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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Matriarchy and Patriarchy- Polyandry and Polygamy :A cultural retrospect
When I read the article forwarded by Gopelalwani, I remembered my own promise to myself to continue my observation of cultures which offer fertile grounds for sparking 498a kinda situations: Ie. the Deteriorated family values and the results thereof.

The point in contention is some communities and groups in kerala and how they had evolved over centuries in the quest of social and economic advancement.

In Kerala the king used to select his women(more like in a Harem System) and give her a Saree(known as a "Pudava") to mark his intention. These girls stayed in their own homes and entertained the king(or the local ruler) whenever they dropped in for 'visits'(this kind of pseudo-harem systems were called "sambhandams"). These girls were not restricted not to have a proper marriage!, they used to marry men who are comfortable of the situation and who would run errands on behalf of his wife, even acting a messenger for the 'visits'. The chosen girl(or girls) were powerful since they had the clout to settle local disputes(almost like a extended court system, since the solution could be enforced through the kings favourable views for his chosen girl).

As a result the girls assumed power in households, and men increasingly became servile and at disposal. This trend continued even after kingdoms fell, since centuries of conditioning had by then taken over the society.
I reckon that many societies have this kind of skewed line of controls, and whoever cannot adjust to this system revolt and get into disputes, which may lead to false accusation and charges(like false cruelty and harassment charges - as in IPC 498a). The husbands who tolerated this lead a seemingly calm family, but these guys where infact waiting to vent out somewhere, and more often than not they vent it out against their son in laws!(since they do not want a man to lead any different life than themselves, sub-consciously).

So this kind of psyche also(in addition to neo-feminism) runs across many parts of India and triggers of unnecessary clashes, which leads to a 498a situation.

--- In, "Gope Lalwani" <gopelalwani@y...> wrote:> MANSA: Fraternal polyandry. If it takes a minute for the term to sink in, you're probably not affected by agrarian crisis the way farmers in Malwa region of Punjab are. Bizzare as it may sound, there is a connection. The problem of fragmentation of land holdings has led to unusual social developments. One being wife-sharing among brothers.
It may be the world's rarest forms of marriages in anthropological terms, but in Mansa district of the state, this is a reality that stares you in the face. Visit any village of Boha area - Gandu Kalan, Gandu Khurd, Reond Khurd, Bhakhrial, Aan-diawali or Khandkalan - there are families of up to seven brothers married to one woman.
The reasons are purely materialistic. It prevents the division of the family farm, thus facilitating all of the family to achieve a higher standard of living. It ensures there is one set of heirs per generation. "Polyandry helps in preventing division of land," says Dr Kuldeep Singh Deep, a noted Punjabi playwright, based in Boha town of Mansa.
He adds that publicly the woman is married to one of the brothers, but within four walls of the house there is "mutual understanding" because of which other brothers do not marry and the division of land is prevented. So far as day-to-day family decisions go, there is one brother - usually the eldest -who exercises authority respected by others. The woman, too, agrees to the practice for the well-being of her children
The concept is not new. It has been written about, depicted in plays and generally found acceptance among the farmer fraternity.
Another reason advanced for its prevalence is the importance given to landholdings in the Jat Sikh community, where marriages are settled on the basis of the land one possesses. Preference is always for a groom who has a good landholding or is in government service. With fragmentation of landholdings and high unemployment rate, it is really a Herculean task for a farmer having 2.5 acres land to find a bride for his son.
This is the reason for steady increase in the number of aging unwed boys in rural areas of Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Sangrur districts...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is true the girls marry the boys for SOWRY . that is why you see women marrying men whoa re earning or hae potential to earn.