In case you’re living underneath a rock and you have no idea what watta satta marriages are or what they signify, let me shed some light on the gloriously messed up concept that still prevails in our society. Watta Satta marriages involve two households exchanging their daughter/son for another family’s daughter/son. This LITERALLY involves the give and take of two lives. Due to the fact that this essentially exists in villages (its presence rounding off to a whopping 90%). This kind of marriage doesn’t seem to take women’s right in consideration at all. It blatantly ignores the consent of one party, to say the least, in some cases, both parties but the families pressurize the exchange participants to continue and move with the procedure anyway.
What if the girl doesn’t want to be married in the household her family is sending her too, just for the sake of her brother’s marriage? This is the most common type of fidelity that occurs. Usually, it’s the girl that suffers (read: men suffer as well, but because of their dominant role in villages and the status given to them, it is less likely for the man to be abused in any shape or form by his wife). In other words, just for the sake of her brother’s marriage, the girl has to settle down.
In normal marriages (you know, the one where flesh isn’t exchanged for another and two people tie the knot) only two parties are involved. The family of the bride and the family of the groom. If there’s any misunderstanding between the two, either they resolve it or the family works it out for them. There’s zero involvement of a third party unless the families agree to it. However, in watta satta, four families are involved. One family has the other families bride/groom and the other has the other’s groom/bride. Like I mentioned earlier, the bride gets the shorter end of the straw and often suffers the most. Her husband has the right to abuse her, both psychically and emotionally and has the right to make her do anything he desires without taking her will into
However, in watta satta, four families are involved. One family has the other families bride/groom and the other has the other’s groom/bride. Like I mentioned earlier, the bride gets the shorter end of the straw and often suffers the most. Her husband has the right to abuse her, both psychically and emotionally and has the right to make her do anything he desires without taking her will into consideration. When the bride’s original family gets to know of the mistreatment she’s receiving, they tend to take revenge and treat that family’s exchange participant poorly as well. Meaning, if their daughter is getting beaten by her in laws, then her family will make sure the in law’s bride/groom gets the same treatment – if not worse. This is an incredibly common path of vengeance that both families fall victims too.
In our patriarchal society, we have not only destroyed one marriage but two! And for what? For the sake of revenge? Why link two families together so closely when mishaps like this are bound to occur?
What happens if a family living in rural areas only has one child? This is another leading problem because a common misconception is that the only child will not be able to get married due to the fact that she doesn’t have another human being to offer to complete the exchange. So basically, you’re telling me, that my right to marriage is defined by a commodity that I need to present to perform an exchange, according to your will?
Regardless of the head of a family being slightly educated to completely illiterate, the family will still favor watta satta over normal, regular marriage. A study has found that fathers who own a ton of land, are more likely to make a literal business deal. As if offering your child for another person’s wasn’t capitalist enough, they further go on to ONLY engage in marriage so that the families wealth could be merged and they could get richer. (I don’t get it, richer for what? What are you going to do with all that money? Have a fancy watta satta Shaadi?)
Let us know your thoughts on this!