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Indian woman marries dead man to legitimise relationship.

Patna: A woman was married to a dead man in Bihar to ensure her children enjoy legitimate status and live their life with dignity.

Officials said Chudki Hembram and Mahalal Marandi from eastern Bihar's Banka district had been living together for the past 10 years without getting married. They have four children -- two sons and two daughters.

The couple apparently did not get married as they were too poor to throw a feast for their community, which was required for the formalisation of their marriage.

However, even as they were finalising their marriage rituals which were to be observed shortly, the man died last week, leaving Chudki in shock and in a peculiar ituation. She feared that society would make her life miserable with usual taunts targetted at her as well as her children. It was here that the other villagers decided to step in and end her ignominy.

So, even while the grieving family members of the dead man was preparing for his last rites, the local villagers huddled, discussed the woman's predicament and finally decided to perform her marriage to her dead common-law partner.

The villagers arranged for all the marriage rituals and items required for their wedding.

Subsequently, someone held the dead Marandi's finger to apply vermillion on Chudki's forehead and then hurriedly erased the mark of marriage to formally declare her widowhood.

"I willingly agreed for application of vermillion by my partner after his death so that none could call her children illigitimate", said the woman.

The local village head Shyamlla Tuddu said it was the weirdest incident he had seen. "This is the first time that the marriage of a girl had been formalised after death of her partner. We all are very happy", said Tuddu, another villager.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 8, 2012
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