Muslim women suffer from challenges comprising education, livelihood, health care, etc. They lag behind in almost all key socio-economic indicators of development. Additionally and very importantly the Indian Muslim women face hardship in marriage and family emanating from the rampant misinterpretations of Quranic tenets related to marriage and divorce. Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) reported that since 2007 they have come across numerous cases of verbal talaq rendering Muslim women destitute. BMMA has been working on numerous accounts of Muslim women being divorced overnight and separated from their children as their husbands chose to unilaterally say ‘talaq’, ‘talaq’, ‘talaq’. In most cases, the husband’s mindset as well as the action is dictated by a commonsensical understanding that the husband enjoys the ‘right’ given by Islam to divorce his wife just by saying ‘talaq’. Hardly there is any awareness about Quranic injunctions or the real meaning of ‘talaq’. However, the Indian Government has criminalized the triple talaq by an act of parliament on 1st August 2019.
The practice of instant triple ‘talaq’ (uttering ‘talaq’, ‘talaq’, ‘talaq’ at a time) to divorce a woman by her husband is the misinterpretation of Quranic guidelines. ‘Talaq’ (divorce) should be the last resort of believing Muslims if there is serious marital discord. Nowhere in the Holy Quran, it is mentioned that triple ‘talaq’ at a time will be considered as ‘talaq’. The Prophet said, “The most hateful permissible thing in the sight of God is divorce” (Abu Dawud: 1863). But when the situation is such that the couple can’t stay together, then the ‘talaq’ is desirable. Quran (3:34) advises the husband to reason out (Faizuhunna) with his wife through discussions. If differences persist the couple is directed to keep sexually distance themselves (Wahjuruhunna) from each other in the hope that this temporarily physical separation may encourage them to reunite. And if it fails, the husband is said to once again explain (Wazribuhunna) to his wife about the seriousness of the condition so that there is a possibility of reconciliation. If the differences persist, the Quran (4:35) instructs the matter to be put before two persons (arbiters), one from the family of each spouse to provide reconciliation efforts.
After the failure of the above mentioned four attempts to unite them together, the Quran allows first ‘talaq’ to be uttered and followed by a waiting period of the three months. This waiting period is called Iddah. Not more than tow ‘talaq’ can be pronounced within this period. If the husband and wife are unable to reconcile during Iddah, the final ‘talaq’ can be pronounced in the presence of two witnesses but only after the expiry of the Iddah. Even after the Iddah has lapsed, the Quran offers the challenging parties a chance to reunite, provided the final talaq has not been pronounced. Once the final ‘talaq’ has been pronounced the break up in the marital is taken place and the parties are considered as divorced.
Religious Freedom versus Universal Rights in India
Since independence, India is staggering with the issue. Our constitution has enshrined both universal rights and religious freedom. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution says “the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Article 26 of the Indian Constitution has given the people the freedom to manage their respective religious affairs. It (Art. 26- b) says “subject to public order, morality, and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right to manage its affairs in matters of religion”. We have a plurality of faith and belief and the plurality of cultures amongst us. Seeking to accommodate multiple faiths, India’s law for marriage, divorce, and inheritance related matters are deemed to be ‘Personal Law’ and are left largely up to the respective religion. The practice of instant triple talaq simply violates the fundamental rights of the Indian constitution as the constitution does not allow women to be treated differently. According to Yusuf Muchhala, a lawyer of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, the religious freedom nowhere means a free license to the male of the Muslim community to subjugate the woman.
Triple Talaq and All India Muslim Personal Law Board
The practice of triple talaq is illegal in many Muslim majority countries, but in India, it was permitted (before 1st August 2019) under the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. According to this Act, in matters of personal disputes, the state will not intervene and religious authority will instead pass the judgments. (Al Jazeera, 2016). All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has been set up in 1973 as a custodian of Muslim Personal Law. It wants to impose the Shariat laws on the Muslim community in India and the focus of this organization is to educate the Indian Muslim and built awareness on the protection and application of Islamic laws. This law has made the Muslim community stuck in a time warp and the subsequent laws like the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act of 1939 and the Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Divorce) Act of 1986 had not been able to move the community away from discrimination shown to Muslim women (The Hindu, 2016).
Instant triple talaq in the Muslim community is malpractice to give divorce to a woman by her husband arbitrarily. This type of one-sided divorce without any effort to reconcile is neither formulated in the Quranic guidelines nor supported by the Indian Constitution. It is due to the misinterpretation of Quranic guidelines by some clerics, the Muslim women are facing great adversaries in their marital as well as natal lives. Indian Muslims do not have codified Shariat Laws that adequately address all aspects concerning marriage and family matters. The conservative sections are unaware and unconcerned about the issues of Muslim women and therefore they cannot continue speaking for them. By recognizing only the conservative religious voices the democratic state has also failed in enabling fair representation for all sections of the population including women. Regarding marital disputes, the triple talaq is banned in several Muslim majority countries. Therefore, in India, the practice of instant triple talaq as a means to divorce cannot continue when the era is confronted by modern conceptions of justice and rights, and the ideals of universal human rights, equality, and personal freedom.
Dr. Shivani Rawat (Assistant Professor, History Department, D.S.B.Campus, K.U. Nainital)
Uttarakhand’s state movement arose with the problems of poverty, backwardness, tough routine of the folks of the hilly areas and the total ignorance by the government. The demand for the state of Uttarakhand was not instantaneous, in fact, it had to pass through a long chain of a struggle for its existence. Although the geographical complexities presented some obstacles in the expansion of various movements, nevertheless it did not affect the political and social awakening among the people. During the British period, a voice was raised against this exploitation from time to time. After the independence, many hardworking and active personalities proved themselves in the field of politics while contributing their leadership but the development of the complex geographical, economical and social circumstances of the region could not be done.
The demand for the separate state of Uttarakhand was important not only for its unique cultural & geographical status but also for the regional development in education, health, agriculture, trade and industry, the areas of which remained untouched by the Lucknow Government. The intellectual class of this region who had struggled their way through these difficulties demanded for the first time, the establishment of a separate state in 1923. A letter addressed to the governor of Joint Province plead that the region of Uttarakhand should be recognized as a separate unit. In 1928 the Nehru committee recommended that the division of the states should be based upon the choice of the public and on the basis of their geographical, economical & financial concepts.
