Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

Haryana doesn’t want daughters to be born because daughters  are not seen as children, heirs or family members.

Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

A Haryana panchayat has banned married women in the village from seeking a share of parental property. The panchayat, which was attended by over 400 villagers, was held at Thua village in Jind last week…

Activists have termed the move illegal as the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, states that daughters enjoy equal rights over family property. Deputy commissioner of Jind, Yudhbir Singh Khyalia, has slapped a showcause notice on the village sarpanch and demanded an explanation for the violation of constitutional rights. Ironically, the order came from a woman sarpanch, Santosh Rani. “We will take action after receiving her reply,” the police officer said.

The panchayat resolution states: “Every girl will have to part with her share of parental land and hand it over to her brothers. If she has no brother, she will give it to other family members at her parental home. If a woman violates the diktat, she will face social boycott and have to pay a fine.” Village pradhan Amar Lal Kaliramna has gone a step further. He said even those who will buy land from married women will be ostracized.

Jind Bar Council member Vinod Bansal said, “If a girl approaches the court, she’ll get her share of her property. After her father’s death, property is transferred to legal heirs, which includes daughters.” [Link: Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property]

How honor killings are linked to property rights for women.

Jagmati Sangwan (during the  discussion after the screening of ‘Izzatnagar ki asabhya betiyan’ -The Immoral Daughters in the Land of Honour.)

A rough translation.

“On paper daughters have property rights, if the daughters try to claim this right, they can be ostracized or killed.

Now when girls started choosing ‘choice-marriage’, there were fears that now they might start claiming the property rights which were till now only on paper, and they have started making these claims too… Now when land is being sold, and so much money is being made, then girls want that they should also get their share. Now when marriages happen where there is equality, and when women aspire for equality, then there is a risk that girls would get emboldened to claim their share in property too, and this is what has got these men terrified, that today they are choosing their partners, next they could claim for their equal rights in property share… this is the threat that has got them so worried.”

Do you think families and communities who deny an equal share in property to their daughters, could honestly say that they love them equally, and if they don’t/can’t, then can they be trusted to make unprejudiced decisions for their daughter’s future?

Related posts:

Equal Rights and Opportunities for all?
Reservation by custom and tradition is acceptable.
Dheeyaan dee maa rani, bhudhaapey bharey paani
Parents should choose the boy for a girl aged below 21, as it is they who bear the brunt of an unsuccessful marriage – Karnataka HC
Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?
Can Dowry be compared to Inheritance?
The traditional arrangement is equal in distributing the responsibilities?
What is equality?
…for the welfare of women certain customs were formulated
The Powers of the Protectors.
Paraya dhan and her limited rights.
Miyan Biwi razi to BAN karega Kazi?
Is it possible to solve a problem without treating the cause?
Indian family values are good for Indian daughters?
A woman is not a woman’s worst enemy. Patriarchy is.
The interference of parents in the married life of their daughters…
India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study
Don’t treat the cause, the problem will never go.
A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.
“My wife often rakes up property issues, or rues the expenses on my father’s ill-health.”
Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.
Four kinds of marriages in modern India. Which ones would you ban?
Can you be equal if you are not allowed to make equal contribution?
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Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

53 thoughts on “Haryana panchayat cuts off married girls from parents’ property

  1. As per my understanding of property rights I do not think the Panchayat has any jurisdiction on property rights. This particular Panchayat should be dismissed and members arrested as ‘suggestion on social ostracization’ can be taken as hate /discriminatory speech at the very least and threatening with violence at the very most.

    Unfortunately our lawmakers are more concerned with strange odours in the house to some cartoons from the 60s…

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    • Only if they approach the court they would get their share of the property. How about initiating proceedings on the village panchayat. And a lady panchayat head making this ruling. You’ve got to be kidding me! When are women going to start treating other women as humans! Shudder.

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  2. When a daughter is considered an outsider to such an extent, how can the parents be trusted to be fair with her? No wonder people try to ‘marry off’ their daughters as soon as possible. After all, the way they see it, their responsibility ends there. Is it any wonder that nobody wants girls in these parts.

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  3. I condemn this.
    I am also shocked at the mentality of the Haryana Panchayat.
    If the Govt has guts, they will round up these medieval despots and show them their place.
    Social organisations must come forward to oppose this panchayat and protect the women who make rightful claims and also offer them all legal help.
    Will the Government or any political party act in time to nip this in the bud?
    Or will they be worried about the possible loss in votes
    Has a single Khap Panchayat member been proceeded against for opposing sagotra marriages or love marriages and punishing couples who defied their orders?
    I wonder where our rural society in these backward regions is heading.
    Hopefully this will remain a local issue and other panchayats in other parts of the country will not be inspired to emulate this panchayat.
    Regards
    GV

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  4. Unfortunately, when it comes to cultural diktats and traditions like this, the government chooses to stay out, since taking any action means a possible political backlash. In this case, people will have to organise and fight against these archaic practices, to bring the rule of the law to these Panchayat strong holds.
     
