Community News

Group marriages of Hindu and Muslim couples in Ballia

Rasra, Balia (UP): In today’s atmosphere of growing intolerance in the country, Chhatra (student) Shakti Sewa Sansthan, in order to promote Hindu-Muslim unity and harmony in society organised group marriages of 351 Hindu, Muslim couples which in itself is a record. This function of group marriage was held on 28 January 2016 which was indeed a unique example of social harmony and tolerance. On this date as many as 351 couples i.e. 702 young boys and girls got married. Those couples were selected from needy families of all sections of society. In this mass marriage function, 30 Muslim couples also got married. About half-a-dozen pundits and Maulana Sarwar solemnised the marriages of these newly married couples. Whereas about half a dozen pundits solemnised the marriages of Hindu couples under the supervision of Mathura Prasad Shastri in Ram Lila Mandap, Kanya daan was done by Uma Shankar Singh, MLA and his wife Mrs. Pushpa Singh. Maulana Sarwar performed the Nikah of Muslim couples in Shri Nath Junior High School. About 5 lakh (or may be more) people were present on this occasion. In addition to people of Rasra (a town in Ballia district where this mass marriage had actually taken place) and neighbouring places, many people from the adjacent Bihar State were also there. The rush of people was so great that there was a big jam on the roads almost all through the day. A large number of policemen and committee members, volunteers etc were there to control and manage the crowd. District Magistrate Sharad Kumar Singh, SP-Anees Ahmad Ansari, ADM-KP Singh and other officers and dignitaries blessed the couples. A cultural programme was also organised and a Bhojpuri film was also shown. Because of some technical fault in the sound system the vast crowd became unruly and started shouting, smashing chairs etc. After a great effort by the administration and management committee members the crowd was be pacified.

From Chhatra Shakti Sewa Sansthan brides were given double beds, cushions, pillows, TV., fans, gas cylinders along with stoves, steel utensils, 5 sets of ornaments, wrist watches (to grooms), 5 sets of saris and many other articles of daily use etc were given as gifts. These gifts to each bride were indeed fairly large and one can very well guess how much money would have been spent.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-29 February 2016 on page no. 14

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