‘Baraatis’ protest marriage law amendment

Ramesh was the “groom”. Dressed suitably,he travelled by car.

Written by Hamza Khan | Lucknow | Published:August 9, 2012 6:18 am

Ramesh was the “groom”. Dressed suitably,he travelled by car. Only,he sat on top of it,distributing pamphlets against introduction of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage (IrBM) as a ground for divorce under the Marriage Law (Amendment Bill 2010).

The 37-year-old was a satirical groom at a make-believe marriage ceremony titled Fakkaro ki Barat,which roughly translates as marriage procession of the bankrupt. The idea was to convey the message that the proposed change in law would make men bankrupt.

Accompanied by a band,the “baraatis” travelled through parts of Lucknow today,shouting slogans against the Bill. Among those protesting was Yogesh,a doctor,who said,“The Bill reeks of gender bias. Only the wife can oppose IrBM while a husband cannot. Even after divorce,the woman will continue to receive 50 per cent of what a man earns.”

Yogesh is general secretary of Army Against Dowry Act Misuse in India (AADMI),which organised the protest. Umesh Talwar,another member,said,“I used to be a soft skills trainer but now I spend my days in court.” Like most others who protested,he is fighting a case filed against him under 498A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with “husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty”.

The protest began at Globe Park Court and concluded outside Vidhan Bhawan. Tomorrow,AADMI plans to hand over a memorandum to the chief minister.

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