How does the society end the heinous practice of honour killings? A khap panchayat in Haryana has claimed to have found the answer: stop girls above ten years from wearing jeans and using mobile phones!
The medieval diktat was issued by the Barha khap panchayat at Birhore village, 35 kms from Haryana’s Jhajjar town on Sunday.
The ban comes barely a week after a young couple was killed at Garnawati village, 8 km from here, by the girl’s family for bringing dishonour to the family. The couple -- Dharmender and Nidhi were allegedly killed by the girl’s parents and relatives on September 18 after they tied the knot against the wishes of their families. Both were of the same gotra and were from the same village and marriages within the same village and community are not allowed.
Explaining the rationale behind the diktat, sarpanch of Biror village Rajesh Kumar told Hindustan Times that often girls, especially college-going girls, wear “provocative clothes”, which invite the attention of their male counterparts, which ultimately leads to increase in crime against women.
He said that the new directive would be imposed on all girls above ten years of age and a delegation of khap would oversee its implementation in private schools, colleges and other places the girls visit.
The decision to impose the ban was taken at a meeting of the khap presided over by Jagdev Singh, pardan of Biror Barha khap.
On the reason for the new restrictions on girls, Rajesh Kumar said that the manner in which the runaway couple was killed by family-members at Garnawati village and family-members sent behind bars, has forced the khaps to formulate a way out to tackle the “new menace”.
Another khap leader said that family-members would be asked to prevent their girls, if they are above ten years of age, from wearing jeans and other western outfits and opt for salwar-kurta to “avoid” attention of males. He said that in a similar manner, girls would not be allowed to use mobile phones. Both school and college-going girls would have to adhere to the new ban.
Significantly, in an attempt to keep an eye on violators, monthly meetings would be held within the Barha khap villages.