As women struggle with the continuing epidemic of rape in India, there is a growing abuse of girls who are forced to become “one month wives” of Muslim men from the Middle East and Africa — sham marriages allowing men to use them as legal prostitutes in arrangements with their families. In the article below, the reporter details the harrowing story of Nausheen Tobassum, a 17-year-old girl, who was sold into such a marriage by her family to a Sudanese man.
These marriages are being arranged with the help of ‘Qazis’ – government-appointed Muslim priests – with families in the Muslim areas. In the case of Tobassum, she was sold into the “marriage for around 100,000 Rupees to be the oil executive’s wife for a month. Of that, her aunt gave 70,000 Rupees to her parents, 5,000 Rupees to the Qazi, 5,000 Rupees to an Urdu translator and kept 20,000 Rupees herself. This produced a marriage certificate with fixed terms of divorce at the end of the man’s vacation.
The family threatened the girl when she refused to have sex with the man in Hyderabad’s Moghulpuri neighbourhood. On this occasion, the local police actually acted and arrested the groom, the victim’s aunt and the Qazi, and issued a warrant for her parents’ arrest.
It is truly unnerving to read of family’s selling their daughters into such veiled prostitution with the help of clerics, including the truly despicable role of the aunt. It is just another horrific glimpse into the plight of women in India and many Islamic areas.