Rivaba Jadeja Is An MLA, So Shouldn’t Media Focus On Better Things Than Her Arranged Marriage?!

In a recent interview, the media wanted to know all about Rivaba Jadeja's marriage to cricketeer Ravindra Jadeja instead of her work!

Rivaba Jadeja. I hadn’t heard this name before I stumbled during some laid-back scrolling on Facebook, on her interview with Jist- a media/news company based in Gurgaon. Bur turns out that she is a young politician, and the wife of cricketeer Ravindra Jadeja.

Dressed in a pastel blue chiffon saree that was carefully draped over her shoulders, covering her back, Rivaba spoke about how she was married to Indian cricketer, Ravinder Jadeja. This young and dynamic woman whose middle name could have been ‘Confidence’ rather than Ravinder, out of all the things to speak on as a woman in politics, was seen talking of her arranged marriage to Mr. Jadeja.

Rivaba Jadeja, ‘married off’ by her parents

No offence to her. The media kept asking her questions on marital aspects and she had to share some juicy tidbits. What caught my attention was the way she was married off.

One fine day, as she was preparing for her postgraduate exams after a degree in engineering, her father asked her for her biodata, not revealing the reason behind it. The dutiful daughter, though curious, did oblige him immediately. In a week, he told her to dress up modestly, specifying no heels and light makeup, and go along with him for a certain meeting. Rivaba did as was told to her. They reached a restaurant run by her now sister-in-law and from the conversations that happened, this girl realized it was all about her marriage. The prospective groom wasn’t present as he was playing in South Africa. The alliance was almost fixed.

When Ravinder arrived in India, he met Rivaba and said, ‘If you are not happy with this rishta, I’m ready to take the baton and decline the wedding.’

Sorry, but I couldn’t watch further. It looked like Sooraj Bharjatiya’s Vivaah-3.

So scripted, so fake, just looking like an idiot!

Why does media focus on regressive things instead of an inspiring story as a woman politician?

Imagine, they have the gall to present such stuff to the people!

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Okay, I trust Rivaba and as she says that in her part of the world, marriages happen like this, I believe her. What I can’t believe is how a well-educated girl goes dressed for a meeting of which she has no idea. Why does her father ask her to behave subtly and sombre? And what is it about not wearing heels?

Are they trying to tell us, that women wearing heels are not marriage material?

After cutting through the interview crap, I googled Rivaba and found that she won the legislative elections from Jamnagar constituency in December 2022. Now, a woman whose life could well be a story of woman empowerment in politics has reduced herself to a debatable topic of relating heels with the modesty of a woman. I wish she would have filtered out the details and used another way to project her humility and dutiful image.

Had her father educated her only so she could be a cricketer’s wife? A trophy wife. That was a bouncer to me.

In India, some girls run away to pursue their education, women push ahead with marriage plans to achieve career goals, while women like Rivaba are taking India a century behind.

This pushes us backwards

The way Rivaba exuberantly narrated her story, I felt sorry for many girls who have similar tales but they aren’t happy about it. They are struggling to reach the survival mark. Barefoot, these girls are scorching their backs in the sun to fulfil their dreams. Heels or not, they are walking on eggshells to realize a future worth living for. They are fighting parents, and abusive husbands, and standing tall against the wall of futile expectations from caving in.

We need more interviews of such women. In fact, Rivaba Jadeja needs to meet them. Her important voice needs to vocalize the reforms to stop such practices where the girl is not informed of a meeting that is to be held with her future in-laws. Consent needs to be taken before parents think of putting their products on display. We are in 2023 not 1823 or even 1993. I understand for some communities it is a tradition, a way of staying connected with their roots. But why involve high heels and make-up with the tradition of marriage? Save them for another argument, for another day.

I want to address Rivaba Jadeja, her father, and the media

To Rivaba’s father,

Uncle, heels or not, your daughter stands tall in society with her mannerisms and education. If somebody has to measure their marital quotient with her footwear and make-up, the person certainly deserves to be slapped with chappals.

To the media,

Guys, please ask Rivaba what plans she has for her constituency, how she plans to improve the plight of women there, and not how she met her husband. Don’t giggle and blush when she narrates how a spineless amoeba she was when the marriage decision was taken. There are many ways to increase your TRP.

And finally to Rivaba Jadeja,

Woman, if you had no control over what your father said and did then, at least now don’t take pride in narrating the incident. Don’t push things under the carpet saying that is how it works in your community. We already have a zillion social issues to handle, please don’t tack on.

Image source: YouTube

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About the Author

Dr. Aparna Salvi Nagda

Aparna, residing in Mumbai, is a consulting homoeopath and edupreneur by day and loves to find comfort in books by twilight. Writing has allowed her to express without wagging her tongue. She has contributed to read more...

7 Posts | 2,809 Views

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