    In a sort of inversion, this sounds the opposite of my culture, where men have to fight for their property and household rights. The same goon style mafia rule that defends ‘culture’ and threatens dissidents.

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  5. These Panchayats have created rules to ensure girls remain weak whether in her parental home or in her marital home. The only way a girl can be empowered is by giving her equal rights and equal share in the parental property. If parents care for their daughters, they will create a safety net for her.

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    • Very true… The lack of this safety net and on top of that all these threats, and Patriarchal customs, are what make parents see daughters as liabilities. And that leads to skewed sex ratio and all the other related consequences.

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  6. Haryana is far away, its the same in Delhi. There are numerous villages in and around Delhi. While law permits daughters to have an equal share in ancestral property, people will ostracize you and threaten you in case you demand your rights.
    If a father wills his property to the daughter the whole village will stand up in arms. And if you think that officers of law aka lawyers will help you out, well just forget it!!
    None of them will dare say a word, their position in the community is worth lot more.

    This is Delhi, this is India, and this is a first hand experience!

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  7. The laws for women in India entail equality, the irony is traditional tyranny has become the law in India, especially for the fairer sex.! Let that be the surname changing business after marriage or this.! This shows how deeply polluted the society is.! patriarchal pollution as I call it.!

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    • I am thinking of not changing my surname at all. Not that I dont love my husband or his family. But 1. Its way too much work and effort to keep everything in sync and carry everything all the time. 2. I dont see the point. What difference does it make. 3. My name has been my identity for 25 years. How does it just change?

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  8. Village voodoo instead of a real grip on legal rights. And this is 21st century! Shame.

    There is really nothing else to say on this.

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    • kanyadan itself shows in some states people treat girls as a commodity..two days before news heard about two girls topped in civil servces..n now news comes girls can not claim in property…it is k if parents want to give it anybody whether its brother , sister or any outsider but if parents die without giving it to any body or making any will..then ?..its unbealievale a woman sarpanch is against women rights..the parents love cannot be questioned ..all parents love their children from the bottom of their heart…but then regarding property…in that case where goes their love..one side they want to go to swarg by doing kanyadan and by not taking even water of the girls house , on the other hand they usurp all the rights of their daughters,sisters etc etc.. will they go to heaven or to hell?

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  9. Now women in Haryana HAVE to ask for their share. Even if they not care for it, or their sibling needs it or whatever. They can deed it to whom thy want but claim it they must. And no self-respecting, decent, loving parent should see any difference between heir kids. Fight Haryanvi women it’s your birthright.

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  10. Something is disturbing me IHM. As long as the system of Dowry prevails, i feel this issue is not as straightforward as one thinks it is. For example. Imagine a family, who spends lakhs on a girls wedding according to the social dictate(which i obviously condemn). Imagine giving the daughter lot’s of gold ( which happens in south india- not sure about northindia). I personally know brothers under the pressure of the responsibility they feel towards their sister’s wedding. I actually feel sorry for them because the time they have to enjoy their lives they are stricken with worry and amassing money for the wedding.

    Oh by the way nowadays the name Dowry is not there. It is the “GIFT” that the family of the girl give to her. Now how would any boy’s family refuse that.It would be so totally unfair to the girl an her family no????”. (

    In such cases is it fair of the daughter to also have an equal share in the parental property. Isn’t Dowry and the issue of Parental property related.

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  11. So let me get this correctly…

    A girl gets a stake in a) her own parents property and b) her in-laws family’s property
    *while*
    A guy only gets a stake in a) his own parents property

    Call me rude but if a girl can get a stake in her in-laws house then why isn’t the guy getting a stake in HIS in-laws house?

    Does this logic make me a women hater? Or is my man-brain incapable of thinking at the level of this blogger?

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    • @Anil

      1. A girl inherits only from her own parents/grand parents, her husband also inherits only from his own parents/parents. Their siblings get their shares (unless willed out of inheritance etc)

      2. While they are married to each other, they are able to make use of each other’s inheritance (like living in houses they have inherited, use of cash, jewelery etc) – but the ownership of the inheritance remains with the person who has inherited it.
      If one of them dies, the other might inherit a part of it, I think it is to be divided between the children and spouse.