A special political conference of the Congress was held on 5-6 May 1938 in Srinagar Garhwal. In the conference, the demand for a separate political arrangement for this hilly area was raised and it was suggested that the hilly folks should be given the right to flourish their cultural values. In 1948, the Dur Commission presented a report regarding the terms and conditions to be obeyed for the establishment of a new state. The terms included factors such as geographical continuity, financial independence, the possibility of development in the future and the concept of similar language.
In 1952 the minister of the Communist Party P.C. Joshi pleaded the Indian government establishment of a separate state. On the basis of this plead the question for the establishment of a separate state was discussed while also taking into account the Karachi session (1931 AD ), wherein Jawahar Lal Nehru had also given his consent. P.C.Joshi is therefore considered as the first person who took an initiative to demand a separate state.
On 24-25 June, there was a huge public gathering in Ramnagar under the leadership of Lakshman Singh Adhikari. In this session a proposal for the establishment of a separate administrative unit was passed and an organization named as “ Parvatiya Rajya Parishad” was established. Daya Krishna Pandey was elected as the President and Govind Singh Mehra was elected as a Vice-president of this Parishad. On 14-15 October 1967, Uttarakhand development seminar was organized at New Delhi. In this seminar Manvendra Shah projected about the ignorance of this state and raised the demand to confer the state as a union territory. He said that while making plans, the hilly and the plain areas should be seen as a single unit. In 1967 when Chandra Bhanu Gupta became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he established Parvatiya Parishad and people started believing that the Parvatiya Parishad will lead to the development of the inhabitants of Uttarakhand. However, this was also a false hope.
Through these pleads, the demand for the separate state of Uttarakhand was going at a slow speed. The people of Uttarakhand had no other option other than to follow the policies, planning & administrative arrangement implemented in Lucknow. The plans, lost in corruption, never turned into reality and were limited only to the files only. Water resource projects were initialized in many regions but water supply did not reach their respective destinations. Power transmission systems were established just as a formality. In some cases, only electric poles were set up while in the other cases only the electric lines were laid down. The people, however, were made to pay the bills regularly. It was crystal clear that without proper leadership, the demand of a separate state could not be conveyed to the policymakers.
Finally on 24-25 July, there was a conference organized in Mussorie for (Parvatiya Jan Vikas) Hill Public development. Reporter Dwarika Prasad Uniyal was the convenor of this conference. People like Indra mani Badoni, Nityanand Bhatt, Dr. D.D.Pant, Devendra Sanwal, and Veer Singh Thakur participated in this conference. The conference ended in one single opinion that the people of Uttarakhand had to be united as a single political organization, for the formation of a separate state. The thoughts expressed in this conference resulted in the formation of “ Uttarakhand Kranti Dal” wherein Dr. Devi Dutt Pant was elected as the President. The state movement finally got a direction and conditions under the umbrella of Uttarakhand Kranti Dal. In order to fulfill their objectives, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal organized demonstrations, protests, rallies, adhesion & Road Blockades. Meanwhile, in December 1993 the government of Mulayam Singh Yadav with the support of Bahujan Samaj Party was formed, which implemented a reservation of 27% for the backward classes in government services. On 17th June 1994, an arrangement of 27% reservation of the backward class was implemented in order to give admission in the educational institutions, As a result, a huge Public gathering took place on the roads protesting against the reservation policy.
On 2 August 1994, 8 members of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal started a hunger strike in Pauri for the demand of a separate state and against the reservation policy of the then government. The administration arrested these people on 7th August 1994 and this lead to an outburst in the entire region of Uttarakhand. A horrifying incident took place in Khatima on 1st September 1994. The Police had started firing on the revolutionaries who were demanding for a separate state and protesting against the reservation policy. Seven people were killed and many others injured. As a reaction of the Khatima incident, the people in Mussorie carried out a procession on 2 September but again the Police used lathi-charge on them, resulting in the martyrdom of many revolutionaries. The brutality crossed the limits when the revolutionaries who were going to attend the rally organized by the Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti on 2nd October 1994, were open fired upon and many women were molested. This incident marks a black day in the history of the state movement.
On 3rd June 1995, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh expelled the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government. After this, Bahujan Samaj Party prominent leader Mayawati with the support of Bhartiya Janta Party became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The Cabinet of the then Prime Minister H.D. Devgaura finally accepted the demand of Uttarakhand state on 13th August 1996. The dream of a separate state became reality on 15th August 1996 when the then Prime Minister of India, H.D. Devagaura announced the establishment of Uttarakhand State from the Red fort and certified the decision of the Indian Government. In 1998 a bill related to the state was sent via President in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative assembly. On 11th August, the Lok Sabha passed this bill with a majority, After the consent from the President of India on 28 August 2000, the state of Uttarakhand came to its existence on 9th November 2000. On 3rd June 1995, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh expelled the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government.
Dr. Priyanka N. Ruwali (Assistant Professor, Deptt. Of Sociology, DSB Campus Kumaun University Nainital, email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Social change is a natural phenomenon. New conditions emerge and to meet new challenges a society adopts, adjusts and changes. After 67 years of independence, we cannot expect Indian society to remain static and completely traditional. Among the institutions that have shaped human civilization, marriage and family occupies a vital position. These together not only form the cradle of our future society, but also the hub of social life for the people. Like other institutions of the society, marriage also has been undergoing a gradual transformation and adjustment in different situations and epochs of history. The story of change in modern India begins particularly, with the advent of British colonial rule.
Later on the advent of Western education, the process of urbanization, modernization and industrialization accelerated these changes. The rural and normative guidelines regulating marriage are also bound to change to meet new demands and expectations. Simultaneously many factors- legalistic, political, socio-economic and cultural also have cumulative impact upon the institution of marriage of urban family. The present study aims at knowing the continuity and change in marriage in urban society of India. The present study is an attempt to understand and analyze the impact of urbanization on marriage. The study focuses on the process of changes, which are taking place in sacramental Hindu marriage system. This is a secondary data base study.
