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An Important custom at one time

“Chaddar” literally translated way Bed sheet. Before I write some thing further in this situation its worth declaring that in Hindu society specially within the Punjab a lady had no percentage inside the assets. Thus in case a husband died his spouse might have a hard time as she inherited not anything. All this was simplest changed in 1955 whilst Nehru delivered approximately the Hindu marriage act

How Society Reacted to Widows Rehabilitation

Punjabi society had its very own answer for a problem of a widow and her future lifestyles. They adopted a custom that took care of this hassle. Nobody is conscious how this custom originated. The custom concerned the wife of a deceased man marrying the more youthful brother (her brother in law). This turned into finished in a quick rite where the widow placed a white Chaddar (mattress sheet) on the more youthful brother. From that second she became the wife of the more youthful brother. This become accomplished to preserve the lady in the same circle of relatives and provide protection to youngsters from the first marriage. Otherwise her lifestyles became doomed. As can be assumed girl was forced into this alliance through the mom in legal guidelines.

Practical Aspects of Chaddar

Placing the chaddar had its very own problems. In a few instances a widow became the second spouse of her brother in regulation. In different instances the bridegroom turned into a good deal more youthful than the widow, but the wedding turned into consummated. There were cases of a widow entering a brand new house keep in which there had been already pubescent daughters. This had its personal troubles but the usually setting the chaddar on the younger brother gave a brand new rent of existence to the widow in phrases of sex, companionship and status.

Effect of the Chaddar on Land Holdings

One motive for putting the chaddar is to stop fragmentation of land holdings. In the Punjab land has wonderful cost and agricultural land in particular is a status symbol. This is specifically regularly occurring most of the Jat network, who are the primary owners of land in the Punjab.

Once a woman forged a chaddar on her miracle sheets  husband’s younger brother she have become his wife and all of the land owned by way of the elder brother came to the younger brother. Thus fragmentation of the agricultural lands was avoided and land remained inside the family.

New Life for the widow.

Women in Hindu and Sikh society had no vicinity after she have become a widow. Widow remarriage started range overdue most effective in late nineteenth century. By having the ceremony of the Chaddar, in truth gave a new lifestyles to the widow. She once more have become a married woman a ‘Suhagan’. There become no stigma connected to such marriages and the religious leaders supported this tradition.

Children born of the elder husband also found a domestic. Though some piquant conditions have been created in that an earlier wife (in case the brother changed into married) needed to modify to the new wife also.

Success of Such marriages

Such marriages have been normally a success. One purpose for this is the fascination in Indian folklore for the Bhabhi or spouse of the elder brother for the more youthful brother. Umpteen testimonies and ballads talk of the love between a Bhabhi and her Devar (younger brother of the husband). Thus all marriages fell in a groove and were commonly successful.

The opinion of the widow was never taken and he or she changed into predicted to area the white chaddar around her husband’s more youthful brother on the earliest possibility after the funeral of her husband. Grieving and mourning for any duration of time become not in vogue.


Many writers have written approximately this tradition. But the most famous novel in this difficulty is “Ek Chaddar Mailee see” (One dirty Bed sheet). This novel which became also made into a movie mirrors the conflict in Punjabi society while such marriages befell.

The novel relates the tale of a husband who is murdered by way of a few individuals who suspected he had raped their sister in a temple. The widow named Rano is forced to place the chaddar across the shoulders of her brother in-law who’s 10 years younger to her and who she had dealt with all alongside as a toddler. The pubescent daughter will become very zealous of her mother and uncles marriage and even attempts to give up her lifestyles. The novel highlight’s such incidents, however usual th