      3. If the girl’s parents give dowry, some of it is used by the husband’s family, for example, for his sister’s dowry etc. The couple may or may not use the dowry for themselves. Dowry makes daughters a liability, doesn’t empower them the way inheritance does.

      4. If the woman receives gold from her in laws’ as gifts – again there is a chance that it is given again to the next daughter in law or to the sister in law, or it stays with the mother in law for safe-keeping. The couple may or may not be able to use it. And again buying gold for children burdens the parents, leaving inheritance means they can enjoy their wealth till their last days – it becomes a safety net for their old age.

      5. If there is a divorce, even then the inheritance remains with the person who inherited it (only what is earned during the marriage is divided, if at all).

      6. I would like to know your views on this too, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/dowry-for-daughters-inheritance-for-sons/

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      • IHM, with all due respect, If I marry a rich girl, her family is going to give her away to me with a one time lump sum gift in cash or material. That’s it. Her parents and brothers aren’t going to give her anything more. She won’t be entitled to anything in the future. That’s a fact.

        Why? Because she will inherit my parents property(as she being my wife and I being her husband). Her brothers will inherit her parents property.

        That is how the indian system works. The girl(any girl) becomes a stakeholder in her future husbands property. If you’re entitling her to a part in a) her parents property and b) her future husbands property then this is going to make thing very complex.

        I know for a fact that the hindu succession act for equal rights in property regardless of gender is not widely followed. The hindu female does not make her claim in her parents property. Instead, the community acknowledges that the hindu female switches side to her husbands family after marriage and hence gets equal share in her in-laws inheritance.

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        • //Her parents and brothers aren’t going to give her anything more. She won’t be entitled to anything in the future. That’s a fact.//

          She will remain as much entitled to parental property as her brothers, as per Indian law. She can take her parents, brothers to court if they try to cut her out of the inheritance. She only has to stake a claim. It is another matter that not many girls do that, for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this discussion.

          //Why? Because she will inherit my parents property(as she being my wife and I being her husband).//

          You will do well to brush up your legal general knowledge. Your wife will only inherit a PART of your parental property and then only if she happens to OUTLIVE you. She will have NO rights to your inheritance as long as you are alive. Please read IHM’s comment above once again.

          The custom of dowry harms women in more ways than one. First it makes the girl child spectacularly unwanted. Second, it gives her parents an excuse to cut her out, hoping she will not claim her share of parental property since they’ve already spent so much on her marriage. This results in women being severely shortchanged in property matters.

          //Instead, the community acknowledges that the hindu female switches side to her husbands family after marriage and hence gets equal share in her in-laws inheritance.//

          Equal share in her in-laws’ property? You mean you think your parents property will be divided equally between you and your wife? Come on, now! Equal share in in-laws’ property is a myth our society loves to propagate in order to lull Hindu females into a false sense of security.
          This only shows that a lot of what the community ‘acknowledges’ as the rights and privileges of Hindu females is pure hogwash.

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    • A guy can inherit from his in-laws if his wife got her rightful share of her arental property and died :-) once he’s married what the own is jointly owned right. Just lie if he inherits and dies he gets what they owned?????

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  12. quoting scribblehappy

    She will remain as much entitled to parental property as her brothers, as per Indian law.
    On the ground, there is difference between law and actual practice.

    She can take her parents, brothers to court if they try to cut her out of the inheritance.
    Yet she won’t do that. She won’t make the claim in the first place. As I said before, she has switched sides with her husbands family after marriage.

    Your wife will only inherit a PART of your parental property and then only if she happens to OUTLIVE you.
    This is not true. She will inherit my family’s property as a equal partner in an agreement from our marriage. Similarly, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives. That’s the indian system.

    First it makes the girl child spectacularly unwanted.
    The only reason why a girl child is not wanted is because she is a liability. How many daughters are truly independent in india? How many daughters can do without marriage in india? Don’t give me anomaly examples of this women or that women you know as being independent but give me a statistic… 75%? 50%? 25%? What is the percentage of women that do not choose to live a life of dependency? If a large no of these girls are dependent then they are a liability and hence unwanted.

    Equal share in her in-laws’ property? Come on, now!
    Ownership of property is made in an individuals name(ie, me). But our marriage contract entitles her to my property and my assets. Those are not my views but they are actually facts.

    The hindu system(the one that is followed) has always been a patriarchal system. The state take over and rewrote the whole hindu law but the problem is that creating a law and enforcing the law is very difficult because public consensus is not in your favour.

