Girls in rural Bihar seem to have found their voice against growing injustice towards women and are now not only voicing their protest against grooms who demand dowry but also against those who make uncharitable remarks about their looks.
In a recent case, Kusum Kumari from Khotahwa, West Champaran, refused to marry Ajay Kumar from Naurangia, UP, right before the marriage ceremony as his family not only demanded dowry but also threatened to stop the marriage if their demands were not met.
Ajay had been demanding for Rs 5,000, which he said was promised to him by the brides father Biran Choudhary.
The bride also found that her father had already paid Rs.20,000 as dowry to Ajay and he was now demanding more. Infuriated by these demands Kusum said no the marriage.
When the groom and his family found out about the bride refusing to marry their son due to dowry, they immediately changed their stand and gave their ‘go-ahead’ for the wedding.
But by now Kusum was adamant and was not ready to spend her life with a family which had humiliated her father for meagre Rs.5,000.
She announced that she would prefer to stay single all her life and look after her parents than marry a dowry seeker.
Meanwhile, in Mangalpur, Bagaha, another bride was fighting for her right and had refused to marry her groom when he made an insensitive remark about her complexion.
They too had started to create a rumpus at the event, but here the bride’s family had held the groom’s family hostage so they won’t walk out.
The situation got so out of hand that the local police had to intervene and matters only got sorted when both sides agreed to fix a fresh date for marriage.
But taking offence by what the groom had said about her complexion, the bride refused to marry him and the marriage was called off.
These were not the only two isolated incidents in Bihar. In Jadopur, Gopalganj, yet another bridegroom had to run away from his wedding allegedly when he asked for more dowry. Though he managed to get away from the venue, the bride’s family held the entire wedding party hostage till local police arrived. Later the groom returned and agreed to marry the girl without seeking any dowry.