IELTS (International English Language Testing System) bridegrooms' is the new buzzword in Punjabi marriage The state has been witnessing a hike in the number of "contract marriage frauds" executed for securing Canadian 'Permanent Resident' (PR) status required to emigrate to that country.
Young men are fallingprey to these matrimonial ads carrying details of IELTS bands scored by prospective brides. Many people, especially youth from Punjab, travel abroad expecting a better life. These benefit marriages are known to expedite such aspirations. Although, many young men find that that the women go abroad and hoax them.
Vicious Cycle of Contract Marriages
In 2012, one Jobenjeet Singh (33) of the Fatehgarh Sahib district filed a case under Section 420 against his wife with the NRI (Non-Resident India) wing of the Punjab Police. The woman had allegedly used Jobenjeet to go abroad using his money, after which she stopped all forms of communication. Later the family of the accused filed a divorce case on behalf of their daughter in 2020.
Harpreet Singh's family in Punjab's Mandi Gobindgarh shared a similar tale. His wife doublecrossed them after leaving for Canada two-and-a-half years ago. The woman asked him not to call her as she had plans to spend her life with another man. Harpreet managed to go on a spouse visa, but later his wife filed for a divorce in Canada. He filed a complaint under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), among other sections, against the girl and her family.
Statistics by The Punjab Police
According to the official data, a total of 4,266 complaints were received by the NRI wing of Punjab Police in 2019, which included cases of dispute, cheating, property dispute and matrimonial. Both men and women lodged the complaints. In 2020, the tally of complaints was at 3,829, whereas 2,248 complaints have been filed so far.
Around 3 lakh students move abroad annually from Punjab, along with 2 lakh other people who leave for employment opportunities. There was a hike in this trend of going abroad soon, which slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic.