#Opinion

Garlands Exchanged, Groom Backs Out Of Wedding: Better Ditched Than Sorry?

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A groom from Bihar’s Motihari backed out of his wedding after he exchanged the garlands with his bride-to-be.  After the varmala ceremony, the groom simply refused to carry on with the rituals and even tried to run away from the wedding venue. Both his family and that of the bride tried to coerce him into tying the knot, but in vain. After the groom refused to budge from his stand, the wedding was eventually called off. While it may seem like a tragedy, from the bride-to-be’s perspective, isn’t it possible that this could have been the best possible outcome for this her?

The groom who tried to run away from his wedding and the bride had gotten engaged six months ago in a ceremony that was attended by people from both sides. So then why did the groom change his decision to marry, that too on his wedding day? Reports suggest that the groom was in love with a married woman and he was being pressurised by his family to marry the bride in question instead. After the wedding was called off, the village panchayat directed the groom’s family to return all wedding gifts and repay all the wedding expenses. Read more about it here.


Suggested Reading: In A Viral Video, Bride Calls Off Wedding With An Uneducated Groom


Groom backs out of wedding: Good for the bride?

If you think about, the bride lucked out here, because if the groom had not called off the wedding she would have walked into an unhappy marriage. It is not uncommon in India for parents to pressurise their children into marrying a person of their choice. Haven’t we all heard of college romances that failed to pass the desi parent test, resulting in a breakup. Since Indian parents see their children as currency that will bring them pride, fame or security, they feel entitled to having a control over their lives. It is they who have the final say on whom their son or daughter gets to marry. Caste, religion, class, marital status, or even something as trivial as a parent’s ego becomes the deciding factor here, not the two people’s happiness.

So what gives Indian parents and families the right to ruin not one but two lives? In forcing their son to marry someone he doesn’t love, for instance, this groom’s family had already set up their relationship up for a doom. Shadi kara do iski, fir sab theek ho jaege? As if a forced marriage can erase love from hearts, if only it was that easy.

While the groom had every right to walk away from a forced wedding, the way he did it and its timing was not right. In India, a broken wedding, especially in case of brides, comes with a stigma that they might have to carry for a long time. Not many will ask the bride or her parents why her wedding was called off. For many she will just be that girl whose groom dumped her on the aisle. One can only imagine the horrid scrutiny that she might be subjected to by future prospects. Besides, the wedding reportedly cost her family over 20 lakh rupees and while the money might be paid back, all that effort, all the hopes, that have been dashed by this incident, there cannot be a repayment.

Having said that, the fault here lies entirely with the groom’s family. Why did they try to force him into an unwanted alliance? If they didn’t approve of his relationship with a married woman, shouldn’t they have left the groom alone instead of pulling another woman into this mess, to no fault of her own?

Indian parents and families need to learn that if you disapprove of your child’s choice of a life partner a forced marriage is not a solution. You are complicating the situation by dragging in another person into the situation and sometimes, it may put you in a situation where you will lose both your money and your reputation.

Views expressed are the author’s own.