Though the Nitish Kumar government somehow succeeded in reducing murder and robbery in Bihar, it did nothing special regarding the forced marriage, in which a prospective groom is kidnapped and forcibly asked to get married at gunpoint. The forced marriage, locally known as ‘Pakadwa Vivah’, has been an old social problem in Bihar for ages. Recently, about 3,400 youths were kidnapped for forced marriage in the state in 2017, 3,070 in 2016, 3,000 in 2015 and 2,526 in 2014. Eligible bachelors continue to live under the threat of abduction for marriage.
The reason behind such marriages is the dowry custom. Demanding a dowry has been illegal in India for over 50 years. But, the practice is still going on. As a result of that, those families who cannot afford big dowries abduct grooms for their daughters and this way they get rid of the burden of dowry. The government must deal with those who are not ready to give up this bad custom.
Asif Iqbal Qasmi
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)