Bihar's tradition of men being kidnapped for marriage back in news

by IANS |

Patna, Dec 3 (IANS) ‘Forced marriage’ or ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ is again in the news these days in Bihar after one such case was reported from Vaishali district in the state.

However, the practice of this kind of marriage in Bihar is quite old. After ‘Pakadwa Vivah’, many couples are living a contented married life while several marriages have broken down.

In, 'Pakadwa Vivah’, neither the consent of the boy nor the girl is taken for marriage. Boys are taken hostage by kidnapping or coaxing and then married to a girl as per customs and traditions. In this, the wishes of the boy and girl, who become bride and groom, have no importance.

Recently, a case of a newly appointed teacher of a government school being forced to marry has come to light in the Patepur police station area of ??Vaishali district of Bihar. Before this incident, the Patna High Court had given a decision against forced marriage in November.

It is said that in the 1970s and 80s, this type of marriage was conducted very frequently. There were many districts of Bihar where this marriage was prevalent. Such areas include Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Munger, Jehanabad, Nawada.

If we look at the statistics, in previous years, 2000-3000 such cases were registered in the police records in a year. However, these also include many cases of love affairs.

According to senior citizens, the main reason for this was that people were unable to marry their daughters to employed men due to their inability to pay dowry. However, they wanted to marry their daughters in a good family, and hence this type of marriage was started by them.

Earlier, ‘Pakadwa marriages’ were organised as a social initiative, but after criminal gangs got involved, people started getting their daughters married to boys after kidnapping them with the help of criminals. It is said that around 1990, this trend completely came into the clutches of criminals.

Annu Kumari, a resident of Gopalganj and a sociology researcher at BHU, told IANS that the biggest reason for forced marriage is the demand for dowry and illiteracy among girls. In such a situation, the parents are inclined towards such marriages despite their reluctance. She said that only a few cases come to light these days because nowadays girls are also educated and are taking their own decisions in life.

Kumari Shalini, professor of psychology at ITI Bihta, believes that this type of marriage is a result of feudal ideology. This trend is seen in Bihar. She says that it would also be considered a perversion where people think that by marrying off the girl they are relieved of their burden. However, she also said that now these practices are decreasing.

Police officials also consider it a crime. A police officer says that whenever such cases come to light, action is taken. They believe that some cases come up during the wedding season.

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