To Baghpat village elders: Self reliance and education, and not cell phone bans and covered heads empower women and society.

“In a village when five or six girls run away from the village then it becomes a problem…” said a politician. (‘Running away’ is actually, not ‘running away’ but adult citizens marrying someone they choose to, possibly from an unapproved of caste or community.)

So, who do these choice marriages become a problem for?

Technology, education and exposure empowers women. And empowered women are able to choose their own partners. If women begin to choose their own partners, who would marry misogynists with Talibani and Khap mindsets?

But then, why would any father want to see his daughter married to a disrespectful misogynist?

Maybe because choice marriages disrupt caste, class and and gender hierarchies?

And maybe because many Indian ‘elders’ don’t really understand why a man should care for the happiness of his children or spouse?

The media seems to be outraged by these Taliban/Khap like diktats, but I am sure they have plenty of supporters too😦

[Baghpat panchayat issues Talibani diktat for women]

The village panchayat has put a total ban on women under 40 years from visiting local markets, using cellphones and being seen in public without their head covered….

The panchayat has also issued instructions that anyone resorting to love-marriage will face a total boycott from community and those found helping them out will be dealt with similarly.

The panchayat is of the view that such restrictions will help ensure that young boys and girls with ‘naive’ minds are not driven towards “filmi love affairs” and spoil their life.

Ironically, when approached by the media persons, the women residents of the village first supported the ban, but when probed further there were many voices of protest.

And although these 36 Biradari Panchayat diktats are against the Indian Constitution, the local politicians are not likely to take any action because they might lose the next elections if they do so.

love marriages have been banned and women below the age of 40 years barred from going out for shopping and using mobile phones outside their homes …

The panchayat in Asara village in Ramala area also ruled that when women leave their homes, their heads must be covered.

The diktats were issued during a meeting of the panchayat held on Wednesday

Banning love marriages, the panchayat said those doing so would not be allowed to live in the village.

Superintendent of Police, Baghpat, VK Shekhar said he has been informed about the diktats …

He said no arrest has been made in connection with the panchayat’s directives and any action that may be needed would be taken after getting the inquiry report.

National Commission for Women chief Mamta Sharma …

“Panchayats do not enjoy constitutional powers. And if there are no powers, there is no need to follow the orders,”

Is there any hope for women in these villages? Aren’t Indian women also citizens of this country?

24 thoughts on “To Baghpat village elders: Self reliance and education, and not cell phone bans and covered heads empower women and society.

  1. Who empowers the khap? The villagers do. If it was just a bunch of men sitting around trying to pass orders, no one would care. The villagers give khap the power.

    You know what scares these people into issuing such diktats? They fear that once women are able to meet, discuss and make their own decisions, there will be no one left to listen to their neanderthal rants and provide them care now and in their old age. All this upholding the Indian culture talk in BS. They know that in a love marriage, the husband is more likely to see his wife as a person rather than a family slave. Which means that they cannot get away with getting the perks of a slave DIL without risking losing their son in the process.

    Why else would they reject love marriages even within the same caste?

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    • I don’t think the main motivation behind this is fear of losing elder care. The main fear is of having no mates, I think the effort on the part of men to make sure that they have women available for themselves, is one of the biggest factors contributing to misogyny.

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      • And why do misogynists want mates? To love and cherish for the rest of their lives. They want women to provide care for them and they know that no empowered woman will fall for their BS.

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  2. Fortunately these khaps don’t read blogs.
    Or else the next dictat will be against women homemakers writing blogs!
    Gosh, what will happen to commentators like me?
    Where do I go with all my comments?

    I say, simply igmore these old fossils.
    I don’t trust the politicians to do anything about it.
    They are obviously worried about their votes.
    Amir Khan , are you listening?
    Here is material for another episode of SMJ being handed to you on a platter.

    Regards
    GV

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  3. As a child, I used to find taliban/khap/honour killings absolutely unbelievable.. As I grew up and learned more about them, I started realizing that no matter how unjust, how unconstitutional, but it does exist.. However, I always felt that the common people must protest.. Today, I feel that the villagers are helpless..

