Even in the 21st century, social norms in many parts of the country are dead against love marriages. A recent instance was witnessed in a village in Ludhiana district of Punjab where residents have backed a diktat to boycott couples who elope or marry without the consent of their parents.
The diktat was issued at a village meeting held a few days ago in the presence of the sarpanch. The whole proceedings were videographed and have gone viral on social media.
The person in the video is seen reading the diktat which says, "A village meeting was held today in which it has been decided that girls and boys in the village who marry within the village or elope without caring for their parents and after marrying return to the village and start living here again… this brings a bad name to the entire village and also creates a bad influence on other children in the village. The entire village has decided that girls or boys who take such steps will be socially boycotted and all civic amenities will also be withdrawn," reported the Indian Express.
The sarpanch of the village in Jagraon sub-division of Ludhiana defended the decision saying that it was taken after three young girls in the village eloped, adding that two of whom were minors and one got married without her parents' consent. He also said the village atmosphere is getting 'unpleasant' as more youths are having affairs and setting a bad example for others.
Although the diktat was approved by the village, it is more of an advisory and no official resolution has been passed. The deputy commissioner of Ludhiana said that if there is any boycott of couples from the village, then the law will take its course, the report added.