Monday, June 13, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Buddhist marriages on rise

Buddhist marriages on rise

June 11, 2011DC WARANGAL

June 10: A small group of Ambedkar followers in Warangal is trying to
popularise the concept of Buddhist marriages among Dalits as such
marriages are seen as rational and a financially viable option for
poor families, who cannot afford the costly and elaborate rituals in
Hindu marriages. The latest to opt for a Buddhist marriage in Warangal
is Chinta Kankaraju, 26, a government teacher and resident of
Timmapuram village in Hanamkonda, who married M. Sumalatha, 22, at
Kadipkonda village in Hanamkonda on Friday morning.

P. Abbaiah, state president of Buddhist Society of India (BSI) and B.
Narsimhulu, secretary of BSI, attended the marriage along with other
intellectuals and Dalit leaders. According to B. Kattaiah, a Dalit
leader and president of Warangal chapter of Buddhist Society of India,
Kankaraju and Sumalatha are the 18th couple in Warangal to have opted
for a Buddhist marriage, which is also known as 'Adarsha viviham'.

"The first Buddhist marriage in Warangal took place in 1985," said Mr
B. Kattaiah, who got his daughter, Ms B. Padmavathi, married this way
making an example for others to emulate. Since the first Buddhist
marriage in 1985, sources said, there has been at least one such
marriage in Warangal every year. What is interesting about Buddhist
marriage is that there is neither a band baja nor a priest to perform
the rituals.

Rather, it involves lighting a candle before the figure of the Buddha,
who is offered a floral tribute by the couple. This is followed by
chanting of Buddha's 'Panchashila Sutra' in Pali language, which is a
common practice followed by Ambedkar followers on the eve of any
auspicious occasion. However, Buddhist followers in Warangal say that
very few people are opting for such marriages. Prof. G. Bhadru Naik, a
Dalit leader and a believer in Buddhist principles, blamed costly
marriages as one of the reasons for increase in debts among rural
households. "Performing marriage of daughters is still a costly event
for poor people, which they cannot afford but have to as all others
are doing the same," said prof Naik, while stressing on the need for
more 'Adarsha Vivaham'.


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