How elite medieval Rajputs ignored Hindu laws to practice polygamy
For the elite Rajputs the institution of marriage was necessary to produce warriors for future battles. As a result of this, women’s reproductive role in medieval Rajasthan society—especially among the Rajputs—was extremely important. Also, when other considerations of marriage were completely subordinated to political motives, it did not really matter that the groom already had other wives. Polygamous marriages of most Rajput rulers and chiefs was one way of maintaining political network of sagas which could always be called upon in an emergency.
Among the aristocracy we find the practice of polygamy right from the ancient to the medieval period, although it may have existed in different periods for different reasons. Although the Vedic ideal of marriage favoured monogamy, in spite of this ideal we find the royal personages having more than one wife. In the post-Vedic era, polygamy was an exceptional practice, even though theoretically approved. The Dharamshastras were . . .