KENDRAPARA: When 20-year-old Dipanjali Mallick decided to marry the man of her choice much against the wishes of her parents, she never thought, in moments, she would be declared dead by her own family.
Sources said, Dipanjali, the daughter of Muna Mallick from Demal village under Aul police station in the district, defied her family’s wishes and married 23-year-old Rajendra Mallick, as per her wish at a local temple on August 28.
Muna who could not accept his daughter’s decision said Dipanjali eloped with Rajendra Mallick and we lodged an FIR at Aul police station.
However, they were located near the village and handed over to the respective families. "But we got to know Dipanjali had married Rajendra in the village temple without our permission. So we decided to sever all ties with her and perform her obsequies, as she is a blot on our family’s prestige," said Muna.
He further said, “since Dipanjali shamed the entire family, we decided to conduct ‘pind daan’ and organize ‘Dasaha Bhoji’ (10th day feast after death) to publicly declare that our daughter was dead to us. All our aspirations to get her married to a suitable boy crumbled as she married without our consent.” In defence of her decision, Dipanjali asserted, “I am an adult and have the right to choose a suitable boy. But my parents attempted to arrange my marriage with another man against my wishes.”
However, Rajendra’s family expressed happiness over the marriage. Rajendra’s father Anant Mallick said, “My son has not committed any sin. We gladly accept Dipanjali as our daughter-in-law.”Human rights activist Amarbara Biswal commented, “Both individuals are adults. The family members of the girl have no right to perform her last rites. They humiliated and violated her human rights by performing her obsequies.”
Legal experts also weighed in on the matter. Subash Das, a lawyer from Kendrapara, clarified that Dipanjali has legal rights over her parents’ property, and they cannot disinherit her, even though they performed her last rites.
“The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, was enacted to remove gender discriminatory provisions in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Under the amendment, the daughter of a coparcener shall, by birth, become a coparcener in her own right, just like a son,” he cited.