Indian weddings are famous for a lot of reasons. From the crazy music to the vibrant colours and ceremonies. But in the midst of these rituals, the sexism stands out as well.
Here's a list of century old rituals that should have been abolished years ago.
This tops the rundown of rituals. In its literal sense, Kanyadaan actually means "giving the little girl away" and the ceremony is led by the daughter’s father. This whole process only objectifies the woman as though she is a commodity or an item in your house that you have just sold, but because of the sentimental values attached to the item, you're a little sad about letting it go.
While women are time and again objectified through these rituals, what also happens is the glorification of the groom. In this ritual, the groom pretends to suddenly have the urge to run away from the wedding just so that he can pursue his higher studies. The father of the bride is then asked to convince or rather beg the groom to stay and marry his daughter. Of course, women do not and cannot have the desire to pursue their higher studies and the brides worth is basically nothing if the father has to beg her 'partner' to marry her. Objectification at its best!
This is probably the most enjoyed pre-wedding function but sorry to burst your bubble, it is rather sexist as well.
In its original form, Haldi was carried out by first applying turmeric paste on the groom’s body and then applying the rest on the bride. However, nowadays grooms are a little shy to get touchy because they are said to only touch the powder instead of putting it on their bodies.
In a few Bengali Haldi functions, the woman is made to sit under the elbow of the groom, waiting for the Haldi water to wash off his body and drip onto hers. Is this the Indian concept of romance? Looking past the glaring cleanliness issues, Haldi is yet another wedding custom that sets ladies in a lower place than the men.
'Pati Ka Aashirvaad'
Following the very adorable statement, ‘Pati parmeshwar,’ the woman is asked or rather expected to kneel down and touch her husband's feet. This just takes, ‘respect your elders' to whole new level. There should be respect but it should also be a two way connection. All of this is done with the objective that the husband is compared to God which is why she must touch his feet. The bride’s family also has to wash the groom's feet at some weddings. However, men are never asked to follow the same rituals. Is it because she doesn't deserve to be portrayed as a goddess or the mere fact that according to society, she is not worthy enough to bless anyone?
Yes, the woman has to leave behind her family, home and comfort to go live with her husband but what's worse is the bride being asked to pay back all the 'debt' she owes her family. She is literally asked to say, "I have paid all my debts" out loud while throwing behind a handful of raw rice at her family. That doesn't even add up.