BBC Asian Network investigates ‘holiday brides’ scam
A SPECIAL report by the BBC Asian Network will look into claims British Asian men are abandoning their newly married brides in India after securing hefty dowry payments and gifts.
‘Holiday Brides’, set to be broadcast on 23 November will explore the concerns raised by politicians and women’s activists in India about the growing practice.
Journalist Poonam Taneja travelled to Punjab, India to investigate the claims. She spoke to women who claim to have fallen victim to the scam after being lured into marriage by the hope of a new and more prosperous life in Britain.
Women’s activists in India have been campaigning to raise awareness of the issue for the last ten years.
They claim a high proportion of all marriages between Indian women and overseas men are fraudulent.
Women’s activist and lawyer Daljit Kaur, from Chandigarh, said the growing rise in the problem has led to many victims speaking out.
“In Punjab these abandoned girls are around 15,000 to 20, 000,” she said. “But now people want to come and tell their problems and want a solution. They want their rights.”
But one man who doesn’t believe the accusations is Tahir, who has been arranging overseas marriages for over a decade.
He rejects the claims made about ‘holiday brides’, saying British Asian men are targeted by families abroad who use marriage as a pretence in securing visa’s to the UK for male family members.
“British Asian guys are the victims,” he told the BBC Asian Network.
“The girl’s side don’t care what (the man’s) background is as long as he’s from England and has a passport.”
BBC Asian Network Reports: Holiday Brides, Monday 23 November, 6pm
You can listen to Asian network on bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork / DAB / Sky 0119 / Freeview 709 / Freesat 709 / Virgin 912