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Forced marriage fears in Punjab


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For 21-year-old Sikh woman Rupneet Kaur (not her real name), the New Year finally brought some hope.

On 5 January, a two-member team from the British High Commission in Delhi - with the help of the district administration - recovered Miss Kaur from the house of her maternal uncle in a Punjab village in Nawanshahar district.

Her parents had abandoned her in Punjab five months earlier.

Keen for her to marry a man of their choice, her mother and father, who live in the north of England, had taken away Miss Kaur's travel documents, including her passport and ticket back to England.

Lesley Beaton, the director of Consular Services who recovered Miss Kaur, said she had not been ill-treated either by her parents or relatives.

"But the fact of the matter is that Rupneet did not want to get married and eventually the situation could have taken the form of forced marriage," said Ms Beaton.

Miss Kaur was rescued after her friend tipped off the police in the UK, who later got in touch with the High Commission in Delhi.

She is not pressing charges against her parents.

A lot of cases go undetected as girls ultimately fall prey to their parents' wishes

Gurpreet Deo, Indian Police Service

Her case is not an isolated one. For millions of Punjabis and many more South Asians settled in the West, there remains a strong desire to marry their children within their community and caste.

They also insist that the groom or the bride should belong to the country of their origin.

And all too often, to achieve their goal, parents end up torturing their offspring, either physically or mentally.

Gurpreet Deo, an officer from the Indian Police Service, who initiated helplines for "women in distress" during her tenure as senior superintendent of police in Hoshiarpur district, feels that the problem is most common among first-generation immigrants.

Recalling her earlier days as assistant superintendent of police in Garhshankar, in the same district, Ms Deo tells of a young British Asian woman, Narinder Kumari, who was rescued from a forced marriage.

Miss Kumari had been employed with the UK's Staffordshire police and had wanted to marry her colleague, who was also in the police.

But her father, Prem Kumar, was opposed to the idea and had coaxed her to India to their native village, Badesron.

"The girl was put under virtual house arrest," remembers Ms Deo.

"The problem is very high in the 'Do-aba' (land between two rivers) area of Punjab since it has witnessed the majority of the migration. A lot of cases go undetected as girls ultimately fall prey to their parents' wishes.

"The value of obedience turns into a moral compulsion that they might regret later," adds Ms Deo.

If the girl is from India, she will keep coming back to India. This will ensure that the sons and their children stay in touch with their roots

Ram Tirath Sharma

Inspector of police Ravinder Singh recalls another such incident in 1999, in Chhabewal Village, in the Hoshiarpur district.

Parents belonging to the dalit community (considered low castes in India) were forcibly trying to marry off a British Asian girl.

The girl was rescued from Punjab's industrial town Ludhiana and handed over to the British High Commission, he says.

Another famous case involving a British Asian girl was in 1999.

A 17-year-old Sikh girl was sent against her will to her aunt's house in a village in Punjab, where two prospective husbands were waiting.

She managed to reach the British High Commission in Delhi by tricking her brother.

Ram Tirath Sharma, 70, a teacher who migrated to the UK in 1965, is keen that his two sons get married to girls from India.

"I have not compelled them, as I do not want to lose my sons, yet my wish is that they find a match from India," he said.

"If the girl is from India, she will keep coming back to India. This will ensure that the sons and their children stay in touch with their roots.

"Moreover, the Western women opt for divorce more promptly than their Indian counterparts," he added.

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Yes good. I spit on these people. Let BBC expose what has been hidden by so-called "Sikhs" for generations upon generations. The never ending idiocy of the caste-system practised by Sikhs needs more shocking exposure and ridicule from those outside the panth if Sikhs are ever going to mature out of this backwardness.

I made a post over at the news section about "NRI" Sikh family hiring some people to murder their daughter and her husband. She was from a so-called "Jat family" and the boy from so-called "Ramdasia". I would like to see her father hanged and beaten across the face with the shoes of so-called "Ramdasia" (whatever the hell that is). It will be a good lesson for the millions of other b*astards out there who carry some delusional superiority complex of being a Jat who'se ancestors had migrated to Punjab from Scandinavia or Mars or wherever it was these fine warriors from outer space came from before becoming low-caste Hindu farmers and salves of Rajputs.

This trend of forced-marriage and caste consciouness among Sikhs i am glad was stated by the article is largely displayed by the Sikhs who are from Doaba region of Punjab. This is true and i have noted this several times in the past. Jalandhar has some problems clearly. It is the Sikhs from this area in my experience who beat the drum of being a "Jatt" or a "Tarkhan" to such an extent that even i now want to distance myself from united Punjabi identity.

I tend nowadays not to talk of a larger Punjab and Punjabiness but identify with regional Punjabi identities of Majha, Potohar, Doaba, Malwa etc. I am from Majha and proud to be so, specifically, Pakistan Punjab.

I think there is little the Gurdwara or real Sikhs can do to educate our own people about this. Why this is is because these people already think themselves to be well-educated and will not listen to anyone. They have already made up in their pea sized brain who they are and what they will do and what they will discard according to Sikhism.

I say, let the buggers rot in eternal hell. The miserable life they must already be leading is a good start.

I would to see an international Scandinavia and Germanic conference organized. The so-called "Jatt Sikh" should be the special guest. They will have to prepare a speech on how the "Jatt Sikh" is a descendant of German warriors who mysteriously ended up us farmers far away in Punjab and Hindustan. From being fine warriors in Germany they curiously found themselves on the lower end of Hindu society. This they will have to brainstorm on with their German brothers. How could this happen?

This i think would be an interesting conference. Although, it would of course be a shame if the Germans and Nordic peoples were to take one look at a so-called "Jatt Sikh" and tell them to "GO HOME YOU PA*KI" LOL :LOL: :arrow:

So much for German ancestry of Punjabis.


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