he trend of late marriages in Kashmir for the past 15 years or so is taking a heavy toll on the families in Kashmir, as the women in Kashmir are getting married later than women anywhere else in India.
The average age at which women in the Union Territory are marrying is nearly 3 to 5 years more than the mean age of marriage in India.
According to experts, Particularly, the newly self-made ritual customs in process of marriages are surging constantly, which has become leading cause of late marraige and profusion.
“Families end up selling their properties, taking out loans, for unnecessary social customs. We don’t want to encourage that practice, so we do not buy gifts for in-laws or home furnishings,” says Zubair Anwar, a founding member of an charity organization, helping the struggling brides.
“To perform simple nikkah, we should abstain from some curse rituals”, before marriage we are performing engagement, which gets more expensive, after that festivals and seasonal ritual starts, later marriage, Bride and groom’s family starts giving feast eachother. Which has become tribulation for some families.
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In Kashmir, tradition has a big impact on decision-making, says Waseem wani, who has studied Kashmiri women’s changing roles in society.
“The majority of women’s decisions are forced on them by male decision-making power, whether she is married or unmarried,” he said. Adding that even religion is misused in the context of women’s empowerment.
In 2016 Founder of Tehreek e Falah-Ul-Muslimeen, headed by Ab Rashid Naik, along with his mates, had carried a survey in Srinagar city, in which they found approximately 10,000 over aged women are un-married, due to root cause of dowry and customs.
“Religious scholars, Ulama’s have major responsibility to bring change in society, rather than giving other speeches, they should aware people through speech on forbidden and bi’dath’s, which we are performing nowadays in marriages,” said Naik.
“While nikkah ceremony perform by molvi’s/Qazi’s, they should first, ask to both bride-groom and their families, if you have take dowry each other, i will not perform your nikkah, as it will become fruitful step for us to avoid this menace,” he said.
“We have made some curses on Beef and Mutton, sweets, clothes whatsoever, the family who will prepare dishes of beef on the marraige, they are considered as penniless (Shikaslad).which is totally disgusting,” said Syed Mujtaba, a social activist. Adding that the family who will bring sweets from local baker shop, they are seen under in disesteem.
“If any family will not follow such curses, their daughter will become victim of criticism or domestic violence by her in-laws till death,” he said.
“When nikkah becomes expensive by these curse customs, Zinnah becomes cheap. We should perform nikkah in simple and affordable way as much as possible. Otherwise, we will become liable for those families, whose daughters have crossed marraigeable age, but still unmarried due to these worst rituals”, said Moulana Manzoor Parra, founder of Darul-Uloom Noorul Harmain, Pattan.