Published On : Mon, Nov 23rd, 2020

Marriages without Dowry

A lot of people are appreciating simple marriage ceremonies after Covid 19. But there have been people have been practicing this since ages,  weddings without any  fan-fair, no dowry and only 7 members from the grooms side, so that there is no burden on the bride’s family, one such family is from Dehra Dun, itself.
Traditionally Indian Marriage Ceremonies, lavish birthday parties and ceremonies related to death are unnecessary incurred expenses, although because of these ceremonies, lot of business activity is generated.
The Chandna family (Bhoja Brother, Paltan Bazzar) of Dehra Dun is one such family which has been associated with simple marriage ceremonies since 1960.
Roshan Lal Chandna , Bachelor of Arts, in Hindi Sanskrit and English, which is a very rare combination even today, M.A. English Literature, born on 23rd June, 1934 inspired by a Munshi  Premchand novel “Nirmala” on the evils of Dowry system, decided to start a fight against the Dowry Pratha, in the late 50’s it was a reformist step, since then the family has followed suit and more than 100 family marriages have been solemnised without dowry.
Roshan Lal Chandna fondly called as R.L. by his close friends became a teacher by choice, son of a wealthy businessman, Seth Bhoja Ram Chandna (Bhoja Brother, Paltan Bazzar). He taught at two of the premier institutes of India, in the 1960’s BITS PILANI and The Doon School Dehradun, his student list, was a who and who of India, Including the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
He had also adopted a Village 7 Km away from Dehra Dun, in1970, called Tunnuwala and would cycle down to the Village to teach the villagers hygiene and to do agricultural farming in a technical way, I remember going with him a couple of times as an eight year old sitting on the rear carrier of the cycle.
Karan Thapar the acclaimed journalist still remembers him fondly having taught by him more than 50 years ago wrote an article about him after finishing school in 1962.  I feel RL Chandana must have been a great teacher, as no one can remember 50 years back unless they were very good.
By Pankaj Roshanlal Chandna.