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Same sex marriage in tribal village - a peaceful solution

nabadip - Thu, 28 Jul 2005 15:47:38 +0530
Tribal girls tie knot in Jharkhand

Nityanand Shukla / Ranchi The Pioneer

Challenging social norms and disregarding social stigma, two tribal girls of Jharkhand got married in a ceremony arranged and managed by their respective family members.

While several countries have legalised same-sex marriages, in India the custom is still considered taboo. Despite this, an entire village here turned up to witness this rather unconventional wedding.

Interestingly, neither the villagers nor the family members of the girls appear to have any issue with the marriage. According to reports, the wedding of the girls was solemnised last Thursday in Bharbaria village of west Singhbhum district, 160 km from Ranchi. Nitima Biruwa played the groom while Laxmi Bari sat in as the bride. The latter has been staying with Nitima for some time now. Nitima's impoverished family, unable to bear Laxmi's expenses, had suggested she move out but the strong bond between the two girls prevented Laxmi's departure.

When Nitima's brother Birsa Biruwa, came to know about the relationship, he assumed a vital role in getting the two married. He negotiated with the villagers and his mother and procured their consent for the wedding, after which the mother contacted Laxmi's family members who accepted the proposal.

"Seeing the extent of their love we decided to arrange their marriage. We did request my sister to keep away from Laxmi but that did not work so I decided not to play the role of a villain. I wanted to ensure that they live happily together with the consent of the society so that they do not face any problem in the future," said Birsa.

For past Laxmi has been living with Nitima, a matter that had become the subject of major discussion among the villagers. Even Laxmi's brother Ghanhayam Bari, who has accepted the marriage, said, "Initially it sounded an unusual proposal but I later accepted it considering their bonding and love."

Laxmi and Nitima have grown up together; while Laxmi dropped out of school after Class V, Nitima studies in Class X.