Particular communities in at least one Haryana district and two in Punjab indulge in polyandry, a study conducted by Panjab University between 2013-17 has found. The study, conducted by Prof Rajesh Gill of Department of Sociology, is now part of a book — 'Gender Culture and Honour' — released earlier this month.
The study found the evidence of polyandry, where one woman has more than one husband or male partners, in the Gujjar Muslim community at village Daulatpur in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district and among Jat Sikh families at village Piplian in Mansa district and village Panechan in Fatehgarh Sahib of Punjab. The study was undertaken in six districts — three each in the two states.
“Poverty, less agricultural land, deteriorating sex ratio are the reasons behind this practice. We concluded that families following polyandry are in the belief more women in the family will mean more division in the property,” Gill said.
She said the UGC-funded study was conducted for ascertaining the gender culture in the two states. “There are cases of bride purchase also in these two states. Three Haryana districts, including Mewat, Jhajjar and Yamunanagar, three in Punjab — Ludhiana, Mansa and Fatehgarh Sahib — were selected for the study. We did not find any trace of polyandry in Jhajjar, Mewat and Ludhiana,” he added.
Gill said that families practising polyandry were very shy, and it took months for her teams to interact with them. “n each district, two villages were selected. My team members and I spent months in these villages to interact with the families. We did not find a single case of domestic violence in these families,” she added.
According to the study, brides are bought from states such as Manipur, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Himachal. The study also found evidence of brides being brought from Bangladesh. Most such women came from poor families.