Marriage is conceived differently by social scientists in different fields while the popular concept of marriage is that it is a union between a man and a woman. Anthropologists like Lowie, Murdock and Westermark emphasize on social sanction in the union and how it is accomplished by different rituals and ceremonies. Sociologists like Blood, Lantz and Snyder, Bowman, Baber Burgess etc, view it as a system of roles and as involving primary relationships. Indologists look upon Hindu marriage as a sanskara or a dharma. The generally acceptable definition among British social anthropologists was proposed in a volume entitled ‘notes and queries in anthropology’ according which “Marriage is a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate offsprings of both partners”. The definition of marriage proposed by Westermark, Malinowski and Red-cliff Brown centre on ‘The principle of legitimacy’.
Red-cliff Brown writes: “Marriage is a social arrangement by which a child is given a legitimate position in the society, determined by parenthood in the social sense”. Westermark defines marriage as “a relation of one or more men to one or more women which is recognised by custom or law; and involves certain rights and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in the case of the children born of it”. According to him marriage is “more or less durable connection between male and female, lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of offspring”. Gough made a brave attempt to put forward her own definition of marriage taking into account a wide diversity of different cultural patterns. To her “Marriage is a relationship established between a woman and one or more other persons, which provides that a child born to the woman under circumstances not prohibited by the rules of the relationship, is accorded full birth-status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum”.
Rivere proposes that marriage be studied as, “one of the socially approved and recognized relationship between the conceptual role of male and females. This relationship will reflect aspects of the particular society’s conventional ideas about the two categories and it will be possible to define it by opposing it to other possible male-female relationships which exist in the society”. G.P. Murdock has suggested that marriage exists only when the economic and the sexual functions are united into one relationship. In all societies said Murdock, “Marriage involves residential co-habitation and in all of them it forms the basis of the nuclear family”.
The social anthropologists of the western societies have highlighted the importance of personal relationship between man and woman in the capacity of husband and wife. It is because of the fact that greater importance is given to individual in these societies. In the Indian society, on the other hand greater importance is given to religious and socio-cultural obligations, and individuals’ personal happiness or his/her personal liking and disliking get least importance.
Traditional Hindu marriage is viewed as a sacrament as discussed by Prabhu (1961), Kapadia (1966), Chatterjee (1972) and Shastri (1972). P.N. Prabhu on the basis of ancient Hindu literature says, “Among the Hindus’ vivah is generally considered as obligatory for every person, because in the first place, the birth of a son is said to enable one to obtain moksha i.e. the ultimate aim of Hindu life”. Manu considers marriage as a social institution for the regulation of proper relations between the sexes. Kapadia considers Hindu marriage a sacrament in the sense that it is irrevocable and indissoluble.
According to the traditional Hindu concept of marriage, Kapadia was of the opinion that marriage is a social duty towards the family and the community, and there was little idea of individual interest. The traditional Hindu concept of marriage enables one to fulfil dharma (sociocultural and spiritual obligations towards the family, community and society), praja (progeny as social obligation towards society) and rati (pleasure as individual sexual gratification).
Marriage being mainly performed for dharmna and not for pleasure, it was considered a sacrament among Hindus. Several reasons may be given for considering the Hindu marriage sacred: (i) dharma (fulfilment of religious duties) was the highest aim of marriage; (ii) performance of the religious ceremony included certain rights like havan, kanyadan, panigrahan, saptapadi, etc., which being based on the sacred formula, were considered sacred; (iii) the rights were performed before agni (the most sacred God) by reciting mantras (passages) from Vedas (the most sacred scriptures) by a Brahmin (the most sacred person on earth); (iv) the union was considered indissoluble and irrevocable and husband and wife were bound to each other not only until death but even after the death; (v) though a man performed several sacraments during the course of his life, a woman performed only one sacrament of marriage in her life, hence it’s greatest importance for her; (vi) emphasis was on chastity of a woman and the faithfulness of a man; and (vii) marriage was considered to be a ‘social duty’ towards the family and the community and there was little idea of individual interest and aspiration.
Hindu marriage is not only a sexual contact, a pattern of marriage like in other societies, but it is a religious sanskara essential for each Hindu. According to the sacramental concept of Hindu marriage, the principle of familism is supreme and primary and must be followed while the individuals’ interest, needs and happiness are considered secondary to the interest of the family and community as a whole. Irawati Karve also observed the same “In India marriage is a sacrament and no normal man or woman must die without receiving this sacrament” and “for this reason, Hindu parents have always considered the marriage of their children one of their most sacred duties”. This Hindu attitude towards marriage has been from the ancient Vedic times when it was regarded as a social and religious duty and it is looked upon as a sacrament even today. In this way, Hindu marriage can be defined as a religious sacrament, in which a man and woman are bound in permanent relationship for the physical, social and spiritual purposes of dharma, procreation and sexual pleasure. In ancient texts, the union of male and female have been emphasized through several myths and symbols.
The marriage which institutionalized this union was considered as a social obligation and a medium to attain moksha. In vedic period it was regarded as a sacrifice, and unless one entered into married life he was supposed to be “one without sacrifice”, a contemptuous remark for Vedic Hindus. Manu points out that “to be mothers were women created and to be fathers men; the Vedas ordain that dharma must be practised by man together with his wife. In the Hindu society in the early period, eight modes of acquiring a wife were referred to, of which four were considered proper and desirable (dharmya) which had the approval of the father/family, and four were regarded as undesirable (adharmya) which did not have the approval of the father. The proper marriages recognised by the Smritis were Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, and Prajapatya while the four undesirable marriages were Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa, and Paishacha.
