Fixed marriages “slave tradition”
Marriages are made on heaven and celebrated on earth but in many parts of Pakistan marriages are decided either by the heads of the family or fixed at the very moment of girl’s birth. This happens in a very innocent age; when she is rarely aware of her future husband choosen by her father or by her family. Mostly, the marriages are fixed with cousin or with near relative, in villeges of Pakistan particularly it’s very common in sindh that even before the birth of child they fix the marriages. Sometimes, two brothers enter in a verbal agreement that their expected babies will be married in their families in future. Eventually, with the passage of time this verbal agreement comes to its maturity when both girl and boy attain the age of puberty. Such sort of agreement become complicated because of many reasons; one reason can be if boy like another girl or girl fall in love with another boy so this becomes the case of honor in sindhi we use most common word “Geratt”. Secondly, the possible reason can be when boy grows up into a drug addict or a killer, Then girl’s family deny obliging their commitment regarding their daughter’s marriage.
“Karo Karii” another key issue related to fixed marriages, if a girl falls in love with another boy or demands to marry with him she is victimized by the evil hands of society. The girls are butchered in the name of honor and their blood remains as the black spot on the face of society. Every day such type of cases reported in media. But their solution is still unseen.
Medically, the fixed marriages in own family especially marriages between the cousins means giving risk to their offspring, cousin’s marriages are considered taboo in America in fact marrying within your own race increases the odds of birth defects.
There are different type of fixed marriages the term used in sindh” watta satta” that’s the exchange marriages which involve the simultaneous marriage of a brother-sister pair from one family to a sister-brother pair in another family. Thus, when a man marries a woman, his wife’s brother simultaneously marries the man’s sister. The practice is common in rural Pakistan according to statistics 36 percent of all unions are barter marriages in rural Pakistan.
Another type of fixed marriage which is very common in lower class & poor families; which effects the economically position of family .They sell girl by fixing amount of Pakistani rupees. 1 lac or even more such payment have to made by boy family after payment the girl will be married to boy. In such cases, innocent girls married with old age man with the difference 40 years or 50 years or even more. Because of handsome amount family even do not care either of age or the person having old age, mentally not fine or drug addicted they just look for money and give girl. They work on very cheap sort of relations, more the beautiful girl more the price less the age of girl more the price.
Every human have right to choose their own life partner but fixed marriages cases are happening in our surrounding and we have become habitual to listen such type of cases and this need real solution, fixed marriages are really the slave traditions in our society .there should be a unanimous voice against this evil culture which deprives the millions of innocent and poverty stricken girls to readily accept the decision regarding their fates. I personally being a strong advocate of girl’s awareness raise the first shout.
By: Roomana Lakho