed unlawful in India (with legal age of marriage at 21 years for men and 18 years for women), so the term "arranged marriage" now increasingly refers to marriages between consenting adults well past the age of sexual maturity.
The initiation can occur when a parent or a relative (such as an aunt or an elder sister or sister-in-law) initiates a conversation on the topic or the son/daughter approaches the parent/relative and expresses the desire to be married.
If the son/daughter has an identified love interest, the sponsor often takes it upon themselves to try to orchestrate a match with that individual.
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.
It is increasingly common in India for a couple that has met by themselves and are involved romantically to go through the process of an arranged marriage with that specific partner in mind.