They are dubbed "holiday brides," and it appears to be a growing problem in India. Men are taking vacations in that country, marrying women, and then going home. They promise to send for their new brides but it never happens. The women are left forever, dependent on their families for help.
A report from the BBC says that while some American men have been doing this, it appears to be a British phenomenon, with English men accounting for a third of the cases. "There are 15,000 to 20,000 abandoned brides in India," lawyer and women's rights activist Daljit Kaur claims.
A woman named Suman is one of these holiday brides. She said she married a man in an arranged marriage four years ago. After her husband returned to London, he said he would get her over there later.
"He would visit two to three times a year," Suman told the BBC. "Whenever he came to India, we had a good time." On one visit, her bridegroom said Suman's UK application for a spousal visa had been refused.
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“It was like being a prostitute you take along and have a good time with and then leave behind," Suman said. "He told me he had applied for an appeal. But he has never shown me a copy of that appeal. He's never shown me any documents."
Suman has not heard from her husband for the past six months.
Even though cases like this are well known in India, women and their families still take chances with foreign men. "People are desperate to migrate, because they don't think this land gives them the opportunities they need, particularly for girls," said Jassi Khangura, a London businessman and politician in the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
The women are not the only ones benefiting. Although dowries have been illegal in India since 1961, it still goes on, especially in rural areas. A British Indian man can get a dowry of upwards of $33,000.
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But a man who arranges marriages between British men and Indian women has a different take. Tahir Mahmood thinks it is the men who are being exploited. "Anyone from back home [India], they want British, British, British," he said. "The girls over there don't care if someone has been married twice before, they don't care how he looks like or what his background is."
These women have little recourse. They can try to reconnect with their wayward husbands through the extradition treaty, but that is difficult. The UK Home Office says it has not received any extradition requests from Indian brides.
In India, however, officials have taken note, and have established a department to help women find their men.
These women can always divorce, but that is still looked down upon in India.