Bride in India reportedly called off her wedding upon learning that her groom was bald.
According to India Today, the wedding ceremony was underway in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India, when the groom fainted on his way to the mandap, or, the altar. When he fell, said the outlet, his wig fell off, revealing his baldness.
Arranged marriages are still common on the Indian subcontinent, and The Times of India reported in March that around 85 percent of people in the country opt for a marriage arranged by family members or matchmakers.
However, in this case, neither the bride nor her family knew the groom was bald, News 18 reported. Upset, the bride called off the wedding mid-ceremony.
The bride’s family begged her to reconsider; however, she maintained her refusal, said India Today. As a result, the matter was taken to the police, and eventually, a panchayat meeting was called.
Britannica explained that a panchayat is “the most important adjudicating and licensing agency in the self-government of an Indian caste.” Consisting of five or more members, the panchayat “sits as a court of law.”
“Cases are heard in open meetings in which all members of the caste group concerned are entitled to take part,” Britannica said. “Types of offenses adjudicated in meetings of the panchayat are breaches of eating, drinking, or smoking restrictions; infractions of marriage rules; breaches of a caste’s customs in feast; breaches of its trade rules,” and so on.
During the panchayat meeting, the bride and groom’s respective families agreed to call off the wedding between their children, said India Today. Additionally, the groom’s family was forced to cover the costs of the wedding.
Speaking to local media, the bride’s uncle said the groom’s family “should not have hidden the fact that [the groom] was bald,” said India Today.
“If they would have told us about the groom’s baldness, we could have mentally prepared the bride and she would not have been shocked. You cannot expect a marriage to start on falsehood,” he said.