Refusal by wife to wear sakha and Sindoor signifies refusal to accept
: Guwahati HC 
I didn't change the title of this case commentary! Reason behind this is
-how it is projected, so that people can co-relate in Indian society and can
grab the story easily, may be implement that. This is how media and news
serve masala of a case that is far more important than any other issues of
society. I abridge myself using the title which will not harm one's feeling
or opinion, it will only hit the right place– if u have that
Some important facts of the case  that must be known first:
The marriage between the couple was solemnised in February 2012. However, a
month after the marriage, the wife wanted a separate accommodation for the
couple, as she did not wish to live in a joint family.
The allegation of subjecting the wife to cruelty was not sustained. Such
acts of lodging criminal cases on unsubstantiated allegations against the
husband and/or the husband's family members amounts to cruelty
- The husband alleged that their conjugal relationship worsened
because of her demand to live like a nuclear family, which led to
frequent quarrels and his wife also failed to conceive a child.
- She left her husband's home in 2013 and filed a case against him and
his family members under Section 498A (husband or his relative
subjecting a married woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- Though the husband and his relatives were acquitted in the case by
HC, he filed a separate divorce plea, citing cruelty by his wife.
Judgement: But the HC overturned the family court's decision.
, the HC
The Guwahati high court (HC) has observed that a Hindu married woman's
refusal to wear sakha – bangles made of conch-shell – and Sindoor
(vermillion), as per the marriage rituals and customs, signifies her refusal
to accept her marriage to the husband, while granting her husband's plea for
A two-member of the HC, comprising Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and
Justice Soumitra Saikia, said the woman's steadfast refusal to wear sakha
and Sindoor – the trappings of a Hindu bride – denotes her unwillingness to
be considered married to her husband.
Under such circumstances, compelling the husband to continue to be in
matrimony with the wife may be construed to be harassment
, the HC held in
its June 19 order.
There is nothing shocking or lambasting on such judgement as it gives
decisions for the people, to the people and for the society. Greater good
with the limited facts or evidence presented and I really appreciate the
work of court for this. The judgement itself seem to be incomplete,
uncleared and pragmatic steps to go with the flow of the society.
Hindu woman is supposed to wear bangles, Mangalsutra, Sindoor and many more
accessories defined by customs, traditions of the different community to
mark in the society that the girl is married now, in short depicting Sanskar.
When the girl/woman defy to wear that then question arises, why sudden a
change seen in the Sanskar? Various reasons are given by so-called
philosophers living in society including both parental and in-laws house to
which they belong.
The reason that top the list, is the girl- oh I should pronounce her as a
woman now, just because she is married! is doing character assassination of
being a Sanskari. She is hiding her marriage
from the society in which the marriage ceremony took place. She is
suggesting that she is unmarried and open to all, will look attractive as
before marriage she was. Another presumption can be she is modern, educated
and defy every traditions & customs of society to mark her ability of modernisation and independency-one-word feminist. There are number of
presumptions for not wearing Sindoor, bangles, Mangalsutra etc and not
possible currently to reflect each and every flaws of this patriarchy
My opinion on this issue is very empirical. Woman doesn't want to wear
bangles, Mangalsutra and Sindoor etc after marriage because they have seen
the partial behaviour in workplace, colleges, schools, other institutions
within the ambit of society. Partiality in a way that married woman suddenly
open to any kind of vulgar jokes that can be cracked by the colleagues,
mostly discussion will be for how in-laws treated her or how romantic is her
husband? , Advise will be requested to handle household activity and when
she is going to deliver a child? Obvious question for society, relatives &
friends but just want it to make clear not for the newly married girl!
was not at all expecting that obvious question. At workplace employer will
look at her future planning such as bearing child, settling with husband,
working just for time pass or working with a distracted mind etc as if that
is prevailing in current situation & she is unable to give good performance
on workplace which is totally based on her skill and talent .Employer will
develop a partial opinion towards married girl, its self-generating skill
No one to be blamed for this, we live in a patriarchy society and it will
take time to evolve. Till then girl /woman have to acquire patience, power
so that they can execute the change bit-by-bit. Power by getting high
position in workplace, Power by educating people, Power by eradicating
social issues and Power by self-motivation to bring the change at low level.
When you have power, people will listen, society will act, traditions and
customs will be respected and most importantly Girl's faith towards marriage
will not be subjected to her Mangalsutra , bangles or Sindoor etc but it
will be subjected to the upliftment of woman in the society to give her
freedom of expression to live not to impress anybody but to express herself.
Marriage is solemnization of two souls nothing else and if there is
difference of solemnizing of souls then that can't be marriage! Let the
girl/woman decides to wear bangles, Mangalsutra or Sindoor as mark of being
married or as a mark of her custom & traditions.
Let her decide!!!
- Published in Hindustan Times 29th Jun20
- Sri Bhaskar das v/s Smt. Renu das Guwahati HC 2020