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Why is Polygamy Still Existent in Haryana?

Why is Polygamy Still Existent in Haryana?, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

29th June 2014

Naya Haryana

Polygamy a term with the ambiguity of laws and misuse of the religion amongst the individuals of the nation has become widespread. The carpets of the ideologies and the controversial imbibing of the freedom given in a religion have led to the spread of maintaining concubines relatively to a larger number.

Polygamy is a religious authority given under the Muslim Personal Law, also called as Shariat under the act of 1937, to keep more than one wife at a particular time. However, under the given circumstances, there is no denial that this law has been moulded now more for the contentment of personal desires and wants rather than for a need. Reportedly, the census of 1961 (the last census which recorded the data for polygamy), polygamy was less prevalent among Indian Muslims, about 5.7%, than among several other religious groups. Incidences of such practices were the highest amongst the Adivasis, apparently 15.25% and Buddhist, counting for about 7.9%. Significantly, the Hindus recorded for about 5.8% where it is illegal under the Hindu Marriage law and no other such laws of the former gives any such kind of flexibility.

By virtue of the freedom given under the religion of Islam, unfortunately, many people today are converting to the same for the maintenance of the desirable needs and apparently to maintain the curtain of social organisation.  To support the aforesaid, in December 2008, a controversial bond of marriage came into existence in Haryana, where the erstwhile Dy. CM of the state, Chander Mohan  converted to Islam alongwith Anuradha Bali, the former Assistant Advocate General of Haryana, adopting the Muslim names so that the latter could become the second wife. However, after a while they converted back to Hinduism.

Myths and backlog of the literacy amongst the female members of the state is also one reason for the existent polygamy in the state. It's the 17th most populated state of the country, as per the census of 2011, where the sex ratio differences among the male and females is more than 2 lakhs, and similar is the case in regards to literacy. All this points towards the prominent misuse of certain laws, apparently the use of women as a property and dejection of women reproductive and personal rights. Marriages come with different connotations for different people, for some it is the quest of some aspirations of living a happy life, while for others it is the reason and a green card to endorse the physical aspirations. The social stigma of not being able to produce a child or a male child also endorses the cases of polygamy in the country. Apart from that, most customs and anarchist beliefs are preserved and promoted by the middle class families to maintain the societal image of having an upper-hand over a woman's body and her reproductive well-being.

The essence of this is that polygamy is not the virtue of well-being and healthy relationship; however, it is a throwaway task of the Indian laws. It is only the time to question the resultant of the culture practiced, which is taboo for one and democracy for the rest. The bifurcation of the customs and traditions and the double standard laws of the constitution have to be questioned. While it is an issue in many such societies by and large, what is deplorable is that Haryana too continues to be a prime venue for the same.

Reference: Wiki and Media reports

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