An illustration of the value of an education.
In northern Uttar Pradesh state last week, Lovely Singh was all set to marry groom Ram Baran. Everything was perfect — except for one tiny detail: the groom had apparently misrepresented himself to the bride’s family.
The Independent picks up the story:
During the ceremony in Rasoolabad village in northern Uttar Pradesh state last Wednesday, the woman named Lovely Singh, asked groom Ram Baran to solve “15+6”.
When he replied “17”, she promptly left and accused him of being illiterate.
Despite pleas from the groom’s family, Ms Singh refused to return to the ceremony and said she had been misled about his education.
Mohar Singh, the bride’s father, defended his daughter and accused the groom’s family of concealing his level of education.
“Just before the marriage ceremony Lovely came to know that Ram Baran is illiterate and she refused to marry,” he told BBC Hindi.
“The groom’s family kept us in the dark about his poor education,” he said “Even a first grader can answer this.”
Local police in Rasoolabad, near the industrial town of Kanpur, mediated between the families, and both sides returned all the gifts and jewellery that had been exchanged before the wedding, local police officer Rakesh Kumar said on Friday.
India is a country on the make and education is absolutely vital for the poor — especially the rural poor — to raise their station in life. Since most women don’t work in the business world in India, the level of education of her husband meant the difference between poverty and a middle class life.
Arranged marriages are common in India and the dowry is still an important part of the wedding. If the groom had, indeed, misrepresented his educational level — and I’m guessing by that answer to the math question he did — it would certainly be grounds for the bride to call off the wedding and demand a return of the dowry.
It’s an ancient system and it seems to work well enough for Indians. But I would suggest that groom find a remedial education class or two before his next walk down the aisle and be a little better prepared next time.