The field of marriage among the Hindus is restricted by endogamous and exogamous rules. The endogamous rule of Hindu marriage allows a person to marry only within caste. It does not talk of intercaste marriage on the other hand the rule of exogamy prescribes that a person cannot marry within his own gotra, pravar and sapinda. The gotra exogamy prohibits marriage between members of the same gotra; pravar exogamy prohibits marriage between members of the same praver and the sapind exogamy prohibits marriage between persons related to each other within certain generations on the father’s and mother’s side. In vedic period the bride and the groom were grown up persons, qualified to give consent, but later on the marriageable age of the bride fell lower and lower in the dharma shashtra period. These dharma sutras prescribed that a girl should be married before she attains her puberty.
The later smritis presents five categories of marriageable girls, namely nagnika (explained as naked), gauri (eight years old), rohini (nine years old), kanya (ten years old) and the rajaswala (one who has reached on puberty) and among these nagnika was regarded as the best for marriages. P.H. Prabhu writes, “Most particular care, however, has to be taken to perform the vivah of maidens as soon as they attain the marriageable age. A girl who continues to stay in her father’s home more than three years after attaining puberty is called a vrishala or a shudra i.e. a very low type, and the father or other guardians of such a girl who is not careful enough to give her in marriage in proper time is said to be incurring a great sin”.
During the last few decades the idea of marriage as a sacrament has weaken and the trend of the “personal concept of marriage” is gaining ground. Young people today marry not for performing religious duties but for companionship, and the marital relations are no longer suppose to be unbreakable, as divorce is socially and legally permissible. A democratic country, modern India, has been affected in different aspects, through the process of industrialization and marriage is one among them though not with a revolutionary change.
Traditional India, as has been stated stressed over child marriage with certain limitations, while today parents first provides them education knowing it as essential and then for a suitable spouse the search starts. Traditional pattern of marriage, laid down by dhrmashashtra, followed the restrictions firmly, and people did not allow their children to go against these rules, regulations and limitations. Modern trend has also affected marriage pattern “but it is difficult for them (Hindu parents) to accept the new marriage patterns, which are more appropriate for an industrial than an agricultural society, such as: the right of men and women to chose their own mates the new emphasis on romantic love, and perhaps most difficult of all, the breaking down of cast endogamy”.
The number of such people who believe in the concept that marriage is a sacrament solemnized primarily for the fulfilment of one’s religious and social duties and for the good of the family is decreasing on the other hand, the number of such people who believe that marriage is a social contract which is entered into primarily for the good of the individual and for his or her personal happiness and satisfaction is found to be increasing. This trend of emphasizing the “personal concept of marriage” and weakening the idea of sacrament started from the third decade of the 20th century as is revealed by the studies carried out at that time and is gaining ground among the urban families (Merchant).
In Merchant’s study, on an average, the young educated woman favoured marriage at the age of 19.7 years. In 1959, during the first phase of the author’s study- the majority of the educated working women thought that the most suitable age for a girl to get married was between 20 or 24 years, whereas- the second phase of the same study the corresponding figures were 18 and 22. Ross (1961) found that in her sample, consisting primarily of the educated Brahmin families living in Bangalore, none of the unmarried women wanted to be married before the age of nineteen.
There was a direct relationship in Gore’s study between the education of the respondent and the age of marriage given for boys and girls- the more educated respondents tended to suggest higher ages. The university students in Matthew’s study regarded any age between 22 and 24 as the most suitable for a woman to marry. Ghurye had suggested that the average age of female at marriage should be about 22 years and in the case of male, it should not be above 25 years. the young educated urban women’s expectations from marriage are gaining new dimensions more of these women now expect marriage to meet, not only their basic needs, but also all the other needs of their lives- resolution of their psychological and emotional problems, possession, of husbands, home, and children, companionship, love, sentiments, interests, values, understanding, social life and intellectual. Expectations of satisfaction of their individual needs and of personal happiness from marriage are mounting. Another indication of their multiple expectations from marriage is seen in the analysis of their various desires and aspirations with regard to the type of husband they would like to have. More and more educated women want to have a mate who is economically well placed, educated, intelligent, liberal, affectionate and understanding.
According to the traditional Hindu concept, marriage was an alliance between two families rather than two young people, entered into primarily for the welfare of the family. As such, in traditional Hindu families, marriages of children were arranged by their parents who were morally obliged to find mates for their children who in turn were obliged to accept their parents’ choice. Since marriage was arranged by the families, without or with merely formal consent of the prospective mates, and since their individual interests were subordinate to the family ends, love was not a necessary basis for mate selection.
Love between husband and wife was supposed to be the result of marriage rather than a prelude to it. There was hardly any freedom of choice in the selection of mates. Now the attitude begins to change with regard to the type of marriage and the procedure of mate selection. Yogendra Singh has indicated that in mate selection, the principle of personal choice especially in urban families is today increasingly reconciled with parents’ approval. The number of love marriages and marriages by choice are increasing.
Margaret Cormack’s study in 1959 of 500 students from different states and the union territory of Delhi revealed that in 92% cases, ego’s parents’ marriage was arranged by their parents while only in 8% cases it was a self arranged marriage. Since last three to four decades, however, we find that parents have stated consulting their children in mate selection. Initially they consulted only sons but later on even daughters also came to be consulted. It could thus be said that change in the process of mate selection is from ‘parental’ to ‘joint selection’. Children do not want complete freedom of selecting the partners by themselves. They want that parents and children should jointly select the partners.
B.V. Shah’s study (1964) of 200 students of Baroda University showed that 66.5% students wanted to select their brides in consultation with their parents, 32.5% wanted to give more importance to their own voice and only 1.0% percent would go exclusively by parents’ choice. In Gore’s study of the Aggarwal families of Delhi, who were supposed to be quite orthodox and traditional, 42% of the respondents were found to hold the view that while marriage should be arranged by the elders, the parties to the marriage should also be consulted. His data clearly bring out a relationship between the levels education and the preference for consultation of the boy and girl in the choice of spouse in arranging the marriage – the more educated a woman is, the more likely she is to consider it important that the boy or girl concerned be consulted regarding marriage.
