Two brides in Karnataka’s Vijaypura district tied the mangalsutra, a sacred marital thread in Hinduism, around their respective to-be husbands’ necks to send out a social message of gender equality.
One of the couples, Amit and Priya, belong to Lingayat and Kuruba community respectively and wedded according to the teaching of 12th-century Lingayat community icon and social reformer, Basavanna. Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry and rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals such as the wearing of sacred thread.
The second couple, Prabhuraj and Ankita, also belonged to different communities. During their wedding, they decided not to incorporate age-old traditions like ‘kanyadaan’, which is the symbolic ‘giving away’ of the bride by her parents. They also did not organise their wedding around ‘mahuratam’ or ‘shubh mahurat’ (auspicious time).
In January 2019, the video of a Bengali bride performing ‘Kanakanjali’ went viral. The farewell ritual consists of the bride tossing the rice behind her and saying that she repaid her parents’ debts. However, Priya smashed the tradition by instead saying “You can never repay your parents’ debts”.
In February 2019, another wedding went viral wherein the pandits were women. The father of the bride refused to perform kanyadaan and had said “My daughter is not a property to give away”.