The land of Gods and Goddesses, a multilingual nation, country with multiple religions, country with over thirty languages etc. are just a few to be mentioned epithets that could be used to describe India. It's for this evident reason that ours is a nation with varied customs, good and bad. We are, though, in the twenty first century, but still, many of us hold strong faith in the stone age rituals, which we call as necessary customs.
The first and foremost practice is of 'sati' which some of our legists such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy attempted to abolished with a little success, but which is still prevalent in some parts of India. This practice forces a widow, without choice, to get burnt alive on the pyre of her dead husband. This strange practice have been protested against by many in the history also, because one should not die before the time that has been set by one's destiny. Since the Mahabharata through the sixth century in the south India to the Akbar's reign and till now this ruthless practice is still carried out in some parts of the country.
Tulapurushadana is an interesting practice which is though not evident in the urban Indian culture at least. In this custom, during the king rules, in a beam balance, a combination of precious metals and gems and grains etc. was put at one side to equal the weight of the person sitting on the other side. These things were then distributed amongst the courtiers or the needy.
Dhama has been another disheartening practice in which a creditor starves himself to death at the door of a debtor who has been unable to pay back the dues. This way they believe that the ghost of the creditor would keep haunting the debtor's house. In this case a huge bribe was legal to save one from the 'ghost haunting'.
Swayamvara, meaning self chosen 'vara' or 'husband', is a practice in which a girl in an open assembly chooses her husband. This has been known since the ages of Mahabharata and Ramayana in India.
In some states in India where the population of girls is higher than the boys, it becomes difficult to have a groom for the daughters and for this reason, the families kidnap the desired groom to marry off their daughters. This tradition which was thought to be vanished in India seems to have sprung back in some parts of our country.
These are the strangest of the customs of India which at one time would make us have a hearties laugh and at other time would dishearten us. The new generation is coming up fast to abolish such orthodox traditions which are still carried out in some parts of the country. The efforts are strong enough to change the facet of our country so as to bring it a positive attention on the globe.