A Rajasthani bride has smacked patriarchy right in the face by taking her own 'baraat' (marriage procession) to the venue where her groom was waiting to get married to her – an exact opposite of the norms prevalent in society.
Jiya Sharma (25), who belongs to Behror town of Alwar district, Rajasthan, wanted a memorable marriage ceremony, one that would give out the message of women's empowerment. So she sat on a horse cart and took her 'baraat' to the groom's door. Not only we laud her guts to break a centuries-old custom, but the groom’s family too must be appreciated for having a wedding with a difference -- one that would shatter stereotypes.
A student of MA English literature, Jiya's baraat went the usual way with her friends dancing on the streets.
It all happened the way it happens, except this time the bride replaced the groom. Residents were lined up on the streets and on terraces to see the bride's entry.
Jiya, who is proud to claim that her family had not given any dowry, has become an inspiration for every small town girl. "This will send a strong message to society. People don't accept girl children in Rajasthan. This will give a message that there is no difference between boys and girls," Giraj Sharma, the groom's father, told India Times.
As a pre-wedding ceremony, when Jiya's mother and aunt went to the family of the groom, Lokesh Sharma, they proposed to have a different way of arrangements. They offered to have the bride take the 'baraat' to the venue, instead of the groom.
"My Mami (aunty), who runs a school in Behror and has been working for the uplift of women for long, wanted to set an example of treating women equally in our society. We are happy that the idea was encouraged by my husband's family," Jiya said.
Jiya is married to Lokesh, a software engineer who works for an MNC in Gurugram. He was intrigued with the idea and appreciated her courage to do so.
"Our wedding will be memorable as we have chosen to spread the message of equality. There is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it's a proud moment for me," Lokesh said.
This new change comes at a time when Rajasthan is battling its skewed sex ratio in the country. According to the census, the child sex ratio in 0-6 years category in the infamous state has fallen to 888 (2011 census) from 909, 10 years ago (2001 census).
Also Read: The Grand Indian Patriarchal Wedding
The concept of Indian weddings is degrading to women in many ways. If it weren’t enough that women go through discrimination in everyday life, in the rituals of wedding where in every step a woman takes, there are hundreds of rules dictating her on "Dos and Don'ts" -- reminding her how pathetic society could be. Pretty misogynist -- the height of sexist vows for women.
This is, without a doubt, the best news I have heard in a very long time. More power to you Jiya!
Feature Image Credit: InUth.com
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