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Ancient ritual ‘ROKA’ is a social evil and needs to be condemned, says Delhi High Court

The involvement of money and materialisation of 'Roka' ceremonies creates conflict among the two sides in marriage

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A marriage ceremony Source: Pixabay
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New Delhi, Sept 08, 2016: During the pre-wedding engagement ceremony, commonly known as ‘Roka’ there is the ancient ritual where the girl’s family gives the groom-to-be shagun (money in Hindi) and other gifts to signify that the couple is officially engaged and can court openly. During a recent hearing of a divorce appeal, the Delhi High Court condemned this tradition as a social evil.

A bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Ranni were hearing an appeal for divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion. The man claimed that the woman had complained about the bad quality of the gifts received during their ‘roka’ in August 2006, while the woman claimed that the man’s family had issues with the money and gifts provided by her father.

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Is over exaggeration of a beautiful ceremony required? Source: Pixabay
Is over exaggeration of a beautiful ceremony required? Source: Pixabay

According to reports, the High Court observed, “The ceremony of Roka goes back approximately 25 years ago. Under this, a couple is treated as a kind of a chattel. Its significance is that on the account of money given by the family of the female to the male, it is conveyed to the society that neither would henceforth scout for a life partner – the search for a life partner is stopped: Roka. It is a social evil which needs to be condemned. It entails useless expenditure and in many cases, becomes the source of future bickering. A Judge has no means to fly back in time to see what had happened.”

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The couple has been granted the divorce, even though the High Court has debunked the allegations of cruelty and desertion. The bench noted, “The propensity is to throw all and sundry at the opposite party hoping that something would stick. The same is the story in the instant case.”

It was brought to the court’s notice that the man suffered from alcoholism, which led to bouts of depression. The bench concluded, “We bring down the curtains by holding that neither cruelty nor desertion has been proved. The girl’s desire to live with her husband has been established through her testimony and admissions made by the husband, provided he takes antidepressants.”

– prepared by Arya Sharan of NewsGram with inputs from various agencies.

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Publishers Body Welcomes HC Order Lifting Non-NCERT Book Ban

"The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,"

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Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay
Good education can reduce the impact of childhood abuse. Pixabay

The Association of Publishers in India (API) on Tuesday welcomed the Delhi High Court order which stipulated that sale of non-NCERT books must not be disallowed in CBSE-affiliated schools, calling the practice “discriminatory”.

“The court decision exemplifies the point that an ideal education system is the one that recognizes the role of multiple stakeholders and is learner-centric. The decision has been welcomed by not just students and parents but also by schools, private publishers, authors and others as it symbolizes ‘freedom of choice’ in education,” the representative body of publishers of academic texts said in a statement.

ALSO READ: The glorious tales of Chaar Sahibzaade to be included in NCERT syllabi

“The ruling, in addition to providing convenience to children and parents, will also enable them to choose books depending on their preference,” it said.

NCERT
Arguing that the sale of books, stationery and other items sold by the school be treated as “essential requirements”, the court last week in a decision refused to put a ban on these activities. Pixabay

 

In doing so, the court overturned the April 2017 injunction issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which asked affiliating schools not to indulge in “commercial” activities.

ALSO READ: App allowing free download of all NCERT books to be launched soon

The court said the availability of uniforms, non-NCERT reference books or even food items for sale only to the students of the school does not fall in the category of and cannot at all be considered as commercialization.

Earlier in its circular, the board had asked the schools to “desist from the unhealthy practice of coercing parents to buy textbooks, notebooks, stationery, uniforms, shoes, school bags etc from within the premise or from selected vendors only” and directed them to operate as doing “community service” as per the board by-laws.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha, in December last year, told Parliament that CBSE has not directed students or schools to buy or prescribe NCERT books only. (IANS)