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Silent social revolution: Bihar youths rebel, opt dowryless marriages

There seems to be a new kind of social revolution silently taking place in the hinterland of Bihar.

Statesman News Service | Patna |

There seems to be a new kind of social revolution silently taking place in the hinterland of Bihar. Call it the impact of the sustained campaigns or the sheer impulse to change the old social order, the young generations in the state are now revolting against their parents seeking dowry from brides’ families and opting for dowry-less marriages, bringing pleasant changes on the social horizons. In the past one month itself, as many as four such weddings have taken place in various corners of Bihar.

In a fresh incident, a youth from Jharkhand reached the house of his would-be bride in Rohtas district and entered into wedlock at a local temple after his parents broke the pre-scheduled wedding programme for not paying enough dowry. The wedding of Pankaj Kumar Chaudhary, a resident of Hussainabad block in Jharkhand, had been fixed with Pratima Kumari who hails from Rohtas district. However, the matter got stuck over the issue of dowry and eventually the wedding got cancelled.

Once the news reached the youth, he rushed to the residence of the girl and offered a dowry-less wedding which the girl’s parents agreed to. Instantly, the wedding was solemnized at a local temple on Sunday in the presence of local villagers. “I don’t want dowry but a worthy bride. So I opted for dowry-less marriage,” the groom said.

Similar incident took place at Karahgar village in the same district last week. Here in the case too, the boy Rakesh Gupta reached the house of the girl Soni Kumari, and tied the nuptial knot free of cost after the youth’s step mother had nearly cancelled the wedding over the issue of dowry. The wedding was solemnized at a temple with the local villagers playing both baratis (guests from groom’s side) and saratis (wedding guests from bride’s side).

Identical scenes were witnessed last month in Saran district where the groom straightway reached the house of his fiancé to marry the girl when their wedding came on the brink of collapse due to inability by the bride’s family to pay dowry. The wedding of Ravindra Kumar, a resident of Gopalganj district, was scheduled to be solemnized with Neha Kumari in November last year itself but the groom’s parents delayed the wedding for not meeting their dory demands. The news worried the boy who subsequently rushed to the girl’s home and proposed to marry the girl which was instantly accepted. The wedding was solemnized on 23 April.

Mittal Rajvanshi, another eligible bachelor, did the same in Nawada district around a month back when he rebelled against his parents to marry his sweetheart Sushmita Kumari with whom his wedding had been fixed but dowry came in the way. Their love affairs began in 2016 but it was in 2021 that boy’s parents agreed for marriage with the girl. However, as the girl’s parents came with the marriage proposal, the boy’s parents demanded a motorbike as well as jewelry as dowry. Eventually, their marriage appeared to be in trouble but in the meantime, the youth reached the girl’s house and entered into wedlock with her without accepting any dowry.

Social scientists describe the trend not all of a sudden but as a result of sustained campaigns against dowry, coupled with the increasing literacy rate in the society. “Marriage as an institution has, of late, undergone an enormous change in the society. The present generation now thinks they won’t be getting good brides if they look for attractive dowry,” explained prominent social scientist Prof Scahindra Narayan.