Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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‘Khaps Have To Reform’

What explains the phenomenon of rising violence against couples flouting rules of arranged marriages?

‘Khaps Have To Reform’
Sanjay Rawat
‘Khaps Have To Reform’
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Prem Chowdhry, who extensively studied the phenomenon of rising violence against couples flouting rules of arranged marriages for her book Contentious Marriages, Eloping Couples, explains why it’s happening and some of the reasons why male guardians and khap panchayats unleash extreme violence on couples. Excerpts of an interview with Sheela Reddy:

What is it about society that has changed so drastically that it has now become a life-and-death issue to choose one’s own mate?

Many things have changed—political democracy, for instance, which has thrown up new social groups competing with the high-caste groups that were in power earlier. One can see a greater mobility, which means many more opportunities for youngsters to meet. It’s been a problem through the post-Independence era, although cases have risen sharply in the last decade for a variety of reasons. Two (legislative) acts have actually prompted them—the Hindu Marriage Act and the Hindu Succession Act because it gave the right to property to women. Therefore, the restrictions on who a woman can marry.

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