Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Maoist fear forces no frills marriages in Gaya

Gaya, Apr 23 (ANI): The fear of Maoists in Gaya is forcing the locals to perform marriages, without any ostentation, in the courtyards of temples by merely exchanging garlands.
One practice has been to arrange grandiose marriage celebrations. People used to invite almost the entire neighbourhood during marriages.
But people in the Maoist infested regions of Bihar are forced to restrict the marriage celebrations to the courtyards of the temples.
“We are scared that the Maoists will spoil our celebrations. They have a tendency of taking away our belongings, snatching our valuables and hurting us.
They attack such huge gatherings,” said Yugal Singh, a local attending a marriage ceremony in a temple.
While the young couples are disappointed, the elderly consider it as a blessing in disguise during the present dearer times.
” The fear of Maoists is there and they do disrupt our celebrations and exert pressure on us to stop such celebrations,” said Raghunandan Sharma, another local participating in a marriage.
Another trend that has emerged is that people take part in mass marriages so that they stay in a group.
The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and landless labourers. They routinely call for strikes, attack government property and target local politicians.
Their influence has been growing and now stretches across large parts of rural eastern, central and southern India. (ANI)

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