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In a Bihar village, grooms are on sale for as little as Rs 50,000: Report

Saurath village in Bihar's Madhubani district is known for its annual groom market, where male guardians of women come looking for matches for them.

August 11, 2022 / 02:06 PM IST
(Representational image)

(Representational image)

A village in Bihar still adheres to a 700-year-old tradition of putting men on display at a "groom market", which locals describe as one of the oldest matrimonial sites in the world, according to an Al Jazeera report.

Men undertake hours-long journeys to travel to Saurath village in Madhubani district hoping to find a suitable and rewarding match at an annual groom market. There, they are scrutinised by the male guardians of women.

One participant Nirbhay Chandra Jha, 35, stood at the market with a humble tag of Rs 50,000.  “Had I been younger, I could have easily asked for 2-3 lakh rupees,” he told Al Jazeera.

The organisers of the market say that though dowry is looked down upon in present times, people still gave and receive it in a hushed manner.

“If parents have invested money in making their son an engineer or a doctor, they would want a return on the investment, and dowry is seen as one of the ways to do it," Shekhar Chandra Mishra, one of the organisers, told Al Jazeera.

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Thousands of women die every year, tortured for dowry by their husbands and in-laws. It has prompted governments to crack down on the practice.

This crackdown and "love marriages" have led to a decline in popularity of the groom market, organisers rue.

But many still see the market as a place to safely arrange a match for their children.

“When the marriage is done online, there is a risk of divorce and separation, but not when traditions are followed,” Muktinath Pathak, the father of a prospective groom, told Al Jazeera.

Markets for selling grooms and brides are not restricted to India. In Bulgaria, a Roma community has a tradition of putting young girls on display at a bride market.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 11, 2022 02:03 pm
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