In India, a marriage alliance with a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) groom is put on a pedestal and considered a status symbol.
According to the mindset in society, NRI grooms are preferred to desi grooms as they are considered well to do and used as a step up by the girl’s family to climb the socio-economic ladder. On the other hand, NRI babus prefer marrying a desi girl assuming they have a strong moral fibre (hint: virginity).
But the marital experience of women who marry NRI grooms is getting bitter day by day. According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affair and MEA reports, the number of fraudulent NRI grooms, honeymoon brides and domestic violence faced by the brides once they leave India is at an all-time high.
The number of cases pending against fraudulent NRI grooms are 25,000. More than 20,000 Indian girls have not seen their husbands after their honeymoons. The statistics show that Punjab has the maximum number of such cases, followed by Delhi. Representing southern India in this grave issue is Andhra Pradesh (before the creation of Telangana) with third highest number of cases.
Punjab and Andhra Pradesh alone have 15,000 abandoned brides.
The families take the decision of marrying off their daughter to an NRI hoping for a stable future but the women end up facing the wrath of a disturbed marital life, all alone, in an alien country. There were 8,000 registered cases of physical abuse and domestic violence in 2014. When it comes to fraudulent marriages, the United States of America tops the chart.
The woman faces the struggle of being a foreigner in an isolated environment and the complex jurisdiction only makes the conviction rate horribly low. Of the 813 complaints received, only 30 were solved by the National Commission for Women in 2014.
To control the growing numbers, the government has planned to introduce a system to cross-check details of the grooms and decided to simplify the legal and criminal procedure along with barring one-party divorce granted by foreign courts. In fact, in 2012, Section 10(3) of Passport Act was introduced to confiscate passports of people having suspicious marital records.
Other than an effective legal course of action, there has to be a sociological change as well. People need to be cautious while doing a proper background check of the groom and not have a financial bias for the NRI grooms.
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