Refusing To Wear Sindoor Means A Woman Doesn’t Accept Her Marriage, Says Gauhati High Court. Why Are Our Courts Becoming Sexist?
If you were ever to do a quick Google search for an Indian wedding, you know, to check out outfits or decor, you are likely to see very high resolution images that are vibrant and captivating. As any wedding photographer will tell you, they love clicking candid shots of the couple talking, smiling, hugging and then of course, the obligatory shots of them holding hands while a lehenga hands in the background and all that. Aesthetics, they are called, I was told. But despite these shots, we all know that the wedding photographer would be murdered if they missed the important bits – the ones where the couple is taking pheras, the boy applies sindoor, makes her wear mangalsutra and all of those. Because in the end, those are the things that proved you got married. Not your parents empty bank account, not those annoying-but-burping-because-they-are-full relatives, but these images.
And while they make for great shots, there are very few women who continue to sport these symbols of marriage. Honestly, I could ditched the mangalsutra and the sindoor the next day, but only because my marriage is more than wearing these. And if someone wants to wear these, I am all for it. You do you, girl. But it turns out, I might just have to go back and grab all of the stuff out of the drawers, dust them off and wear them around with a puffed chest. Maybe I will talk about it to anyone who will listen. Maybe I will keep showing it off in pictures. I say this because the Gauhati High Court has said that ‘a lady who has entered into marriage according to Hindu rituals and customs…her refusal to wear ‘sakha and sindoor’ will project her to be unmarried.’
You have to love how, in our country, the responsibility of proving anything at all, sits on the woman’s shoulders. The guy could have taken off his ring and flung it down the drain, but the woman must wear sindoor as a stamp of her marriage. It boils my blood that we are in 2020 and still fighting for basic rights like wearing whatever the fuck we want despite our marital status.
According to the bench, with all due respect (dwindling rapidly but still), a woman must walk around wearing bangles (sakha) and with her vermillion in her hair because that’s the only way to show that she loves her husband and wants to be in a relationship with him. Someone needs to ask this bench what a man would have to sport to show that he is married. Would 2 really unfunny Whatsapp jokes about marriage be suffice? Is it enough that he doesn’t really see his wife as a woman, or wait, as a human?
These comment come right on the heels of the Karnataka High Court that remarked that it is ‘unbecoming’ of an Indian woman to sleep after she has been ‘ravished,’ an excuse used to give bail to a rape accused.
We don’t care if you see our vermillion and our bangles. We are Indian women and we will wear them if we please. And we don’t want to, that’s our choice and as a court, you should respect that. Tsk, tsk.