Bride goes on horse to groom’s house.

I have never heard of this tradition, but this seems to be a serious news.

 Bride goes on horse to groom’s house, asks for his hand

INDORE: Rajni, a 25-year-old law student, dressed in best bridal finery, mounted a horse and took her baraat (marriage procession) to the groom’s house through her village. After an hour-long marriage procession and dancing on the streets, she went to mandap (pandal) and asked the groom to marry her.

The unique tradition — ‘Kanya Ghatari’ — which was practised by the Patidar community, wherein the bride takes her baraat to the groom’s place, had long been forgotten, was brought alive. Senior members of the community endorsed Rajni’s initiative to revive the age old tradition and lavished praise on her.

Rajni, who got married two days ago, initially felt a little awkward at the idea of riding a horse and taking the baraat to the groom’s place. “I realized that the idea was to empower women and this practice would certainly eradicate many evils in the society,” she said.

About the tradition, he said first the bride was offered coconut by her parents. After completing the ritual, the girl mounted the horse and led the baraat from her house, which after passing from the narrow lanes of village, reached the groom’s place.

The girl then came up to the mandap (pandal) on the horse and proposed the groom, asking him whether he would marry her. Waiting family members of the groom welcomed the bride. Thereafter, the marriage was solemnized.

One comment:

New age cinema – Dilwali Dulha le gayi (DDLG) .

But actually, the Dulhania (bride) did not take away the Dulha (groom), the bride still went to the groom’s house.

Many Indians seem to find ‘women’s empowerment‘ ‘heartening‘, so long as the empowerment has In-Law-Approval or Permission. (Or Future-In-Laws’ Approval/Permission in case of baby girls).

Here’s a sarcastic comment,

Good, good. But dont forget to respect Indian culture and make sure she is from the same caste otherwise we have to behead her. Also dont forget to collect that dowry. And you better produce a male child. Proud to be Indian.

Many other comments thought it was a ‘Great Initiative’ towards empowerment of women.

Here’s one I disagree with.

Do we need to lie to misogynists to empower equal citizens? Wasn’t Rani Laxmi Bai married at the age on 9 to a 45 year old man?

Great going..This is the land of Rani Lakshmi Bhai and Velu Nachiar. Women until 2 generations back were considered equals or more respected and had equal say. Its only the generation in the beginning of the century made it worse for our Women.

I am wary of using tradition/custom to justify change (or rejection of custom). Or to justify anything that empowers those who have been traditionally oppressed using the same old traditions. 

Why lie to justify or apologise for respecting human values and common sense?

That’s like pretending that tradition/religion/custom etc have not been traditionally used to control women’s lives, freedom, rights, thoughts, aspirations, bodies and choices.

Since tradition (or custom) is frequently the culprit, using tradition/custom to justify any action gives credibility to something that should be acknowledged as the tool of oppression.


14 thoughts on “Bride goes on horse to groom’s house.

  1. It hardly matters who rides on the horse…what matters is that she still had to leave her home and had to live with in laws…that is where a girl ceases her powers and guy is empowered…being a foreign element in the family she is vulnerable to atrocities by in laws if her chemistry with them is not matching or dowry is not up to their expectation or if the relatives are not happy with the gifts etc…..


  2. “Since tradition (or custom) is frequently the culprit, using tradition/custom to justify any action gives credibility to something that should be acknowledged as the tool of oppression.”
    Exactly 😦
    Senior members of the community praised her because she had stuck to the so-called tradition, dotted her ‘i’s and crossed her ‘t’s .. Hell would have broken loose if she had brought the groom back to her house !! What if the groom had refused? Would the community have welcome her back with equanimity or with the age-old taunt of ‘rejected-bride’ ??
    Marriage or any partnership cannot be about ‘bringing’ yourself (man or woman) to anything but about ‘coming together’ to build a life together .. no ‘man bringing wife home’ or vice versa ..
    IMHO, Rajni’s initiative, though possibly heartfelt, is not an idea which can ’empower women’ or ‘eradicate many evils in the society’ .. the evils of society are too intricately connected with these same traditions and customs to actually benefit from a half-hearted attempt at adding a ‘feminist’ touch to it ..


  3. In some areas in Himachal Pradesh it is common for the bride to go in a procession /marriage party to the groom’s house.

    I agree that who rides the horse or who wears the pants are not the real issues,why doesn’t any one talk about cutting down on ostentatious expenditure or dowry and gifts or so many ceremonies like kanyadaan where the girl is offered as daan to her husband by her father.they need to be revised i feel.


  4. It was something I was never aware of. It is an eye-opener on emancipation of women and the bride deserves all respect for conveying, I am a women and I have no inferior complexity in me:)


  5. “Its only the generation in the beginning of the century made it worse for our Women.”

    Does anyone else notice something wrong with this sentence?

    Hint: The last two words.


  6. Good point, IHM. Using tradition to promote empowerment can be counterproductive. Empowerment must always be based on common sense and fairness. We don’t need medieval prophets, saints, rishis, or village elders to tell us how to be empowered. How about implementing the rights we have under our constitution, written in and for our times?

    So, the elders tell her to ride a horse and she rides a horse. Over time, the same elders may ask the bride’s parents to ‘pay for the expense of the horse’ because ‘after all it’s the bride that rides it’. We may see the wedding horse business increase – with the grooms demanding the best specimens and middle class parents taking out loans to ‘keep up their honor in society’. Sorry to be flippant but traditions that don’t carry a positive meaning have a dangerous habit of becoming ways to oppress people over time.

    If we want to modify our weddings to empower women, how about having simpler weddings with only the close family and friends, how about having the bride and groom save up before the wedding and share the expenses instead of making parents exhaust their entire life’s savings.


  7. I am not a fan of tradition. Tradition makes ‘demands’ and rarely delivers anything in return. The minute ‘tradition’ enters the picture reason/rationality go out of the window.
    Recently someone was talking about making a beginning by vowing to offer women their seat in a bus/train. Women don’t need seats, they need equality and freedom. Same way they don’t need horses to ride, but the freedom to make their own decisions, live where they want to (why live at the husband’s home?), marry the person they like or not marry at all. Where does empowerment come in when a woman rides a horse through streets according to ‘tradition’ as ordered by elders?


  8. It is only empowering to women when both men and women get to decide, who to marry, how to marry, when to marry and how to live after they are married without anyone or anyones baap and sammaaj butting their nose in.


  9. Pingback: Offer seat to any woman standing in train/bus or elsewhere? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  10. Pingback: The Groom pleaded with the Bride, telling her that he would not be able to face friends and neighbours if he returned without her. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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