Sologamy and the debate around its repercussions in India
The bizarre trend is an indication of an inclination of the country’s younger population from communitarianism to individualism
Kshama Bindu, a 24-year-old employee of a private firm in Vadodara, is planning to marry herself on June 11 in a practice called sologamy.
The solo wedding, which would be a first for India, will include everything from ‘pheras’ and wedding vows to a Goa honeymoon, but will be devoid of a groom or ‘baraat.’
Kshama Bindu’s ‘logic’ behind sologamy
Bindu claims she had no plans to marry and merely desired to be a bride. As a result, she chose to marry herself. She went on to say that she had done her research and had decided to marry herself with her parents’ blessing.
She opines that self-marriage is a pledge to always be there for yourself and to love yourself unconditionally. It’s also a self-acceptance act, as per her.
“People marry the person they love. I love myself, which is why I’m planning this wedding,” she explained.
Meme fest and consequent debate
The announcement by Bindu triggered a meme fest on social media and a serious debate about sologamy also dominated prominent social media platforms.
“When your parents don’t allow a Goa trip, marry yourself and go on a two-week honeymoon to Goa. Modern problems require modern solutions,” a social media user said on Twitter.
“Why is there such a fuss about sologamy?” said another person. “Why can’t you marry yourself if you can marry a tree? It’s merely a display of self-love!” the user observed.
Many other users, on the other hand, thought the girl marrying herself was ‘okay’, but worried about how she would divorce herself if she ever needed to.
Sologamy is not something new
A symbolic wedding in which you vow to sustain a meaningful, deep, and loving relationship with yourself is known as sologamy, self-marriage, or autogamy.
It is the concept that humans do not require the company of others in order to be happy. Many people think it’s a beautiful way to celebrate self-love, while others think it’s a publicity gimmick.
Since at least 1993, when an American lady called Linda Barker married herself, the practice has been going on.
Brazilian model Cris Galera also made headlines as she held a wedding to formalize marrying herself. However, it was all over after 90 days as she divorced herself later, saying she ‘met someone else’.
In fact, in Western countries, businesses have also proliferated that cater to this trend, offering wedding kits including rings, vows and affirmation cards.
However, there are no known or documented cases, as per our research, where a man has married himself. This means the trend is prevalent among females only.
Sologamy is not legal in India
Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 states the conditions for a valid marriage. A marriage can be said valid, if it fulfils the following conditions:
- None of the parties have spouses living at the time of the marriage.
- During the time of the marriage, neither party should be: (i) Incapable of giving consent due to the unsoundness of mind. (ii) Suffering from mental disorder to an extent as to be unfit for marriage and procreation of children. (iii) Subjected to repeated attacks of insanity.
- The bridegroom must be 21 years or above and the bride must be 18 years or above.
- The parties should not in a degree of prohibited relationship.
- The parties are not sapindas (blood relation) to each other.
Apart from Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, there are no provisions in the relevant legal framework for other religions like Islam. Therefore, sologamy is not legally valid in India.
The repercussions of sologamy
If we critically examine the statements of Kshama Bindu, she means to have no regard for the customs and traditions of Indian society. This is not an isolated case but a representative mindset of the millennials in India.
Bindu has “only one thing” to say to critics, which is that she is free to decide whom to marry – whether it’s a man or a woman or herself. By marrying herself, Bindu candidly admitted that she wants to normalize sologamy in the country.
However, many people believe that the younger generation in the country is inclined to individualism rather than communitarianism.
It is called a bizarre act by many who say that there is no precedent for such kinds of marriages, which are actually a hollow celebration of self-love. The episode is labelled by some people as a sad state of social relations, which means people have lost their trust in each other and failed to love someone else.
Many others believe this to be a narcissistic case, where self-love is given an extreme new dimension while having no regard for the ‘true soul’ of the institution of marriage.
The new trend is called anti-social, anti-culture and blind acceptance of westernization, which is sure to create ripples in the Indian society and tear apart the social fabric in a worst-case scenario.