NAWANSHAHR:A seminar on ‘Contract Marriages’ was organized by Istri Jagriti Manch, Punjab at Malkit Chand Mehli Bhawan here today, which was jointly presided over by Balwinder Kaur, Harbans Kaur, Sudesh Kumari, Nirmal Kaur and Kulwant Kaur.
Addressing the seminar, the keynote speaker Amandeep Kaur, state secretary of the organization, said that due to the blind race among Punjabis to go abroad, the practice of contract marriages is gaining momentum in the state, due to which new and unique quarrels have arisen among the boys and girls engaged in such marriages. She said there are two main reasons for arranging of such marriages. One is unequal education or intellectual inequality and the other is financial gap. A boy or girl with limited education level has financial capital but the other party has educational qualification but not the financial capital. The contract of marriage is formed by the combination of one’s educational qualifications and the financial capital of the other. When one or both the parties break the terms of the contract, one of the parties feels badly cheated. And then there is a longing to go abroad. Compulsions are also considered fraud in many such cases. Such a marriage gains notoriety when one of the parties commits suicide. “When there is such injustice with a girl and the girl seeks justice, then the men, who are the influential members of the dominant society come together against the girl. The girl feels that the law is with her but social tensions stand in her way. If the girl’s economy is weak then it proves to be another weakness of hers. Further, Education is expensive but looting by travel agents makes it more expensive, ” said the main speaker, adding in a foreign country where a student has to work hard mentally to get the required level of education, there is also a lot of physical pressure on him to cover the cost of education and other necessities of life. “Let’s say that the path to success is not easy. The success rate in such relationships that are noticed through advertisements is low because they are set between the outer realm of social relationships and strangers, ” she said. Many such cases have come to light in recent times.
She said that Istri Jagriti Manch, Punjab believes that the multi-faceted layers of this issue should come to the fore. It is true that in a patriarchal society women and girls face many difficulties. The latest case is that of Beant Kaur, a girl. The case against her has been widely publicized on social media because she is a girl. She was blamed for the boy’s suicide while the boy’s death was caused by drugs. There are many women in the age group of 50-60 years in the villages whose husbands have married them and moved abroad but have not fulfilled their responsibility as husbands. The pain of such women has never been described. Newspapers are publishing large-scale advertisements for contract marriages but no government has time to pay attention. Although claims are being made that much progress has been made in the society, half of the population of the society, women, are still being oppressed by the medieval oppression.
State President Gurbakhsh Kaur Sangha, Anita Sandhu Jalandhar, Jasvir Jassi Jalandhar, Santosh Kumari, Rupinder Kaur Durgapur also addressed the function. The seminar demanded the censor board be set up to crack down on those who use foul language against women on social media, there should be a ban on lousy singing, Sudha Bhardwaj, a woman social activist lodged in jail in Bhima Koregaon case, should be released.

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