#India – 350 Tribal women forced to undergo virginity and pregnancy tests before mass marriage #WTFnews #VAW


Pheroze L. Vincent,, The Hindu

Mass marriage under way at Hardoo village in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Special Arrangement
Mass marriage under way at Hardoo village in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Special Arrangement

10 girls were found pregnant and household items they got under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana seized

Around 350 women from Gond and Korku tribes in Betul district’s Hardoo village, which is about 200 km south of here, were illegally subject to pregnancy tests before they participated in a mass marriage ceremony under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana. This State-funded wedding ceremony of more than 400 couples was attended by local MLA Geeta Uikey of the BJP and the former minister, Vijay Shah.

Anyone who has attained the legal age for marriage can avail of this government scheme, which is aimed at reducing wedding expenses and controlling indebtedness. Couples are given household items like mattresses, gas stoves and mangalsutras for Rs. 9000.

Before the function at Hardoo, two health department employees, Jayashree Budhauliya and Durga Malviya, asked the brides to line up at a primary school building in the vicinity for a medical check-up.

“We found 10 girls pregnant. They were more than four months pregnant. We reported them to the panchayat medical officer,” said Ms. Malviya. District officials seized the household items given to the girls and they were sent away.

Betul-based activist Anurag Modi of the Shramik Adivasi Sanghatan told The Hindu that it was common practice among adivasis to cohabit before a formal wedding ceremony. “The government had no business to check if they are pregnant. This reflects the general mindset which does not treat adivasis as humans,” said Modi.

Ms. Uikey also condemned the incident which, she said, came to her notice only after the function. “This is an insult of women and adivasis. These officials want to destroy the traditions of adivasis. I demand that action be taken against them.”

To curb malpractice

After the incident panchayat officials confided to journalists that this practice of conducting pregnancy tests had been in practice for almost three years, ostensibly to check misuse of the scheme. Pradesh Congress Committee President Kantilal Bhuria, addressing a rally in Jhabua, also condemned the incident and threatened to go the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes if errant officials were not taken to task.

Collector R.P. Mishra told this paper that he had ordered an enquiry under Assistant Collector Neha Marvya. “I have been here for two months. This practice came as a surprise. There is no rule that calls for such tests. I have asked for a report within a week. This will also cover such incidents that may have happened earlier. Action will be taken on any official who may have violated the law,” he said.

#India- Inmate serving life sentence marries girlfriend inside jail #humanrights


SNAPSHOT, Posted on Jan 25, 2013

In a unique wedding ceremony, an inmate, serving life term in a murder case, tied the knot with his girlfriend in the court premises in Jind, Haryana, after a special permission. Sanjay, a resident of Sonepat ditrict, married his girlfriend Mamta following a special three-hour permission given by court. The marriage ceremony, that took place at the park inside the court campus, was attended by family members from both sides, besides a number of lawyers and court employees. In December last year, the girl, through Sanjay’s counsel, had moved a petition before the court requesting permission for marriage.

 

 

Bride Spurns Veil, Redefines Nuptials


By Holly Hughes, WeNews guest author

Sunday, April 8, 2012

In the anthology, “Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love And Marriage,” co-editors Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort offer an array of intimate insights. In this excerpt, performer Holly Hughes finds it’s easier to get married on Facebook.

(WOMENSENEWS)–We’ve talked about doing it. Getting married. Or whatever you want to call it. More than once during the past 16 years we’ve said, “Let’s do it.” But we quickly get tripped up by a tangle of competing desires, deeply rooted fears. We can’t get past what to wear. That’s always the first question that comes up, before what kind of ceremony we’ll have, where we’ll do it, who will be there. Before we think what the whole thing means there’s the question of what to wear. Which does not take the form of a question; it takes the form of a statement by Esther: “I’m not wearing a suit.”

She says she’s butch, she’s not a man, an announcement that feels well rehearsed, like she’s said it a thousand times before, and perhaps she has, but not to me. She is drawing a bright line dividing the category butch from that of man, and I am wondering, who in the hell is this person? What happened to the person I met 16 years ago, the one whose every gesture seemed designed to blur the roles of man and woman, to write her own story called butch on top of, around, over, and beyond the old myths? Why is she going back and redrawing the lines in black ink? Where is the person who ended the first date by telling me, “I have a truck. Next time, maybe you’d like a ride”?

She’d dress up a little, but basically she wants to be comfortable. I think that part of the point is being a bit uncomfortable. Making a public commitment after all this time isn’t as risky as it might have been earlier on, but it’s still a leap of some sort. It shouldn’t look like every other day of your life. It shouldn’t look like it happened on the way to the Agway; you shouldn’t wear brown corduroy. I don’t know what I will wear, but you can bet two things: It won’t be white and it won’t go with brown corduroy.

I joke that we could have separate but adjacent weddings. I guess it’s a joke.

I marry Esther quickly, secretly, when she isn’t looking. When she is sitting in her office, in her comfortable clothes. Facebook makes it easy: There are only two choices that come close to fitting: “married” or “it’s complicated.” I flirt with the latter when I create my account. But then I decide it isn’t, not really. It’s not that complicated. Not today.

People notice. My Facebook friends chime in with “When did you get married?” With jokes edged with a bitter shine: You can’t get married. But it’s a public space, Facebook; we have had a public ceremony of sorts. In other places and times that was enough. You didn’t need to have more of a ceremony; all that was required was that some man said: “I’m married.” I’m that man.

I don’t tell her. She finds out later. Shouldn’t we have talked about this? I used her name. I’m Borat, tossing a bag over Pamela Anderson with a muttered “Consent not necessary.”

But I say we have talked about it; we agreed. We just haven’t done anything about it. I didn’t feel like I was making a claim, I was stating a fact. Married happened to us, like the rain, overnight; we woke up and there were puddles everywhere. I’m just reporting on what happened. But I don’t look at her when I say this. Marrying someone when they are not looking is not the same as deciding to take the garbage out even though it’s her turn.

I do not say, “I’m married to you whether you know it or not.” But I do say, “You can decide what you want to say on Facebook. You don’t have to say you’re married. It’s complicated.”

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