Kiran Bala Sinha brought down a barrier when she solemnised the wedding of Pinki with Deen Dayal in a Nawada village. She was perhaps the first priestess to do so in the heartland state.
The Nawada unit of the Arjak Sangh, a social organisation, stood by Kiran. The Arjak Sangh made news last year when it supported two women pallbearers.
Kiran told HT that the menace of dowry and elaborate, expensive Brahminical rituals had reduced the status of women to that of second-class citizens.
Not only was the bride’s family made to pay dowry through its nose, the groom’s family continued with their demands after marriage, said Kiran, who also did away with the elaborate wedding rituals on Sunday.
She simply asked 18-year-old Pinki and 24-year-old Deen Dayal to swear in Hindi that they accepted each other as life partners without pressure or dowry demands and that they would treat each other with respect till death.
The couple just had to sign a certificate before the bride moved to her sasural from the dais. The priestess even made the couple’s parents hug each other as onlookers applauded.
But among the onlookers, some were sceptical about what difference Kiran’s bold step would make. Alakhdeo Prasad said greed and caste would ultimately prevail and not many had the courage to forego dowry. Murmurs were also heard about the groom having been paid Rs 20,000 prior to agreeing for marriage.