Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Marrying For Love

Another report out of India, this time from New Delhi on the death of Mahendra Singh Tikait, who was apparently quite active in organizing mass protests.

He had the support of the farmer community, largely dominated by Jats in western Uttar Pradesh and still deeply wedded to their medieval social tradition of not allowing marriages within the same gotra.

And Tikait rose up to even oppose the Supreme Court for holding such marriages valid.

"We live by a moral code where honour has to be protected at any cost. Same-gotra marriages are incestuous, No society would accept it. Why do you expect us to do so? Incest violates 'maryada' (honour) and villagers would kill or be killed to protect their maryada," he said in a TV interview.

Tikait, as choudhary of the Baliyan Khap, declared that "love marriages are dirty...only whores can choose their partners".


The Supreme Court made the right decision. It is too bad Tikait opposed love. But in India, as with so many other places in the world, more freedom is being gained for someone to marry the person or persons he or she loves, rather than being forced to marry to benefit others, or denied marriage entirely. Those who want to be traditional should certainly be allowed, as long as everyone involved consents, but others should be able to leave traditions behind to pursue what works better for them.
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1 comment:

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