In the Kapur’s study of “the changing attitudes of the educated working women”, it was found that even within ten years- the time after which the author had studied the attitudes again- the number of such women who preferred arranged marriage but the whole hearted consent of the marriage partners had increased. At the same time, the number of those women who preferred love marriage with the whole hearted consent of the parents had also increased. Educated working women were found, in increasing numbers, to disapprove of “purely arranged marriages”, as well as of “purely love marriages”. More of them are now approving of the “Modern type of arranged marriages” and the “rational type of love marriages”.
The study shows their increasing preference for a sort of quasi-traditional kind of marriage and mate selection where the willing consent of the prospective marriage partners and parents is considered desirable, weather the marriage is “arranged or love”. The traditional Hindu marriage pattern is endogamous, involving persons of the same cast or subcast, the same province, and the same religion. The attitudes of the people are changing in this respect, and more and more of them are now approving of, and entering into, inter-cast, inter-provincial and even inter-faith marriages.
Kapadia in his study of 513 university graduates in early 1950s found that 51% were willing to marry their children outside their own cast. And only one-third were against this departure from the custom. Narmadeshwar Prasad in his study in Bihar in 1954 found the favourable tendency towards inter-cast marriage in the rural as well as in the urban industrial areas. He studied five casts-Brahmin, Rajput, Ahir, Dhobi and Chamar- and found that higher casts-brahmin and rajput- in the rural areas did not like this idea but in the urban industrial area, 85% people in each cast were in favour of intercast marriage. Ghuriye also maintained that whereas formerly marriage outside one’s cast was not to be even thought of, today many educated young men and women are prepared to break through the bonds of cast if mutual love and attraction demands it. Marriage in the traditional Hindu society regarded essentially as dharmic (religious), is gradually becoming secularized in the modern era.
The trend is towards making it consensual. Till the middle of the 1950s the Hindu law did not permit divorce, it was nearly five decades ago that our law-makers swung Hindu society from the rigidly reactionary position of “sacramental marriage” to the acutely modern notion of “divorce by mutual consent. Kapadia in his study of 240 graduate teachers in 1951 found that about 50% of his respondents considered divorce desirable, about 25% considered it undesirable, and 17% described it as harmful and undesirable. Kuppuswamy, in his study of 895 persons in South India found that there is more or less uniform response in favour of divorce irrespective of the age, sex, rural or urban residence, or literacy of the respondents.
In Hindu tradition in all times widow remarriages have never been given due recognition and are mostly snarled at as such marriages lack their sacramental character. Manu has stressed “A true wife must preserve her chastity as much after as before her husband’s death”. Vatsyayana is of the view that having sex relations with a widow is akin to prostitution. This pitiable situation is further re-in forced when Manu and Yajnavlkya pointed out that a widow should not mention even the name of another man after her husband’s death. Thus widow remarriage was strictly prohibited in ancient time. At present attitudes towards widow remarriage is gradually changing. Gore, in his study has found that “widow remarriage is an area where most respondents seem willing to break with tradition in permitting a widow to remarry”.
With the advent of modernization, industrialization and urbanization, traditional outlook took a backseat in the society. Traditional marriage is now considered as a loss of individuality, loss of privacy, lack of freedom, lack of individual growth, lack of social and sexual variety, dissatisfaction with spouse, sexual frustration, problem with in-laws etc. All these factors have lead to a change in the form and purposes of marriage. At present the new trend of live-in-relationship is emerging in urban Indian society. Live-in-relationship or cohabitation is an arrangement where two people, who are not married, live together in an intimate relationship, particularly an emotionally or sexually intimate one, on a long term or permanent basis. Today individuals have become career oriented. Women are going out for work. This is preventing them to go into the bonds of married life that is full of responsibility. Economic independence of people in urban society also paves way to live-in relations as these people don’t want interference in their personal life. These days’ young men and women are getting opportunity to know and spend time with each other. This enhances the chances of getting into live-in relationship.
Many people believe that live-in relationship is a good way to test their relationship before marriage. Besides there are many other alternative forms of marriages are emerging as- the intrinsic marriage, utilitarian marriage, open marriage, two step marriage/multi step marriage, temporary marriage, group marriage, consensual marriage, covenant marriage, commuter marriage, swinging and sexually open marriage. If an analysis is made of need of such relationship, avoiding responsibility would emerge as the prime reason. The lack of commitment, the disrespect for social bonds and the zero tolerance power in relationship have given rise to find these various alternatives to marriage. The processes of educational and urban development have, no doubt, created new situations and problems and have upset certain traditional mores and values. Yet the marriage institution continues to be the core of Indian society and has not experienced a general disintegration.
1. Notes and Queries In Anthropology, 1951. Royal Anthropological Institute, 6th Ed., As Quoted By Leach, E.R. In Jack Goode (Ed) “Kinship”, Harmondsworth, London, 1971, P.151.
2. Redcliff-Brown, A.R. And Forde, Daryll (Eds) “African Systems Of Kinship And Marriage”, Oxford University Press, 1975, P 5.
3. Westermark, E., “The Future of Marriage in Western Civilization”, London, Macmillan, 1936.
4. Gough, E. Kathleen, “The Nayars and the Definition of Marriage” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1959, Vol-89, P 23-34.
5. Rivere, P.G., “Marriage:A Reassessment In Rodney Needham”, (Ed) Rethinking Anthropology, Tavistock Publications, London, 1971, P 66.
6. Murdock, G.P., “Social Structure”, Collier Macmillan, New York, 1949, P 8.
7. Prabhu, P.N., “Hindu Social Organization”, Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1961, P 148-149.
8. Pandya, P.H., (Ed) Manusmriti, 1913, IX, 25, As Quoted By Prabhu, Ibid P 149.
9. Kapadia, K.M., “Marriage and Family In India”, Oxford University Press, Bombay, 1966, P 168.
10. Karve, Irawati, “Kinship Organization in India”, Poona Decan College Post Graduate And Research Institute Monograph, 1965.
