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A Wake Up Call - Marriages to Non Resident Indians (NRIs)

Sometimes these foreign dreams come at a cost of innocent lives and the future of the spouses who travel to a foreign land along with these NRIs. In some cases they do not even have to travel abroad to get harassed as their dreams get shattered while they are still in India.

In many of the Indian states and regions marriage of a son or a daughter abroad is taken to be a status symbol. Sometimes such marriages are taken as an easy way out to enter a foreign country for a comfortable life and lucrative future. But as it is said, all that glitters is not gold. Sometimes these foreign dreams come at a cost of innocent lives and the future of the spouses who travel to a foreign land along with these NRIs. In some cases they do not even have to travel abroad to get harassed as their dreams get shattered while they are still in India. In the eagerness of not to let go of such lucrative marriage offer, the families totally ignore even the common cautions that are observed in traditional matchmaking. A number of problems are emerging with the NRI marriages. The problem is not just due to opportunistic NRIs, but also because of the parents who trust someone whom they hardly know.

‘NRI marriages’, as generally understood, are between an Indian woman from India and an Indian man residing in another country (thus NRI – non-resident Indian), either as Indian citizen (when he would legally be an ‘NRI’) or as citizen of that other country (when he would legally be a PIO – person of Indian origin). The problem is especially related to Indian women who get trapped in deceptive matrimony with overseas Indians. They also ignore that in case of things going wrong in an NRI marriage, the woman’s recourse to justice is greatly constrained and complex. The aggravated risk in such marriage is the woman is being ‘isolated’ far away from home in an alien land, facing language constraints, communication problems, lack of proper information about the local criminal justice, police and legal system. The problem is manifold and it incorporates issues like dowry and various other types of harassment of married women in foreign countries, marriages of convenience, concealment of earlier existing marriage by the husband before marrying an Indian woman. Another very important issue which needs attention is lack of social security faced by an Indian woman in a foreign country when the marriage is not working. The situation is worsened by lack of support network of friends and family and monetary constraints which leaves the deserted wife completely helpless and stranded.

Here is the list of some of the typical instances of the issues that could arise in NRI marriages:

Woman married to an NRI who is abandoned even before being taken by her husband to the foreign country of his residence.

Woman brutally battered, assaulted, abused both mentally and physically, malnourished, confined and ill treated and forced to flee or was forcibly sent back.

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