Gun point marriage refers to marriage performs forcefully between bride and groom. It usually
practiced in Bihar, eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and northern part of Jharkhand. Excessive
demand of dowry is considered as the core region of this inhuman practice.
involved in 1980s in Bihar where groom had been kidnapped by the relatives of the bride at
gunpoint. Girl's families have been kidnapping suitable youths for forcible marriage. Families
often use friends and relatives, and sometimes even hire professional criminals, to carry out
abductions for marriages. In this article Gunpoint marriage has been discussed briefly.
Gunpoint marriage is also known as Pakdua Vivah, in which the groom is kidnapped/abducted
by the relatives of the bride at gunpoint and if the groom restrained from doing accordingly
then they beat and even threatened to death to the groom. This inhuman practice imposed on
bride and groom forcefully while the relative of the bride they put pressure on people to marry
against their consent either physically or emotionally or psychologically.
This gun point marriage or Pakdua Vivah took place in late 1980s in Begusarai Bihar. This
malpractice Often found in upper caste in 1980s, despite the Dowry prohibition law, there was
huge demand of dower in upper cost for the groom. People who did not afford such amount of
dower then they used to practice these kinds of malpractices. Later gun point marriage become
an easy way to get groom who has financially settled despite law, this malpractice is still prevail
in Bihar and its surrounding region.
Root cause behind gun point marriage
Excessive demand of dowry is the main reason of gunpoint marriage, although Dowry
Prohibition Act, 1961 had passed by the Parliament, which made the act of giving and receiving
dowry a crime. People reside in Gangetic plain who has job in government sector demand a lot
There is another reason pulled rapid increase in post marriage is also arranging marriage within
close knits social circle. It means a man is asked to marry to a girl within his close relatives,
for example with Sister's sister-in-law and brother's sister-in-law.
This case took place In Samastipur when a young man had gone to take his sister to her in law's home, after which his brother-in-law and other relatives took him to the temple and got him married with his sister.
There were some other instances where bride and groom know each other for a long
time. They want to marry with each other, but the groom's parents don't agree
because of dower then groom
asked to bride parents to kidnap him and perform marriage with his daughter so
he can make
excuse to his parent.
In Ganga belt region of Bihar, many gangs are active to conduct this kind of marriages. People
hire them to find grooms in their caste. Such gangs are engaged in this kind of marriage have
highly demanded in the season of marriage.
Consequences of forced marriage
Gun point marriages take place without the consent of the groom and the bride,
in some cases
the groom denies to accept the bride. Since the decision regarding gunpoint
marriage is taken by the parents of the bride, then it is also a blind marriage
for the bride and it leads many
outcomes which affect both the parties to the marriage:
Health Issues: Since marriage has not performed with the consent of the parties
then it may
create toxic environment which affect the health.
Domestic Violence: It includes different kinds of domestic violence like physical, sexual, and psychological assault to the bride. In India, about 32% of ever-married women reported having experienced violence while with their husband in their married life, although domestic violence is a crime under IPC Section 304 B and Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Adultery: Gunpoint marriage took place without the consent of the parties to marriage. It may happen that the bride had an affair with someone and she did not tell her parents in fear before marriage, leading to adultery after marriage. It is also a crime under Section 497 of the IPC 1860. In Indian law, only a man can be punished for adultery, up to five years of imprisonment or with a fine. A woman cannot be punished for adultery as per Indian law.
Marital Rape: It often remains unreported since there is no law dealing with marital rape in India. There have been many amendments and pleas for marital rape to be criminalized, and still, it did not become a crime. Marital rape takes place when a husband has intercourse with his wife without her consent, and in the case of forced marriages, it happens regularly. This should also come under domestic violence.
Divorce: Many gunpoint marriages lead to divorce. Marriage solemnized forcefully becomes null and void in the eye of the law. It leads to diverse Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, dealing with the provision of divorce. Marriage can be dissolved on a petition presented by either the husband or the wife.
Many gunpoint marriages remain unreported because of bright relatives Had man power they
threaten to groom not to complain about such marriages. Patna High Court has annulled the
marriage of a person who was kidnapped and forced to marry a woman at gunpoint. It not only
detained the life of groom but also restrained right to choose life partner under Article 21 of
Bihar has recorded the fluctuation in the case of Pakdua Vivah. According
to the state crime record Bureau there were 7194 forced marriages has been reported in year
2020, 10125 in 2019, 10,310 in 2018 and 8972 in 2017.
Section 5 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 states various grounds for a valid
Hindus, a marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus if the following
- Neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage at the time of marriage
- Neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in order to consequences of unsoundness of mind
- The bride has completed the age of 18 years and groom has completed the age of 21 years.
- Neither party has been subject to recurrent effect of insanity.
However, gunpoint marriage does not fulfill the condition required under Hindu Marriage Act, so it is not recognized in the eye of the law.
In December 2023, a 23 years old school teacher in Bihar who was abducted and forced to
marriage with the daughter of one of the kidnappers at gunpoint. Later he was rescued by the
police. He complained that he was assaulted brutally by the kidnappers. He was kidnapped just
after 12 days from his posting as teachers in governmental school.
Gunpoint marriage cannot be carved without the assistance of society. Major portions of this
society support these kinds of inhuman practices because of lack of awareness regarding laws
and lack of rationality. Government should initiate various scheme to curb poverty which
develops rational thinking among people.
Access of education also eliminate this kind of malpractices government takes certain measures
which ensure access to education to every section of society. In Bihar people are still think not
to educate their daughter which lead such kind of problem. There should be a strict law
There should be awareness camp regularly in each district, which develops rational thinking
among people regarding inhuman practices like forced marriages, caste discrimination etc.
People should also try to prohibit such kinds of activities when they see their surroundings.
It is almost 76 years of independence and we are still slave of such social evils. Forced marriage
is not only prevail in Indian society but in other countries like United Kingdom, Canada, even
in North America it remains unreported. Article 16(2) of the Universal Declaration on Human
Rights (UDHR) states: Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,
nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.
They are entitled to equal
rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only
with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The family is the natural and
fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Everyone has right to choose their life partner by themselves.
Journals and Magazines:
- Hindu Marriage Act 1955
- Indian Penal Code 1860
- Indian Express, Pakdua Vivah, 4th February, 2018
- Soni Mishra, Marital Rape, The weekly magazine pp. 36-40, 24th September, 2017
- New Delhi, Priyanka, Forced to wed: Right to choose, if when and whom to marry, Patna Women College, March 2019.
- Universal Declaration on Human Rights, www.un.org/en/Universal-Declaration-on-Human-Rights, December 10th, 1948
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Ravi Ranjan Paswan
Authentication No: JN438022723596-14-0124