Authors: Mukesh Singh Negi (Research Department of Economics, Kumaun University, Nainital) and Dr. Padam.S.Bisht (Professor, Department of Economics, Kumaun University, Nainital)
Migration is the movement of people between regions/countries. It is the process of changing one’s place of residence to another place and permanently living in a different region or country. As migration has its impact on various aspects of rural areas of Kumaun region, this paper makes an attempt to draw attention on migration from rural areas of the Kumaun region. The reasons of the migration from hill areas to cities is closely related to regional backwardness, small landholding size, unemployment, under-employment and high natural growth of rural population.
People have always moved in search of work, in response to environmental shocks and stress etc. In Uttarakhand, rural to rural migration was highest in 2001, accounting for 54.7% of total domestic migration. Rural to urban migration has gradually increased from 21.1% to 32% in 2011. As per census 2011 of Uttarakhand, 1053 villages have no inhabitants and another 405 villages have a population less than 10. Out of these, 60% villages are in the Kumaun region. The number of such villages have risen particularly after the earthquakes and flash floods due to heavy rainfall in the last 4 years.
Migration is not new to Kumaun region, but the data of census 2011 and some other recent reports show that the rate of migration from hilly areas of Kumaun region has increased after 2000. Kumaun region has witnessed a spurt in migration from hills to plains over the past 5 years. Due to this heavy migration, the population of the plains of Kumaun region has increased by 30%. The fact is that, migration has lead to a negative growth rate of population in Almora district.
Almora district has been worst hit by the migration as educated people are migrating in search of better jobs and education for their children. This has lead to complete abandonment of villages leading to degradation of farming land and making the villages inhabitable. The problem of ever increasing migration from the hill rural areas has always posed a serious concern for the economy of these districts. The major cause of migration is the lack of government initiatives to provide self-employment opportunities, failure to promote tourism and agriculture in hilly area of the kumaun region.
The main factors which influence migration can be categorized into two broad categories: Push factors and Pull factors. Push factors are those forces which compel an individual to migrate, while pull factors are those foreign forces which compel an individual to migrate. Typically, push factors have induced migration in the Kumaun region due to lack of livelihood opportunities locally, whereas pull factors have induced migration due to greater availability of livelihood opportunities elsewhere.
Objectives of the Study:
• To study the pattern of economic growth and development of Uttarakhand with special reference to Kumaun division.
• To study the causes and impact of migration in Kumaun division.
Data Sources And Methodology: To answer the above research question methodologically, the study is done in following stages. First it starts with a brief introduction of Migration, second it analyses the economy of Uttarakhand and study area, third it analyses the various social and economic determinants of migration. The study uses secondary data from a variety of sources.
Economy of Uttarakhand:
The State of Uttarakhand is the third fastest growing state in India, its gross state domestic product (GSDP) at content price more than doubled from 24,786 cr. Rupees in FY 2005 to 60,898 cr. Rupees in FY 2012, the real GSDP grew at 13.7% (CAGR) during the FY 2005-FY2012 period . The contribution of service sector to the GSDP of Uttarakhand was just over 50% during FY 2012, per capita income in Uttarakhand is 1,03,000 rupees on FY 2013 which is higher than the national average of 74,920 in FY 2013, according to the reserve bank of India, the total foreign direct investment in the state from April 2000 to October 2009 amounted to $ 46.7 million. Like most of India, agriculture is one of the most significant sectors of the economy of Uttarakhand.
Basmati rice, wheat, soybeans, groundnuts, coarse cereals, pulses and oil seeds are the most widely grown crops, fruits like apples, oranges, pears, litchis, and plums are widely grown and important to the large food processing industry, agricultural export zones have been set up in the state for leechi horticulture, herbs, medicinal plants and basmati rice, during 2010, wheat production was 831 thousand tonnes and rice production was 610 thousand tonnes while the main cash crop of the state, sugarcane had a production of 5058 thousand tonnes as 86% of the state consists of hills, the yield per hectare is not very high 86% if all croplands are in the plains while the remaining is from hills.
Study Area: Kumaun region faces significant challenges of combining its rapid economic growth with special equity and environmental sustainability. Kumaun region has an agricultural economy on its mountain region and dynamic industrial development in the plains. Agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region. 60% of the village population of Kumaun region depends on agriculture.
The occupational distribution of workers is the most important determinant of social, economic, as well as environmental development of Kumaun region. The larger part of the Kumaun region is characterized by a difficult terrain, undoubting topography, remote and inaccessible villages, spare population, tiny land holders, agriculture based economy and weak infrastructure in hill areas. Though, the region is rich in beauty and natural resources, improper use of these resources and rapidly growing population has thwarted its development and consequently the Kumaun region is technically backwards and economically poor.
The economic development of any area is best reflected in infrastructure facilities. A good infrastructure can be achieved by investment in basics amenities like roads, power, water health and communications. The infrastructural development of Kumaun region has been of the important component of development planning but so far, it has been poor. A serious efforts is needed to ensure their facilities to promote economic development. Agricultural development is the most important challenges in kumaun region, because it provides livelihood security to the major proportion of population in rural areas. Only 14% of the total areas of Kumaun region is under cultivation. Kumaun region has a vast investment potential area like tourism, agriculture, forestry, pharmaceutical sector industries.
Industries of any state forms the basics of economic stand of the state. An industry of one state helps the government to compete with other state. Industries are playing a significant role in the state of Uttarakhand, especially in Kumaun region.
Important factors in the development of industries in the Kumaun region are:
• Availibility of raw materials.
• Availability of cheap labour.
• Transport facility.
The industrial set up is restricted only to plains of Kumaun region and hills do not get any special industries. The state industrial development corporation of Uttarakhand limited has developed many industrial estate and thus helping industries for further development. SIDCUL is a multi-purpose industrial promotion which helps the infrastructural development in Kumaun region.
Major industries of Kumaun region are:
• Tourism industry
• Food processing industry.
• Handloom, Handicrafts, Wool based industry.
• Horticulture industry etc.
Some of the major projects of SIDCUL in Kumaun region includes the integrated industrial estate at Panthnagar, the integrated estate at Sitarganj and others. As the Kumaun region is home to speculator land forms, lakes, temples and mesmerizing scenarios, tourism is by far the most successful industry of the Hilly Kumaun region. The tourism industry, however still lags behind its counterparts because of lack of facilities provided, infrastructure and negligence of the state government.
