The other day, I got an invite from a cousin for the engagement ceremony of his son. As I was sharing the news on the dinner table, my daughter asked me as to what was a ‘Nichayathartham’ ceremony. I explained to her – it is the confirmation of a marriage, announced in the presence of all the relatives and friends of both the parties. It is a kind of a commitment made in public that none of the parties can go back on. In olden days, a societal approval was more sacrosanct than a legal document. And hence a ceremonial engagement assumed great importance in social life.
As I recall my childhood, my grandmother and the other women of her age used to play a key role in arranging marriages for boys and girls in the family and in their friends’ circle. Marriages in the traditional Indian society, in those days, were typically arranged by the elders in the family through their own network of friends. And that was the case across the diverse landscape of the country – north to south and east to west. The canvas would usually be a close circle of region, language, caste and sub–caste.
Blockchain today is the latest buzzword in IT industry. Every business is competing against the other to find a use case to deploy the Blockchain technology. Also, every Industry leader and every CXO is singing hosannas for this new kid on the block. Blockchain is a large distributed ledger that is self-certifying, is not owned by anyone in particular and is supposed to be incorruptible. It guarantees the validity of every transaction with no scope for errors – be it omission or commission.
If my granny was alive today, I am sure she would have loved to create a permissioned blockchain of all Tamilian / Brahmin /Iyer /Thanjavur district / Asthashastram boys and girls with their complete CVs. All her age-group acquaintances would have owned the nodes, whichever part of the world they were living in. And all those marriage alliances they would have fixed, at the click of a mouse, sitting on their cosy rocking chairs. And there was no need for confirming the marriage alliance over a social gathering as this technology claims the highest degree of accountability.
I would have loved to see this gizmo in my granny’s hands but would have faced one problem for sure. My wife’s CV would not have been part of this blockchain but would have figured in another blockchain containing Delhi / Bahawalpuri / Saraiki etc. And I am told, they are yet to crack the inter-operability across different blockchains.