Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The curse of "Vani"

Five women from the same family in Pakistan's Punjab province have refused to be "united" with their prospective husbands as ordered by tribal elders.

The village council has told them to "honour" 1996 childhood marriages, when the youngest of them was just five.

Elders ordered the marriages to resolve a feud between the girls' family and a rival one - a practice now outlawed.

The refusal to marry has renewed tensions, leading to a shooting incident and arrests on both sides.

Read the rest of the story here.

Vani supposedly is a outlawed tradition in Pakistan, just like the dowry tradition that has been “outlawed” in India. What is a major cause of concern is the treatment that girls, who are forced into marriage as “peace offerings”, will be accorded at their in-laws house. Many of them will be forced to live the rest of their lives in slavery, being subject to humiliation of every imaginable kind, physically and mentally.

Though this barbaric custom has been outlawed, I suspect that just like in dowry cases in India, not many brides or their families would venture to complain about this marriage with the authorities, in fear of retaliation. As the article notes “Although the practice is banned, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, our correspondent says the law is rarely enforced.”

How does that Louis Armstrong song go again?


 I see trees of green, red roses too
 I see them bloom for me and you
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
 I see skies of blue and clouds of white
 The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
 The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
 Are also on the faces of people going by
 I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
 They're really saying "I love you"
 I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
 They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
 And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
 Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world
 Oh yeah

Unfortunately, not for these “vani” brides.


Post a Comment

<< Home