The government of Uttarakhand has not given the proper boost to the development of tourism in the Kumaun region. In the region, the main source of livelihood is agriculture, tourism,small scale and heavy industries. Due to lack of development, it is unfortunate that large number of people from hill areas are struggling for even the basic needs. The main cause of deep-rooted poverty and unemployment in Kumaun region is the lack of availability of adequate easy and timely finance. The maximum number of workers depends on MGNERGA for employment in the rural Kumaun region.
This table shows the distribution of population in Kumaun region in different districts. All the districts have positive increase in decadal growth rate in population except Almora which shows decline in population. It is clear from table that Nainital & U.S. Nagar district shows a huge decadal growth rate in population. This is mainly due to the huge migration from other districts of Kumaun region, because the main reason behind this is the lack of economy and Job opportunities.
The above table reveals that the sex ratio has decreased in all the hill districts and increased in the plains of the Kumaun region. Champawat district shows a higher decline in the sex ratio as compared to the other districts. The main reason behind is the social factor.
Why people migrate to urban areas from rural areas: To make the economy of Uttarakhand strong, we need to arrest migration and for that protest marches against the Govt. negligence should be held. Public seminars should be organized and bill drafted to keep the hills of Uttarakhand from losing their inhabitants. The government should itself make some policies to develop the hilly districts of Uttarakhand, so that the people no longer feel the need to migrate. Uttarakhand has witnessed a high rate of economic growth since its formation but this growth rate is only lopsided growth. The economic prosperity has largely been limited to three districts in the plains, the hills are contributing the most to the migrant labor force, and so to develop Uttarakhand we should remove the problem of regional imbalances. There are five factors which determine the push and pull conditions operating in the decisions of people to migrate from hills to plains in kumaun region: Economic factors: The poor economic conditions and lack of employment opportunities in villages of Kumaun region are the main push factors that drift the rural population to the plains of Kumaun. The hill areas of Kumaun region are less developed, have poor agriculture conditions and grater population pressure on land, push the population to plains. Income in agriculture is lower than other sectors. Migration in Kumaun region is largely due to poverty and lack of economic opportunities in villages is more significant than others. The migration to plains is not only due to lack of economic opportunities but also because of several other factors including educational and health services, higher wages and better standard of living available in cities.
Demographic factors: It is also a major factor of migration from rural Kumaun to plains. Generally, there is higher fertility rate and natural population growth in rural areas as compare to plains of Kumaun.
Social and cultural factors: Social and cultural factors also play a great role in migration. In rural areas of Kumaun region, traditional values are much stronger than plains. On the contrary, in plains the people enjoy much greater freedom and have liberty. The modern and western values are highly attractive to the youth. Therefore, this class of population is more motivated to plains.
Geographical and physical factors: Physical conditions, distances, climate and natural environment and natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, droughts and tempests have also been major factors which push the rural population of Kumaun region to plains.
Political and institutional factors: The state policy of Uttarakhand regarding to migration have played a crucial role in the transfer of population from rural to urban.
Major causes of migration in Kumaun region: Migration is caused by a variety of factors in Kumaun region. Some of the factors are briefly described below:
Barren Landholdings: Landholdings in Kumaun region are typically small and segmented. According to the Watershed Management Directorate of the Kumaun division, the average landholding in the division is about 0.68 ha, which is divided into several patches. This is much smaller than the national average of 1.16 ha per farmer. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland
Political and institutional factors: The state policy of Uttarakhand regarding to migration have played a crucial role in the transfer of population from rural to urban.
Major causes of migration in Kumaun region:
Migration is caused by a variety of factors in the Kumaun region. Some of the factors are briefly described below:
Depleting Water Level Depletion in the water level of the Kumaun region is also linked to migration. It is interesting to note that the three districts that have registered the highest migration rates are also the districts that have witnessed maximum depletion in water sources. Earlier, there was no shortage of water but of late there has been a seasonal shortage even in drinking water, let alone water for irrigation.
Employment: People migrate in large number from rural to plains in search of employment. The agricultural base of rural economy in Kumaun region does not provide employment to all the people living there. Even the small-scale and cottage industries of the villages fail to provide to the entire rural folk of Kumaun region.
Education: Rural areas of Kumaun region, by large, lack educational facilities like those of higher education and rural people have to migrate to plain centers for this purpose.
Apart from these causes there are so many other reasons which force the people to migrate. These include lack of security, health services, infrastructure and others.
Conclusion and suggestions:
Long awaited development in the hill districts of Kumaun region has pushed backward the development of these districts relatively to the other plain districts of Kumaun region. This has resulted in the persistent migrations of the major workforce from these districts which largely constitutes the male youths of these regions. This has put pressure on the economy of these districts.
We see that the Kumaun is primarily dependent on agriculture, but there are many industries, which contribute to the economy. All the major industries were established in the plains areas in the Kumaun region. We see in this paper that as 86% of the state consists of hills region in Kumaun area and only some of agriculture products like wheat, rice and potato are the key products of Uttarakhand. Agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region from tabulation in this paper, but only some of the products are involved in agriculture. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland.
Migration in India as well as Uttarakhand, especially in Kumaun region is a historical and present phenomenon. The major cause of migration is lack of government initiative to provide self-employment opportunities, failure to promote tourism and agriculture in hilly areas of Kumaun region. Migration to cities has recorded to highest in Kumaun regions to benefit from greater economic opportunities.
It is suggested that: • The state govt. must focus for the development of agriculture and there should be a provision for the establishment of industries in the hill districts of Kumaun region, which will create employment opportunities in hill areas.
• The govt. should develop the higher education institutions, health care facilities etc. in the hill districts of Kumaun division.
• The geographical and physical factor is also a major factor of migration. The state government should raise the funds for these areas to develop better infrastructure.
