Not many would know but there are tribes in Jharkhand which have been practicing live-in relationships for decades.
Though it is not because of progressive ideas but financial restraints. Most people belonging to these tribes do not have enough resources to feed an entire village, which is why their marriage is not allowed.
Not left with any other option, they then enter a live-in relationship, which provides them with companionship but makes them outcasts.
Women who enter such an institution, are called dhukni, and aren’t allowed to wear vermilion. They also have no legal rights over their partner, called dhukua’s property.
‘Dhukni’ or ‘Dhukua’ means “to enter or get in”, thus a ‘Dhukni woman’ means a woman who has ‘entered’ the house of a man and without marriage, she lives with him- a relationship which is referred to as a ‘Dhuku marriage’.https://t.co/Kb8wYeTjHi— Indian Women Blog (@indianwomenblog) January 31, 2019
Their children, if any, are not allowed to get piercings, and are generally disrespected by the members of the community.
For some families, the ‘dhuku marriage’ is a tradition going on for generations, though social activists are now trying to make things better through mass marriages.
These couples were in a live-in relationship. And now, these 105 tribal couples have tied the knot in Ranchi. The mass marriage ceremony happened under the ‘Dhuku’ tradition. Watch to know more. #MassWedding #NewsMo #Vertical pic.twitter.com/IMEMibzM9g— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) March 3, 2021
In February 2021, 105 dhuku couples got married in Jharkhand, which means that the women involved in the relationship now have legal rights afforded by Indian law.