Major Social Evils Of Child Marriage In Travancore

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Major Social Evils
Child marriage was one of the worst evil practices. It was practiced more by the effluent upper castes than the marginalized lower castes. Visscher in his work noted that, the Brahmins gave their daughters in marriage at the age of eight or nine years, for if they pass their tenth year unmarried, they lose caste and are not allowed to marry [6]. Nairs, Christians and other sections of Travancore also followed this. Samuel Mateer points that child marriages arises from the distrust of female virtue. Small children, below the age of ten are married off and their husbands were probably aged ones. It also led to the increase in the number of child wives which may be resulted in becoming widows in younger period of life. It was one of the most prominent factors which acted as a barrier for the education of girls in Travancore.
Sati or the ending up of the life of a widow in the funeral pyre of her husband which was one of the most notorious practices existed in India, was not common in Travancore. But widow remarriage was prohibited. The condition of widows was more pathetic than that of whom following Sati. It forced them to live their entire lives inside their houses without happiness. They were prohibited from wearing ornaments and colored garments, during social gatherings and religious rites and even denied from consuming tasty foods. They had to cut their hairs and must have shaven heads. They are considered as bad omen. Hence they were strictly excluded

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