Conclusion and suggestions: Long awaited development in the hill districts of Kumaun region has pushed backward the development of these districts relatively to the other plain districts of Kumaun region. This has resulted in the persistent migrations of the major workforce from these districts which largely constitutes the male youths of these regions. This has put pressure on the economy of these districts. We see that the Kumaun is primarily depends upon agriculture, but there are many industries, which contribute in the economy, we know that the all these industries were established in plain areas or we can say in plains areas in the Kumaun region. We see in this paper that as 86% o the state consists of hills region in Kumaun area and only some of agriculture products like wheat, rice and potato are the key products of Uttarakhand. We know that agriculture has to be among the top contributors of revenue in Kumaun region from tabulation in this paper, but only some of the products are involve in agriculture. This means villages that have witnessed migration in the recent past now have to deal with several plots of untended land interspersed with active farmland.
1. Deshigkar, P (2009), Human Development Research Paper, Uttarakhand. 22-23 2.
2. Mehta, M (2008), gender assessment of kumaun region live hoods. Pp. 71-78.
3. Singh Shobhan, (2009), industrial development of backward areas of kumaun region, Himalayan Publishing House, pp.131-132.
4. Data, S.k, (2014) Uttarakhand, vision and action Programme, concept publishing company, New Delhi, pp. 82-87.
5. A new era of economic development – Uttarakhand : the next destination (2013).
6. Bisht sonali, (2015), concerns & challenges in Kumaun Region, Trishual Publication dehradhun, pp. 17-21.
“They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive”
There are very few people who selflessly work for the betterment of the Society as a whole. They just step aside to undertake and accomplish the gigantic and mountainous task of changing the society all by themselves; neglecting all the thoughts and notions to gain fame or money. Hon’ble Shri Pratap Bhaiya was one such a great man. The journey of our lives covered by our Grandson-Grandfather relationship is too long to admit of adequate coverage through the present opportunity. I would, therefore, restrict myself to some remarkable memories I have from the time we spent together.
Those who knew him or participated in the meetings and forums he organized know what a punctual man he was. I remember he used to tell me, “समय के इतने पाबंद रहो कि लोग तुम्हे रास्ते में देखकर अपने हाथ की घड़ी का समय मिलाएं “. I don’t remember sleeping after or waking up before him. Whenever I saw him, he was up and working. No matter whether it was cold, raining or very sunny outside, He’d always be on schedule. There are instances when he’d start a program without the chief-guests and those when he asked other people to preside on the chief-guests’ seats as the designated person couldn’t reach the venue on time.
When he was the leader of the student union of Lucknow University, He got in touch with Acharya Narendra Dev; then Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University, and was deeply influenced by his ideology. The name “Pratap Bhai” was first given by Acharya Narendra Dev and he has been known as “Pratap Bhaiya” ever since. At the age of 25, he became a minister in the Charan Singh-led government in 1967 and was even referred to as modern day’s Malviya for setting up more than 100 schools including Bhartiya Shaheed Sainik School in Nainital (established in 1964 after Indo-China War of 1962) and Tharu Inter College in Khatima. He is also remembered for the establishment of a nurses training center at Nainital, government hospitals in Okhalkanda and Haldwani, and also as the founder Member of the renowned NGO ‘Aarohi’.
All this was before I set foot in this world and so I couldn’t witness these changes happening. However, one such contribution I did observe was his commitment to erase Casteism in the society. He had given up using his own surname ‘Pratap Singh Bora’ and instead used ‘Pratap Bhaiya’ to promote equality of all Castes. This ideology was implemented in various Schools he started and the students’ surname was not used in any of the school registers. However, with the recent orders from the Education Department, this practice had to be given up as Caste now plays a major role in every field of the society: Jobs, politics and even for examination purposes.
Being a Socialist, he always used to promote, “काम का बँटवारा , इन्सान बराबर”. What he meant by this was in every Organization, even a worker commands the same respect as the person occupying the highest position. In a Society where there’s discrimination on the basis of how much a person earns, he always justified equal treatment for all. His colleagues would tell me that most of the poor clients would come to him as they had faith on him. One such instance was, as I recall, a poor client of his was heading back home after having won the case. Having paid the fees, his pockets were empty and he didn’t even have enough money to take a ride. Pratap Bhaiya Ji sensed this and putting some money in his hands secretly said, “घर जाते हुए बच्चो के लिए मेरी तरफ से जलेबी ले लेना”. Whether his Client was rich or poor, he’d offer them tea and biscuit and asked them to sit beside him. Whenever someone visited him asking for a job, he never denied. He’d ask them to write letters for him and do other works for his seminars and Forums, in return of which he’d pay them from his own pockets. In doing so, he believed was stopping a brilliant youngster from falling into the dark side of the world. Many of the Boys working with him qualified for government jobs later on.
He knew that the rural Villages would soon become vacant if proper attention was not given to the villagers’ needs and so he started many schools for giving proper education to the youngsters. He’d organize workshops in the backward areas so that the villagers could start some small-scale industries on their own. “Acharya Narendra Dev Industrial Training Institute, Nainital” was one such initiative. He would try to provide free education for the economically weak so that they won’t have to face unemployment in the future. Even today, when everyone is busy printing money from their commercial educational institutes, there’s a very nominal fee in the schools he started.
His love for the Country was profound. Although he had never been in the army, he’d wear an army dress when attending student parades; the same as the uniform of Sainik School, Nainital. He taught us not to use the words ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’, he’d teach us to say ‘Jai Hind’ instead. Every seminar, rally or parade he went to, he’d always greet the audience with ‘Jai Hind’. All the programs he’d preside would always end with the National Anthem. The students would also greet him with a salute and loud ‘Jai Hind’, whenever and wherever they saw him. He was no less than an army soldier when it came to discipline and this reflected in his everyday lifestyle.
There may come a time when there is a politician in every house but even then no person will ever match the grandeur and the skills that Hon’ble Shri Pratap Bhaiya possessed. A person who worked for the awakening of the society all lifelong is now lying calm and silent in the afterlife. Only if we had realized his importance and understood the various aspects of his personality back then, our country and the society would’ve benefited far beyond what we see today. It’s been 8 Years since he left us, but his inspiration and legacy still remain.