Cross-Border Marriage: Tale from Haryana, India

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Sonali MUKHERJEE , Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, India
A significant social consequence of the skewed sex ratio is the marriage squeeze in some regions of India, like Haryana which receives its brides from various eastern states of the country and also from Bangladesh. Haryanvis of higher caste and class refuse to acknowledge existence of any such practice publicly as they consider it demeaning of their esteem and collective identity. So on one hand, scenario reflects the dynamics of continuity of such marriages with differential acceptance and denial. On the other hand, the inbuilt centrifugal mechanism pushes the women in Bangladesh, who are on the socio-economic fringes of their country, to come out as brides. It is interesting to note the changes that surface in the cultural matrix of Haryana society due to such marriages. The present study attempts to examine the social, demographic and economic factors responsible for continuity of such a process over time.

The paper also deliberates on the strategies of adaptation and building resistance to the stigmatized images, by the children of these marriages. There is a palpable anxiety of the upper class and upper caste men over the stereotypical images of migrant brides and their children as ‘inferior others’. These women are facing a situation of paradoxical hypergamy as they are getting married to men of low status and therefore their status is further low in society. Resource allocation for improving their political, economic and social life in Haryana society needs active citizenry. Unless their cause is taken up by the upper sections of Haryana society, nothing much can be expected by way of state induced policies and citizenship rights. The need for policy recommendation towards the protection of these migrant women and their children has been deliberated briefly in this paper.