90.6 Marriage norms, social sanctions and honour killings in Haryana

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:40 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Neerja AHLAWAT , Department of Sociology, Maharshi DayanandUniversity, Rohtak, Rohtak, India
Marriage Norms, Social Sanctions and Honour Killings in Haryana


The institution of marriage has emerged as a subject of critical investigation in the social sciences due to its close links with processes of historical change and forms of social organization.  In that large segment of an individual’s life, which constitutes his social life and involves relationship with another individual, this institution assures extreme significance. Significant aspect of north Indian marriage and kinship pattern pertains to certain rules and prescriptions observed while fixing marriage. Caste endogamy, gotra exogamy and village exogamy are strongly prescribed norms for marriage. Marriage and kinship regulations specify the norms and restrictions observed such as prohibition of marriage with in the same or other prohibited gotrs with in the caste group called biradari. The present study is based on ethnographic survey conducted in one of the affluent northern states of India i.e. Haryana which is fast urbanising with extensive consumerist culture and individualism, grappling with all sorts of issues of tradition and modernity. There is a paradoxical situation in the sense that on one hand, there are constitutional provisions and safeguards to protect the rights of the women/girls by ensuring equality of opportunity and building gender just society. On the other hand, it is known as a state for rampant foeticide, honour killings, dictates by kangaroo panchayats, violence against women outside as well as in natal families on the choice of their marriage partners.. Thus, there is limited choice available to boys and girls to select their own partners, with strict marriage rules, customary traditions and already skewed sex ratio.

Keeping in view the emerging scenario in Haryana, an attempt has been made to examine crucial questions such as importance of marriage, diverse marriage norms, restrictions, customary practices, and new phenomena taking place across caste/class/community.