    We, find it very easy, to discuss and comment on blogs.. Think about them, if they dare to love a person and dare to marry the same person, they would be killed, and if their families choose to support them, they would be boycotted.. no food, no water, no means of survival in a place where everyone boycotts you..If at all they choose to protest and fight back, where would they go for support? 1. Other villagers – they boycott them already..
    2. Police – Even they believe and follow khap rules because they belong to the same community..
    And all those people commenting here, ask yourself, (I even ask myself) would you choose to fight for a person you love, if you know that there would be just one consequence if you can’t escape- a brutal murder..

    If people manage to elope, they can go to shelter homes and ask for protection in cities.. That seems to be the only option.. Out of so many couples who chose to marry, two or three must have survived,rest were killed.. I’m using numbers here because I had written a blog about honor killings once and I had studied all stats..(stats according to the cases that were reported, as you know more number of cases are never reported)

    And they’re not only ruining lives of women, men are also affected for this is what they’re doing to the youth of the nation- killing young men and women before they could contribute to the country’s growth..
    Apart from honor killings, the life of a woman is a living hell.. These rules state this.. But, unfortunately, the villagers themselves empower the khap.. They do not even find it wrong.. All men are blind supporters, women are too scared to raise their voice..
    And they would continue to make these rules for these rules empower them and their dictatorship goes stronger..

    The only solution is a strict action.. a strict investigation by policemen and politicians from different cities (and not from the same region).. wherein women get a right to speak, where all ‘elders’ responsible for killings could be arrested..
    But, unfortunately, all politicians do is to “condemn” these things, why would they take an action?😦 Most of the shelter homes exist because of individual efforts only..
    Well, Every young citizen of India grows up asking these questions, and after a few more decades he/she accepts that nothing can happen😦
    why can’t the media ask for something like this, a complete police force against these dictators to put an end to dictatorship? When India is a democracy with its own constitution, why can’t unconstitutional and inhuman evils come to an end?

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      • This is the link.. Its a very old post..

        http://soniabhatia.blogspot.in/2010/06/when-life-is-worth-less-than-honour.html

        IHM, what disappoints me is that when I write stupid articles like classification of guys and fiction stories for fun,people share it and love it..But when I wrote this post,the same followers among my friends did not even read..
        However, when the same topic was a part of Satyamev Jayate, everyone was talking about honor killings only..
        Why do youngsters in India need a TV show by a popular Bollywood actor to think about social evils of their own country??

        Secondly, for all those people who say that blogs/media/discussions can never help at all, things would remain the same.. Don’t forget the Jessica murder case.. Had there been no candle light marches, no involvement of media, nothing would have happened..
        And now, ask yourself, if you ( via the media, the blog writers, via candle lights) can get together for a girl who was murdered, why can’t you get together for several villagers, to pressurize the government to arrest these people? What is more important an issue, a case where one girl was murdered or hundreds and thousands of fellow Indians living a life of slavery and injustice, where people need an excuse to kill other people?!

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        • I agree that blogs, tweets, facebook shares can make a difference – every such positive act can make a difference. Why else were we given the right to Freedom of Expression?

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  4. Sorry state of affairs. May be one of the reason that this happens in a village just 60 kms away from India’s capital city is the fact that India’s economic development is exclusive and leave behind a large mass of people in the hands of feudal lords or Maoists.

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  5. IHM,
    Khaps exist because our political system allows them to exist. There is no one else to blame. And that is the only reason that women are kept as slaves.
    It is a very sorry state of affair where our political system does not care about women. What is the point of being educated and sitting at such a high position when your brain is still medival? I wish all the women in those villages gather together and stone that stupid politician who supported the decision.

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  6. i am reminded of the movie”khap”. we talk about india becoming hightec and getting advanced, where as in other end, we ourselves are not allowing ourselves to develop.. why is that women face almost all the problem in our nation. starting from molesting to not being given freedom..😦..

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  11. Those elders in that panchayat deserve to be hanged in public by their heels, just as Mussolini was hanged by a resurgent Italian citizenry. Just who do those fascists think they are? Also, bear in mind that the Indian Constitution easily overrules panchayats and traditions. Women under Indian law have the same rights as men, and have every legal right to marry any man who is single. The cellphone ban is not only sexist but ridiculous. If worse comes to worse, the central government might need to send the Indian army in, just as the United States sent troops to the South in Martin Luther King’s day to enforce desegregation.

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