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Many Quarters Of The Patriarch

Keeping a ‘small house’ for the ‘other’ woman is a long-standing practice in Tamil Nadu, embraced and legitimised by former CMs

Many Quarters Of The Patriarch
In Orbit | Photograph by AP
Many Quarters Of The Patriarch
outlookindia.com
2017-10-14T11:01:03+05:30

Even by Tamil Nadu’s dyed-in-the-wool Dravidian standards, the wedding invitation came as a shocker. From a small town in the state’s southern hinterland the invitation sought your presence for a triangular wedding—one bridegroom and two brides.

G. Ramamurthy, a farmer’s son from Virudhunagar district in south Tamil Nadu was to marry two of his cousins on September 4 with the complete consent of his parents and the brides’ mothers. The logic the family offered for the attempt at polygamy, banned under the Hindu Marriage Act, was that it was difficult to find grooms for the two girls and the family was unable to afford the steep dowry dem­anded by outsiders. They followed it up by citing that the family astrologer had predicted that the boy would anyway have two wives so, ‘better play it safe from the beginning’.

The wedding invitation (in pic), that had Ramamurthy as the groom and Renukadevi and Gayathri as the brides, was shared in close circles. But the family had an unwelcome guest in the form of the local social...

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