Indian mythology has introduced us to Draupadi, a woman who was married for five men at a time, all of whom were brothers and were known as Pandavas. However, it is difficult to come across such a woman in real life who is married to more than one man at a time. In fact, having more than one spouse at a single time in illegal in many parts of the world. But there is one woman who is carrying forward the legacy of Draupadi.
Rajo, a 24-year old woman is married to five men, all of whom are brothers! Polyandry is a practice that allows women to have more than one husband. It evolved as a means of controlling population and avert division of family property. It is still practiced in a small village near Dehradun in north Indian state of Uttarakhand. Another important reason for carrying this practice forward even in the modern times is poor sex ratio of the area because of which men of the same family marry the same woman.
As per the practice of polyandry in this village, a woman who matches the age of all the sons of a family is found and married off to all of them. Then, all these men, and the woman live in the same house and work on the same farm land. The number of children in these families rarely crosses six or seven, also keeping the population checked.
As per a mutually set schedule, Rajo sleeps with one of them every night. Rajo has a son and does not actually know which of the five brothers is his biological father.
Rajo first married Guddu, the eldest of the five brothers and then married other four- Baiju, Sant Ram, Gopal and Dinesh. Rajo says that when she got married to Guddu, her official husband, she knew what will happen next as her mother too was married to three men, all of whom were brothers!
Rajo also admits that she felt a bit awkward initially but not any more. She does not favor one over the other and gets a lot more love and attention than other women. Guddu, her official husband also doesn’t seem to be embarrassed of his family. He says that he does not feel jealous about Rajo sleeping with his brothers but all of them live as one happy family.