    When you create a law, you have to take the public on board, discuss it and win their consensus. Make them agree with you and then the law becomes truly democratic and enforcement will be voluntary. The current hindu law is none of it and so the results are not surprising.

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    • @ Anil –
      //there is difference between law and actual practice.//

      => Since the legal rights are there, more and more women would be able to claim these rights. Khap or no khap.

      //Yet she won’t do that. She won’t make the claim in the first place. As I said before, she has switched sides with her husbands family after marriage.//

      => Women only need to claim when they are denied their rightful share, which does happen and the post is about how far some communities are going to prevent this. And do consider, what happens if a woman does not want to marry, say she chooses a live-in relationship or just adopt some children?

      //She will inherit my family’s property as a equal partner in an agreement from our marriage. Similarly, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives. That’s the indian system.//

      => This is why life for widows, single mothers, women who are deserted by their husbands, divorced women or unmarried women is not easy. Every individual has (and should have) equal rights. A woman’s fate should not (and need not) depend on her marriage. In the present system, some parents often give more than her rightful share to the daughters in dowry – which goes not go her but to her in laws, and in some cases the daughter is given neither dowry not inheritance.

      //The only reason why a girl child is not wanted is because she is a liability. How many daughters are truly independent in india? How many daughters can do without marriage in india? Don’t give me anomaly examples of this women or that women you know as being independent but give me a statistic… 75%? 50%? 25%? What is the percentage of women that do not choose to live a life of dependency? If a large no of these girls are dependent then they are a liability and hence unwanted.//

      => Daughters are seen as liabilities because they are seen as ‘paraya dhan’ who have to ‘switch sides’ and belong to their spouses’ family when they are married. Sons are seen as ‘budhape ka sahara’ and hence ‘assets’. The only way for this to change is that all children be seen as (legally they are) equal – which means equal rights and responsibilities. Equal property rights, and equal responsibilities to care for their parents and families.
      It also frees brothers from having to support the sisters life long, instead now siblings are a team, they stand by each other and support each other, as and when needed, including in caring for the parents.

      // Ownership of property is made in an individuals name(ie, me). But our marriage contract entitles her to my property and my assets. Those are not my views but they are actually facts.//

      => And this makes her dependent on the husband and her in laws. If women had their own property like everybody else, they would have more control over their own lives and happiness. How does this benefit their brothers and husbands? They would not get any dowries, but they would have equal partners as life-partners, not someone who depends on them, but someone who is a team mate and a friend. Eventually this should bring down the stress men are always under to be ‘providers’ – they would be able to follow their hearts (music, art, poetry, photography, acting…) and be able to think beyond earning and providing for their future and present families.

      //The hindu system(the one that is followed) has always been a patriarchal system. The state take over and rewrote the whole hindu law but the problem is that creating a law and enforcing the law is very difficult because public consensus is not in your favour.//

      => Giving more rights to some people, have created a system where parents don’t even want to give birth to daughters. Patriarchy is responsible for dowry, baby girl killing and skewed sex ratio (all are rampant in societies that are rigidly patriarchal) and other social evils.

      //When you create a law, you have to take the public on board, discuss it and win their consensus. Make them agree with you and then the law becomes truly democratic and enforcement will be voluntary. The current hindu law is none of it and so the results are not surprising.//

      => Thankfully we live in a Democratic country and religion and tradition cannot be used to treat some equal citizens as lesser citizens.

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    • // The only reason why a girl child is not wanted is because she is a liability. How many daughters are truly independent in india? How many daughters can do without marriage in india? Don’t give me anomaly examples of this women or that women you know as being independent but give me a statistic… 75%? 50%? 25%? What is the percentage of women that do not choose to live a life of dependency? If a large no of these girls are dependent then they are a liability and hence unwanted. //

      Girls are treated as a liability because patriarchy treats them that way. They are not given oppurtunities to prove themselves. They are repressed since birth saying, she doesnt need to earn money and can stay at home. Also, the family has to provide for her life time interms of gifts etc.

      In my experience, women( both educated and uneducated) are able to fend for themselves and their families successfully when the need came and such customs become the burden. Its not the girls themselves that are the burden

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  14. once i was proud of being haryanavi but now i myself feel ashamed of me to belong to a state which no less than taliban i dont believe in gotra n will to my love only

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  29. I guess this would eventually result in men marrying outside the community too, that I think would be a good thing…
    Does it ever happen that when they are not being approved as Prospective Bridegrooms by women who are empowered enough to refuse… then they might marry women who aren’t allowed to have a say in who marry? Like men in Haryana can’t find brides in their own community and so they are buying brides from other states :(

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