Who Decides?: Marriage Law, the State, and Mutual Consent

  • Ruth Vanita


On March 21, 1993, two women, Vinoda Adkewar, 18, and Rekha Chaudhary, 21, from neighboring villages, went to the Registrar of Marriages in the town of Chandrapur, Maharashtra, in western India, and declared their intention to marry. The Registrar said he was “perplexed and unable to decide what to do next”; he told them to return after some days. Judicial officers and police held “urgent deliberations,” and obtained legal opinions. On April 13, while a crowd waited outside, they spent three hours dissuading the women from “such an unusual alliance.” Finally, Vinoda agreed to return to her parents. Rekha, enraged, threw into a ditch the red bridal sari she had brought for Vinoda, and walked away with tears in her eyes.3


Wedding Ceremony Mutual Consent Civil Marriage Domestic Partnership Marriage License 
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Chapter 2 Who Decides?: Marriage Law, the State, and Mutual Consent

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© Ruth Vanita 2005

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  • Ruth Vanita

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