The shame of ‘Passport Weddings’


A story that comes as no shock to anyone any more. What a tragedy!

‘Dreaming of a good life in Britain, Satwant Kaur landed at Heathrow to start her new life with her husband, far removed from her village in Punjab. She found him waiting at the airport entrance. Visibly happy, he took her suitcase and passport telling her to wait while he fetched his car. He never returned. The distraught bride waited and waited. In tears, she sought the help of some Sikh staff at Heathrow. She had no idea of her husband’s address. Nowhere to go, the Sikhs took her to the nearest gurudwara at Southhall. The community tried to locate her husband without success. Then they re-applied for her passport, raised money for her ticket and arranged for her to return home. For no fault of hers, Satwant Kaur is abandoned. This is just one of the 15,000 marriages of NRI grooms and Indian brides that turned dreams into nightmares. The often repeated tragedy: an NRI boy lands in Punjab, marries a local girl, pockets the cash dowry and leaves for Britain – never doing anything to get his wife over who waits in vain. Often, these new brides find after their arrival in Britain, the US or Canada that their husbands have already got a local ‘live in’ or a wife and children too. When challenged, they claim their parents forced them to marry an Indian hoping he would give up his live-in partner or divorce his wife. The anguished NRI widows and their furious parents suffer with NRI marriage frauds.

The NRI marriage racket also involves Indian grooms. Many young men see their marriage with an NRI girl a passport to the good life abroad. These growing numbers of ‘passport weddings’ enjoin an Indian and a NRI holding British, American and Canadian citizenships.’

If there is one who I feel sympathy for in this case, it is the bride. Imagine the innocence of her dreams and joy getting married to settle down. We cannot imagine under what circumstances her parents decided to marry off their girl into a family away from their motherland. Just what criteria was considered to have placed the trust in the groom and in his family that they handed over their precious girl into the hands of a con who has not even considered the respect of the Sikh Panth and done all this in the lust for money. What a shameless deed and what karam to carry on his head!

Imagine the joy in her family, that their beloved daughter is finally getting married (we all know what it means to the parents). But with these cases happening like left-right-centre, I shudder to try and understand just why her parents even chose to find her a groom from an alien country where they knew no one. If it is the desperation to get the girl married off, it’s better not to get her married off at all. What fate she’s been pushed into! Stranded in a stranger country and her only sympathisers were her new-found family of Sikhs at the airport. What’s to welcome her when she finally gets back home? Tears, shame and endless pain. My soul bleeds for this girl and her family and somewhere, there is something that needs to be done to stem this tide of con-weddings that are ruining the image of our Sikh Panth.

Our families today have largely failed the Sikh Panth. How else would anyone even dare do this kind of despicable thing to our daughters and sons? The responsibility lies now on our own shoulders, those that are aware of this plaque ruining our heritage and respect – live in Sikhi, follow the teachings of the Gurus and do only that what is right for yourself and for your children. If we do not take this issue seriously, consider no one else ever will. That’s the only way to face this insult on the Sikh community.

In the lure of moving off to foreign countries, money and success, we are simply digging our own graves.

beejae bikh ma(n)gai a(n)mrith vaekhahu eaehu niaao
He sows seeds of poison, and demands Ambrosial Nectar.
Behold – what justice is this?
-Guru Angad Dev Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 474




  1. Navjit Kaur said,

    July 4, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji ki Fateh
    Beyond doubt heartrending that it’s happening dreadfully frequently these days. The brides dreams die, her hope for living life dies. Personally I had a friend who went through all this, she was extremely disappoint, disturbed, and hurt and was blaming God, and asking questions WHY ME? the family went through a lot. we need to work as a team to sort and help our bibya

  2. violasiris said,

    July 4, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    I feel for the bride. Her dreams all dashed, trumpled & trodden on the floor of an alien land! The near equivalent is being raped sexually… it is sad.

  3. Sikh Friend said,

    July 13, 2006 at 8:12 pm

    Absolutely dispicable.
    Can the ‘bride’ get some photos of her ‘husband’, so that he can be named and shamed? I have absolutely no sympathy for him.

  4. BBR said,

    August 18, 2006 at 1:59 am

    Is the bride to blame alone? What about her parents who were probably crazy enough to find the “Suitable boy” and pushed her on….Check out similar stories on

  5. said,

    July 8, 2010 at 9:01 am


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