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Some Social Aspects of Marriages in Poona District 1955-56

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Preface This work is based on the writer’s Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Some Social Aspects of Marriages in Poona District 1955-56’ which was accepted by the University of Poona for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the year 1964. Some modifications are made regarding the presentation of the material but otherwise there is no substantial change in the present work and the original dissertation. Some additional notes regarding present trends about Age at marriage are, howev...

This work is based on the writer’s Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Some Social Aspects of Marriages in Poona District 1955-56’ which was accepted by the University of Poona for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the year 1964. Some modifications are made regarding the presentation of the material but otherwise there is no substantial change in the present work and the original dissertation. Some additional notes regarding present trends about Age at marriage are, however, added in Appendix C.

It is pleasure to express my greatful thanks to my guide Dr. (Mrs.) Iravati Karve, Professor and head of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the Deccan Collage, for her guidance and encouragement, I am grateful to the Government of Maharashtra and the Inspector General of Registration, Maharashtra State, Poona for allowing the use of records and to authorities of the Deccan Collage, Poona for facilities granted to me from time to time.

I would like to thank Dr. S. M. Katre, and other authorities of the Deccan Collage for publishing this work.

I am obliged to my colleagues in the Registration Department at various places under survey in Poona District for giving co-operative assistance. My thanks are due to Mr. Ketkar and Mrs. Amala Ketkar for reading of the manuscript and also to Shri M.V. Pradhan of Bombay Educational Service for making friendly suggestions.

I am aware that some printing errors have creeped in, inadvar-tautly but these would not materially affect the text. In introduction, the number of Karyalayas in Poona Corporation limits is wrongly, mentioned. In 1955, it was about one hundred while in 1966, the figure has doubled. However, exact figures were not readily available.



The institution of marriage is one of the oldest social institutions and a good many writers from all over the world have written copiously about it. The subject is, however, full of interest and assumes a new form with each generation of human beings. It still attracts students, poets, philosophers, sociologists, novelists and others. Marriage problems are many with various solutions offered for them. The study of some knotty problems from different angles would throw a flood of fight in which their solutions become easier. These problems attracted the attention of the writer during the last five to six years and an impetus was given to his desire to collect the material, data etc. when he had been working in Poona. As a marriage officer, he had the privilege of solemnising about 100 and some odd marriages every year under the Special Marriages Act of 1872 (now revised in the year 1954). However, the data available for the marriages solemnised under the Special Marriages Act were scanty and most of these being irregular marriages, no definite conclusions could be drawn.


Available Material

The Government of Bombay have passed an Act known as ‘The Bombay Registration of Marriages Act, V 1954 ‘Which came into force from the 15th of January, 1955. This Act provides for the compulsory registration of each and every marriage celebrated in Corporation, Cantonment and Municipal areas and Taluka Mahal Headquarters. Under Sec. 5 of the Act, parties to the marriage have to prepare and sign a memorandum on the prescribed forms and send them in duplicate to the Register of Marriages for the area. It contains information regarding the names, ages, civil conditions, places of residence of the married couple along with the names of guardians or parents and officiating priest of the marriage. This information also being meagre could not serve as a sufficient data for a thesis. However, when I approached Dr. Mrs. Irawati Karve on this subject she readily agreed to give all possible guidance in the matter and suggested to me to include several more items in the enquiry to be carried out. The items such as education, caste, occupation, relationship before marriage between bride and groom, if any, dowry, and marriage expense were added to the form of the enquiry. It was decided to collect all this information regarding the marriages celebrated within Poona City and Poona District during the years 1955 and 1956.

Being a Registrar of Marriages, I was in the know of the marriages registered under the Bombay Registration of Marriages Act (V of 1954) which came into operation from the 15th of January 1955. Aftar obtaining the necessary permission from the Registrar General of the Bombay State, the data are now made use of in the present thesis.

Poona City, being one of the most culturally and educationally advanced, has afforded good opportunities as I have had the unique position of being the first official recipient of all preliminary marriage data. The city also possesses a representative character in as much as people of all religions and sects reside hare, and the existence of factories, industries and offices in and around Poona Corporation limit has made employment available to some thousands of people most of whom reside in the city. Thus, the information collected is sufficiently representative of many urban characteristics. Moreover, Poona City is a very convenient centre for the celebration of marriages as there are a number of well-furnished and equipped Dharmashalas, Mangal–Karyalayas, private and public marriage halls, well-suited for this purpose. The total number of such Karyalayas and Dharmashalas, was about nine in 1955. The total number of Karyalayas in 1966 is sixteen. This shows that the number has increased considerably during the last decade. The city market also affords all possible facilities essential for such functions. The marriages celebrated at Taluka or Mahal Head-quarters and in Municipal towns in Poona District are also required to be registered under the same Act. The Data, therefore, collected from the rural areas, show the peculiar marriage trends prevailing in the rural area of Poona District. Thus, I possess vivid data regarding the trends of marriages with special reference to some social aspects of marriages existing both in urban and rural areas. A map, showing the places in Poona District called ‘rural areas’ in the present thesis, is given in the beginning of this book.

The Form prescribed by the Government is given in Appendix1. To this, has been added items, such as education, caste, occupation, mode of fixing marriage, kinship between parties, intermediary to the marriage, dowry, expenses, and other noteworthy items. Further it may be stated that the information on items such as marriage expenses and dowry used to be very reluctantly given when the parties concerned were approached by me. It is also a common experience that such figures used to be inflated when the bride’s side was approached and deflated when the groom’s side was contacted.

