Friday, March 8, 2013

"Traditional" human right violations

As I was going through a local Indian newspaper, I came across an article on the Indian “bride market”. The article highlights the story of an Indian bride who escaped from the clutches of the man who bought her as a bride, her “husband”. The parents of the girl sold her for a sum of one lack rupees (roughly 2000$). She was barely sixteen years old and was married to a forty four year old.

Such stories are commonplace in rural India. The girls are accustomed to such practices, most of them not even aware that it’s wrong. It’s just part of their life for them. Girls are often married to men over twice their age as soon as they hit puberty. Sometimes even before puberty. Indian families look at a girl baby as a burden on the family and hence try to get rid of this “burden” by marrying the girl off at a young age. A direct outcome of this is lack of education to girls. Education is seen as an unnecessary evil to girls, who are destined to take care of the household. Female feticide is another very common practice in India. Although the government tries to take innumerable measures to curb such acts, they take place day in and day out.

“Modern” families in urban cities as well resort to human rights violations when it comes to marriage, through a system of marriage famously known as “arranged marriage”, where the family of the bride and groom decide upon the marriage. “Love marriages” are looked upon with disgust and disrespect in Indian society.

These human rights violations against have been buried so deep in the Indian society over the ages that a majority of the population doesn't even consciously acknowledge these as human right violations. 

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