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Tainted with stain, this MP village has not seen girl’s marriage in 5 years

The village in Bundelkhand region has been branded Parag or Daag, which means blot or stain, after the murder of two people five years ago and the arrests of a half a dozen villagers.

bhopal Updated: Apr 22, 2018 16:22 IST
Anupam Pateriya
Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Sagar/Bhopal
Following the murder of two persons and the arrest of six locals, Bisraha village in Madhya Pradesh’ Bundelkhand region was branded Parag or Daag.(HT Photo)

Marriages may be made in heaven, but for girls of Bisraha village in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district, the ideal wedding location has to be a place far from home.

Having been branded Parag or Daag, which means blot or stain, the otherwise normal village in Bundelkhand region has not seen a girl’s marriage in five years.

Sarpanch Ramadhar Singh recalls the murder of two people five years ago and the arrests of a half a dozen villagers.

“Subsequently, there was a meeting of neighbouring village communities and they branded our village as ‘Parag’. Since then, people from other villages are not marrying girls of this village,” he said.

Locals say a village tagged as ‘Parag’ is inauspicious, and since sending a girl after her marriage in a ‘doli’ (palanquin) is considered auspicious, it cannot happen in an ‘inauspicious’ village.

But such a view doesn’t restrict the male members from getting married and bringing their brides in ‘dolis’.

Chatar Singh of the village said the branding had forced many families, including the dominant Thakurs, to go out of the village for marrying their girls.

“Around 80 marriages of the girls from our village have been performed in different parts of the district and state,” he said.

In fact, the niece of one the murdered persons had to go to Banda town of Sagar for her marriage. Ganpat Dhanak, a scheduled caste man, said he went to Khurai (another town of Sagar) to get his daughter married.

All this boils down to the extra expenditure that the bride’s family has to bear.

Dr Suresh Acharya, former head of the Hindi department at the Central University, Sagar, said ‘Parag’ was a very old “awful” custom of Bundelkhand, which is very rare these days.

“If it has still survived in some village or area, local authorities and people should come together to put an end to it,” he said.

District collector Alok Kumar Singh said he was not aware of this practice or the tag in the village. “I will send my SDM to investigate and if needed, I will come down and talk to the villagers of the area to stop this evil practice,” he said.

Sagar MP, Laxmi Narayan Yadav too spoke about ending the practice. “We should strongly oppose it and I will personally intervene in this matter,” he said.

Sarpanch Ramdhar Singh says to “wash away the stain”, they will have to create consensus among ten community panchayats of the area, for which a special meeting needs to be called.

“We will have to conduct a special pooja, take bath in the Ganga and then hold a feast,” he said.

However, such a consensus has remained elusive.

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 16:22 IST