Expressing grave concern over continuing preference for boys in society, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary B.V. Raghuvalu stressed the need for cherishing the girl child for a better society.

Attending a ‘progressive wedding’ sans rituals to CPI(M) leader Punati Anjaneyulu’s son S. Bharath with Sravani late on Wednesday night, Mr. Raghvalu said realisation should dawn among people that “it is daughters who took care of parents better than sons during old age.”

The signs of marriage like mangalasutra, rings etc., should be applied to men too, Mr. Raghavulu said.

Women could not be taken for granted any longer and it was better for men to graciously note the changing times and voluntarily treat them as equal partners, he added.

According to provisional data released by 2011 census report, the child sex ratio in the country had dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males, the lowest since Independence.

Performing the progressive wedding, MLC Vitapu Basubrahmanyam, a lecturer in Telugu and with good knowledge of sanskrit, said eight types of marriages existed during the vedic times.

It was through ‘Gandharva vivham’ King Dushyantha united with Shakuntala and gave birth to Bharath from whom the country got its name, he said. Gandharva marriage based on mutual attraction between a man and a woman, with no rituals, witnesses or family participation, was very natural to India. The practice of tying Mangalasutra had come into vogue about 500 years only, he observed. More than rituals, the democratic spirit of treating the man and wife as equal partners was important, he added. CPI(M) Central Committee member Patturi Ramaiah, CPI State committee member Ravula Venkaiah, YSR Congress leader Dara Sambaiah and BJP leader B. Narasimha Rao were among those present.

The child sex ratio in the country has dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males