The information in regard to the items of intermediaries, expenses and dowry could not, therefore, be used in the thesis for drawing valid conclusions.

Method of collecting data:– The form used is given at the and of the chapter.

After marking all forms with the data available on Government record, enumerators were sent with instructions to collect information on specific points. I also visited some places for getting the schedules filled in, and thus acquainted myself with first–hand information on all points. Data has also been collected with reference to the native places of the married couples in order to find out what influence spatial distance plays in regard to marriages both urban and rural.

This schedule thus made available the study with respect to items like age, caste, civil condition, educational status, kinship of the bride and groom, if any.


Analysis of Chapters

Findings of the inquiry are presented in the following chapters.

1. Chapter I: Analysis of the data: Ananalysis of marriages according to the various castes and religions.

2. Chapter II: Civil conditions : Civil conditions of marrying partners in urban and rural areas are scrutinised in relationship to all first and subsequent marriages. It is also seen whether the pattern is different in regard to Hindus, Muslim and others. The results are compared with those of some western countries and the difference noted.

3. Chapter III: Age at marriage: The marriages are classified according to the ages of the partners and quartile divisions. The differences between the ages of grooms and brides are noted and it is seen whether these are significant in respect of virgin and non-virgin marriages. The difference in ages of marrying partners is also studied in respect of castes and religion groups. The findings, obtained from the data, are compared with those obtained in other similar studies and also with the figures obtained from other countries.

4. Chapter IV: Marriage and education : The difference in educational levels between groom and bride is studies in relation to urban and rural areas for different castes and results noted.

5. Chapter V: Marriage and place of Residence : The residential towns and villages of the groom and the bride are considered in order to find out the effective distance within which marriages are contracted. This is studied regarding urban and rural marriages also and the differences are noted.

6. Chapter VI: Inter–marriages: Inter sub–caste, inter–caste, inter–religion marriages : Data regarding marriages between people of different caste– group and religious groups are analyse in this chapter. The factors of civil condition, age at marriage and education are also studied in respect of such marriages.

7. Chapter VII:– Summary: The conclusions of the study are as a whole drawn in respect of marriages in general and also in the case of different sub– castes, castes, religions and linguistic regions. The comparison between the urban and the rural marriages is also attempted and the results are studied in the light of other studies of similar nature.

It may be stated here that I have tried to throw some light on a few social aspects of these marriages from the data, on the basis of which I am able to gather some more information. I am aware that many mure interesting and sociologically important items like dowry, expenditure, etc. were not studied in more details by me. There is ample scope for any other students of sociology who would like to tread on this ground.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my guide, Dr. Mrs. Irawati Karve of Deccan College, but for whose guidance I could not have succeeded in writing the following pages in its present form. The Deccan College and Poona University lisbraries afforded greatest facilities to me.




Available material 1-2
Method of collecting data 3
Analysis of chapters 3-5
Form designed by author 5
Chaptar I- Analysis of the Data  
Distribution of marriages as per Castes and Communities-Urban-Rural 6 to 8
Distribution of marriages according to Castes and religious groups 10-13
Cross-cousin marriages 13-14
Chaptar II- Civil Conditions  
No. Of marriages according to Civil Conditions 16
The Term Bijwar and its significance 17-18
Marriages of -unmarried grooms and widowed or divorced brides 18
Widowers and virguis 19
Both partners previously married 19
Widows and widowers 20-21
Groom bachelor or non-bachelor and bride virgin or non-virgin 24-25
Marital status prevailing in other countries-First marriages 25
Other marriages 26-27
Widows and widower remarriages 28
Summary 28
Chaptar III- Age of Merriage  
Age of marriage of a Hindu woman in old days 30
Marriages against present law 31
Discussion of marriages according to quartile divisions 33-34
Summary 34 to 38
Average difference in age of marriage 39
Average age a marriage 39-40
Chaptar IV- Marriage and Education  
Indian outlook on education 42-43
Educational leval of bride and groom-Urban and rural areas 44-48
Brides more educated 49-51
Educational level same 51-52
Groom more educated 52-55
Illiteracy of brides-urban and rural areas 55-56
Findings 56-58
Illiteracy of grooms 57-58
Marriages according to educational level of bride-urban and rural areas 59-67
Marriages according to educational level of groom-urban and rural arens 67-75
Chapter V- Marriage and Residence  
Marriages according to urban and rural residences 76
Similar data of Mrs. Bela Ganguli in the City of Calcutta-rural areas 77-79
Marriages according to urban and rural residences of groom and bride in both urban and rural areas 80-85
Marriages according to the distance in residence-urban and rural areas 85-87
Marriages within hundred miles and beyond 88-90
Chapter VI- Inter Marriages  
Inter sub-caste, intercaste and Hindu marriages 91-94
Inter Caste marriages 94-96
Inter-religious marriages 96-97
Civil conditions in inter marriages-of grooms 100-102
Age at marriage of nride 102-103
Inter-religious marriages classified as per civil conditions, education, religion or caste and age at marriage 104-107
Case studies 108-114
Same significant social trends of inter-religious marriages 114-115
Chaptar VII- Conclusions  
Appendix- A- Memorandum of marriage 122-123
Appendix- B- Tables on civil conditions, age of marriage and graphs 124-167
Appendix- C- A note on present trends in age of marriage 168-177
Bibliography 178-180
Index 181-184


Sample Pages

Item Code: NAM072 Author: P. R. Mokashi Cover: Paperback Edition: 1968 Publisher: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 200 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 262 gms
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