Bihar, once kidnap central, also has a niche market for kidnapped grooms. ‘Pakadua Vivah’(marriage via kidnapping) is typically organised by and/or for families of young women who want educated young men with secure jobs as sons-in-law.Supply of such suitable boys being short in Bihar, and therefore dowry demands being high, some families bypass the marriage market – the price of organising an abduction gets them the groom of their choice.
Gautam Kumar (23) got a teacher’s job in Bihar’s Vaishali district just 12 days back, after he cleared the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) exam.
He was abducted, per eyewitness accounts, from the school by men who sped off in an SUV.
Bihar man held hostage, thrashed and forcibly married, video goes viral
‘Marriage’ followed. Given the choice of tying the knot or getting shot, Kumar did all the things grooms do in traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies. A viral photo in social media shows Kumar and his ‘bride’ in wedding finery.
Luckily for him, the teacher was rescued by the cops, who have arrested Brij Bhushan Rai on charges of abduction.
The bride’s father Rajesh Rai and three other accused are absconding.
Kumar has recorded his statement about the incident in the local court. His relatives fear retribution from the ‘bride’s family’.
But the teacher isn’t the first victim of a case of marriage via kidnapping, nor is likely to be the last. Only recently, Patna high court judged an earlier wedding at gunpoint as null and void. Local academics say there are many cases where the bride’s family is more powerful, and the groom’s family stays quiet, out of fear.
Guns and gangs though are the symptoms not the cause of marriage via kidnapping. Bihar’s lack of enough educated, employed young men prices out many young women’s families from the marriage market – that’s the trigger.
An arrest or two probably won’t discourage other families planning on abducting suitable boys.
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