Old Arabs' lust!
In today's era also Arab sheikhs "marry" young girls, spend time with them and then flee.Updated: Sep 03, 2005, 19:52 IST
"Arab sheikhs marries poor Indian girl", "Arab marries, and then ditches teenage Hyderabadi girl", "Arab sheikhs marry young Indian girls and flee", "Parents marry off daughter to Arab for money" - The headlines aren't from decades old newspapers. But, before you start putting stress on your grey cells to find out in which era such inhuman acts happened, let's make clear that this is a 'harsh present day reality'.
Yes, in today's era also Arab sheikhs marry poor Indian girls paying a paltry sum, live with them for a short while, and then, go back to their countries, abandoning the girls. And, in Hyderabad, also known as the City of Nawabs, the practice has become very common, with marriage becoming a trade and woman a commodity.
The auspicious ceremony now has a customer, a broker and a seller. The Arab sheikhs come to India and fix up with a broker, who in turn finds a girl, fixes her price with her father, and finally after tying the knot lives with her for a few days and goes back to his country. The tragedy is that few parents have learnt the lesson.
In a recent case that came to light, an impoverished Muslim family married off their daughter to an Arab Sheikh for a meagre amount of Rs. 5000, offered through a broker.
"He gave Rs. 5000, but it was all taken by the broker. My mother didn't get anything. I married him wilfully, even though he was 50 years old," said a girl. Her dreams are all shattered as she has been abandoned by him.
Earlier, Arabs used to take their brides back with them, but that stopped when the Gulf nations restricted their citizens from bringing home a foreign bride unless they took prior permission from the authorities. As a result, instances of Arabs flocking to Hyderabad for a young bride continue.
Social activists, however, say that the socio-economic conditions of the Muslim community of Hyderabad, are forcing poor parents to marry off their daughters to unknown Sheikhs.
While bachelors of the city demand dowry from the girl's parents, adding to their plight, Arabs offer them money in return. This leaves parents with little option.
"In our country young men don't marry poor girls, as their parents can't offer them dowry. So a girl's father finds it really difficult to find a suitable match for his daughter - a match who won't demand dowry," said Nadir Almasdoosi, a social activist.
The Qazis, who perform the marriages, said that they are not responsible for such marriages, because both parties give their consent on the 'Nikahnama' before the 'Nikah'.
"When both the parties are ready, they inform the Qazi, and the Qazi is not responsible for anything after the Nikah." said Chief Qazi, Shariyath Panah.
In that case the Qazi could say, Jab Miyan biwi razi, to kya karega Qazi.
But the main problem arises, when the Arabs, some of whom already have one or more wives, flee and the girls are left helpless, and their parents burdened further.
But despite all this, poor families continue to get their daughters married to rich Arabs.