Gujarat’s Kshama Bindu is a person whose name you’d have likely heard or read in the past few days. She became the first person from the country to marry herself, making this the only known instance of sologamy in India.
So what is sologamy?
As the name suggests, it is an act of marrying oneself. In terms of technical definition, that is it. However, there is obviously a lot more cultural context to it.
Generally, sologamy is seen as an expression of loving oneself and not relying on a partner to complete them. It’s a declaration to the world that one loves themselves the most and to the point where they want to get married.
Since sologamy does not find a mention in ritualistic practices, the marriage can look however a person wants.
Kshama went all the way where she put sindoor on her forehead, and even a mangalsutra around her neck.
She also had a haldi ceremony like most Hindu weddings do.
When asked about the wedding, she said:
From my childhood, I had a lot of dreams about becoming a dulhan. The venue and date for the wedding were set for June 11. However, the priest backed out at the last moment…(when) I applied sindoor (vermilion), put on mangalsutra and garland, it was a very emotional moment for me.
Kshama preponed her wedding to avoid controversy and had the mantras and shlokas played on a bluetooth in the absence of a priest. Further, she made promises to herself while taking the 7 pheras.
As she is finally done with the ceremony, she is now planning to go on a honeymoon.
That addressed, what is the legal status of sologamy?
None. The Hindu Marriage Act requires the participation of 2 people for a marriage to qualify as one, making sologamy a cultural token of appreciation for oneself.
That works for most people who go for it.
The first instance of sologamy dates back to 1993 when Linda Baker, a dental hygienist, married herself in the US. After this, several others followed the lead, and right now, the act of marrying oneself might not be popular but it is prevalent enough for many companies around the world to come up with honeymoon and photography packages for the same.
So that’s pretty much all you needed to know about sologamy. We will likely see more instances of it in the future.