This is the stupidity of interpreting Hindu customs through the lens of Christianity. Neither Swayamvara nor Kanyādāna are about the woman becoming the property of the husband. Because our liberals have no brains of their own, so they copy and paste criticisms of marriage from the West.
In Vedic tradition, a man becomes eligible to be a Yajamāna (the one who officiates a Yajña) only after he is married. And the Yajña must be performed by the Pati (man head) and Patnī (woman head) together. They are partners of Karma (action) in Dharma. The woman is not property.
The educated liberals would say Kanyādāna means the woman is being treated as property and given to the custodianship of the man. This is ridiculous. If she is property, why does she have Adhikāra (rights, authorities) of her own? Why does she chant the Mantras (which she must)?
A copy and paste of criticism of Christian marriage onto Hindu Dharma doesn’t work. Nobody “officiates” a Hindu wedding. The priest chanting Mantras is not there to certify the marriage. He is simply a prompt, telling which Mantras the bride and the groom themselves must say.
Prior to wedding, the bridegroom must get Upanayana, the certification that he understands the method and the meaning of the Yajña. The bride needs to go through Kanyādāna, as the Karma she accrues from then on in any Yajña (including the wedding) no longer belongs to her father.
Liberal heroes will still ask, why is the woman not getting certified with an Upanayana too? Well, there is a division of responsibilities between husband and wife. But both are needed for the Yajña. That is the whole point of Yajña, being different but seeing one in each other.
If everyone is the same, there is no point in Yajña. This is a fundamental difference between Dharmic and Christian (or Islamic) views. Hindus have Yajña and recognize its importance. The Non-Dharmics don’t. They expect everyone will be judged by the same yardstick of rules.
In Hindu Dharma, men and women don’t have the same responsibilities as they simply don’t have the same bodies. But both are needed for the Yajña, that is the point. If they are all the same, there is no point in Yajña at all. It is ridiculous that we have to explain all this today.
(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of @vakibs)