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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

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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Muslim Man Divorces Twelve Wives, Murders the Thirteenth; How Safe are Married Muslim Women under the Religious Law?

How is the government planning to protect the married Muslim women in the country, who are often desolated by their husbands?

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MUSLIM MAN
How safe are Muslim women? Wikimedia

Uttar Pradesh, October 9, 2017: Whoever said the number thirteen is unlucky was right. A horrific case of a Muslim man brutally murdering his wife has now come forward.

According to reports, police have arrested Mohammad Mustkeem, a resident of Raebareli, a small town in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh after he allegedly murdered his 13th wife.  While cases of murders within marriages are not new, this particular case is extremely peculiar.

Mustkeem is a practising Muslim and had been married thirteen times. While he had divorced all his former twelve wives, the thirteenth wife was cruelly hacked to death.

The victim and Mustkeem had been married for over four years and also had a three-month-old child. However, the two were believed to fight a lot, because of which Mustkeem had been contemplating another divorce.

But before the 13th divorce could happen, the victim went missing, which created alarm in the Pure Kale Khan locality in the district. Upon search, her body was recovered from the fields near Chulamau village in the district.

According to the police, the victim’s body bore several injury marks that indicate that she had been tortured and strangled to death.

Consequently, the police arrested Mohammad Mustkeem on charges of murdering his own wife.

While no official information has been obtained as of now, locals believe Mustkeem was planning to re-marry for the fourteenth time and had even sought a bride.

While we condemn the victim’s murder, the case involving Mustkeem and his multiple wives has once again brought Triple Talaq under the spotlight, which had been rife in the country till the past few weeks.

Before the verdict was announced on the declaration of Triple Talaq as unconstitutional, census figures revealed that for every Muslim man divorced in India, four Muslim women had been previously divorced. This is also evident from Mustkeem and his former 12 wives.

As per the law, Muslim men could divorce their wives for any possible trivial reason. By contrast, the woman was expected to almost always avail the husband’s consent for a divorce. This robbed women the right to have a say, and to have a secure livelihood and instead granted men the permission to blatantly indulge in matrimony, which is evident from Mustkeem’s life.

While a constitutional ban on the practice has gathered mix responses, the question remains how the change will seep down to the very roots of the society. And how is the government planning to protect the married Muslim women in the country, who are often desolated by their husbands? Until then, cases like Mustkeem and his twelve divorced wives can be expected to continue making headlines.

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Game of Thrones Superstars- Rose Leslie and Kit Harrington Are Engaged

The Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, who were the show's lover interest a few seasons back have got engaged.

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Game of Thrones
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie.

Yes, it’s official! The Game of Thrones superstars- Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have got engaged. And, the way they have made their engagement public, has left their fans awestruck. The two announced the news via The Times newspaper. They had placed the ad in the forthcoming marriages section.

The announcement said, “The engagement is announced between Kit, younger son of David and Deborah Harington of Worcestershire, and Rose, the middle daughter of Sebastian and Candy Leslie Aberdeenshire.”

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Their closeness began in the second season of Game of Thrones, when, Rose Leslie joined the series as Kit Harrington’s love interest. Jon Snow and Ygritte’s story was loved by the audience. But, Leslie left the show after two years. The two made their first public appearance as a couple in the Olivier Awards in April 2016.

The couple has been spotted on various occasions since they made their relationship public. Kit and Rose were spotted enjoying a day of shopping and sightseeing, while the lovebirds were on vacation in Greece earlier in May this year. The Game of Thrones stars also attended the premiere party of the show’s seventh season at Walt Disney Concert Hall in July 2017 at Los Angeles.

Vogue Italia published a story with Harington; wherein, he confessed that filming in Iceland during the HBO’s Game of Thrones’ second season was the best experience. He said that the country was extremely beautiful, and the Northern lights were magical because that was the place where he fell in love with Leslie. The 30-year-old actor said that he was already attracted to Leslie, and then she became her love interest in the show, which became even easier to fall in love.

Fans have gone crazy on social media platforms over the duo’s engagement. They have been appreciating Kit Harrington a.k.a Jon Snow for bending the knee, in reference to his character in the show.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya.

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Rituals Exist in All Cultures and they are Important

Rituals play a prominent role in every culture

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Religion
Ancient Indian Religion.

Hinduism is a practice, which is known for its rich rituals. From the Vedic ages, Hindus perform certain activities right from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they sleep. These activities may include, Pooja (worshipping lord) and Karya (Working), which integrate their culture. The events manifest a certain beauty, without which Hinduism is incomplete.

Different sects of Hindus worship different deities. Various Poojas are held for different festivities and occasions called the ‘Utsavas’. People during different festivals not just gather to worship the god, but also come together to celebrate life, with beautiful colours, clothes and delicious food. This itself proves that rituals manifest the beauty and celebration of life in Hinduism.

Meaning Of Rituals:

However, certain sections of the society have a preconceived notion about the rituals Hindus perform, which leads to them being called ‘superstitious’ or ‘overtly religious’. But is it fair to tag them? What is the meaning of the ritual? Ritual can be any activity which you perform. It is a way of communication. A teacher teaching his or her students can be a ritual. A mother feeding her baby is a ritual. Ritual is a generic term, which must not be linked with traditions, religion and beliefs? And, even if it is associated with these customs, then Hinduism should not be the only target. Every religion follows some beliefs. For example, a Muslim reading Namaz is a ritual; Christians visiting church on every Sunday is a ritual or Thanksgivings, when people have dinners with their friends and families. Hindus may have more rituals to act on than Muslims or Christians, but this gives no one the right to invalidate their belief. The rituals which Hindus perform don’t just have a connection with God, but also scientific reasons behind them. For example, Surya Namaskar is good for health as facing the light at that time of the day is good for your eyes, and makes you a morning person.

Also Read: Navratri 5th Day, The Tales That Speaks About Mother-Son Relationship

The reason why people not like rituals is due to their stifling and obligatory nature. Since our childhood, we have been asked to adhere to certain activities, and never taught the reason behind them. This develops disconnection towards them.

Benefits Of Rituals:

Rituals should be seen as art. We must not do it for the sake of doing it. We must sense its meaning like we sense the meaning of art. There is a side of these customs which we don’t want as well, but at the end of the day, they generate a sense of unity and belongingness. They bind you as a community. As long as we live as humans, these practices will have an integral role to play in our life, which can not be neglected.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.      Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya.