Wed, duped, dumped

– India, oh India.  You want so much to be a hi-tech first world nation.   With Bollywood and your high tech business parks – it’s all very impressive.

– Until one looks behind the scenes and realizes how very third-world and primitive you really are in the aggregate.

– Those of you with the brains, connections and opportunities just cannot wait to run away from the ‘real’ India and move into your gated communities and glass and chrome business parks.

– Don’t come talking to me about how wonderful India is – there are a lot of unsightly things hidden in your closets and back streets – just behind the glossy advertisements and nationalistic bragging.

– And with all of the powerful spiritual traditions that have come out of your country, it is deeply amazing to me that more of you cannot find the courage to look at the truth.

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CHANDIGARH, India – Jaswant Kaur is one of more than 15,000 ‘holiday wives’ spread across India’s northern Punjab state who, after years of abandonment, still awaits her husband’s return from Britain.

A fortnight after their lavish wedding in the border district of Gurdaspur, Karamjit Singh – considered a prize ‘catch’ for most Punjabi parents wanting their daughters married as he was a non-resident Indian settled abroad – left for London.

He promised his excited 21-year-old bride, who had never left her small town, that he would send her immigration papers within weeks to enable her to join him.

The groom and his family also carried away 700,000 rupees ($21,867.73) in dowry and gold ornaments which the bride’s parents had raised by mortgaging their small plot of land and house.

Eleven years later, Jaswant Kaur still waits for news from her husband.

“We now learn that he already had a wife and two children in London when we were married” Kaur said.

“For him I was nothing but a sexual dalliance and a source of gratification for his greed in the dowry.

“Along with my family, I stand disgraced socially as an abandoned bride. I have no recourse to any redress whatsoever.”

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