Tag Archives: khap

the wise old man was right?

I tried to make sense but I could not, I tried to process the recent events but I could not so I apologize to the Khap Panchayat leader on whose logic i had once laughed- when he said that western culture is leading to rape, when he said that men might take ages to be civil so women should be more careful, when he said that wearing jeans, getting education, travelling alone can cause rape, too much TV and late marriage is leading to rape….Everything he said seems right when i see what is happening around me.

He was a wise old man, too many wrinkles and a lot of smoke from his hooka, but he perhaps had understood the inbuilt flaw of our society- the fact that we accept( allow and encourage) men to be aggressive, violent and disrespectful. We have raised a society that accepts men to be aggressive, who play the role of either the oppressor or the protector (the cases of rape on men are either never reported) and sadly rape is looked down upon only because it seems like an insult to the woman’s honor and hence a proof of the lack of protection by the male chaperons. Which is why the Social stigma of being a rape victim much more than the stigma of a wife beating husband or a roadside harasser?

Many times police is asked why our cities are not safe, i am waiting for an office to tell them that cities are safer than homes, schools, buses also most of the rape cases are not reported and are done by some one the victim knows or trusts. Police has no mechanism to stop rape before it happens and the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ clause can not make them arrest every man who ever whistled at a woman as a ‘probable rapist’. Most importantly police can not enter you house to see if the females are being raped, they can not check each bus on the roads, they can defiantly not see if there is marital rape. NO one can and hence the only tool in the hands of the state is the have a strong law and ensure implementation. How tragic would the life of a rape victim be who has to see her culprits for years and years as they are released for lack of evidence and whom she sees once every few months in courts for years and years.

As crude as it sounds, Media likes news about rape, everyone had many opinions and every person wants to hear about it. The anchors are fighting over the details and needless to say the law (which has punishment for media if a rape/acid attack/social outcast victim is named or identified ) is forgotten in the race to have one 20 second exclusive. When leading papers talk of death sentence for the guilty, one wonders if they are speaking of a solution or of creating a barbaric entertainment set up which ensures TRPs and a continuation of aggression. Also sadly a very small minority sees rape as an exploitation of the woman’s sexuality and dignity, its more of ‘she is killed while she is still alive’….i wonder if rape by itself kills the victim or the culprit, who had a fall from humanity and brutally hurt another being.

Its not something a parents thinks of when his or her boy leaves home…If he would be bullied and harassed (PLease lets not call it eve teasing), If he would have to hear lewd remarks about his body, If he would be seeing inappropriate gestures or worse if he would be raped. These concerns are reserved for the girls and this concern leads to the notion that father and brother must play the ‘protector’ role thereby reinforcing the notion that protection can come from within the family, community or neighborhood.

Since times immemorial all mothers, aunts, elder sisters tell girls how to try and avoid trouble but when will fathers, uncles and elder brothers tell boys that they better not be the kind of person that tarnishes the family honor, until then people will have to find solace in the wise old man’s explanation.


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another ‘honour killing’ brings shame to Haryana

Vrinda Sharma

CHANDIGARH: The recent case of shameful killing of a 21-year-old, who went to Singhwal, 165 km from here, to bring his wife home after the court had ordered that she be freed from her parents’ illegal custody, is a proof of the supremacy of Khap Panchayats over law and police. Ved Pal Mor, who was lynched by villagers of Singhwal for marrying a girl of his Gotra, had the quiet assurance of having the might of law behind him, which did not measure up to the powerful caste Panchayat.

Ved, who practised medicine in Singhwal village, had fallen in love with Sonia, a local girl, however, her parents arranged her marriage with another youth. About a week before the wedding, they eloped and got married but the khap Panchayat of Banwala gotra, objected to their alliance on the grounds that the two villages shared boundary and there was ‘bhaichara’ (brotherhood) between them. In a fiendish display of authority the khap (caste) Panchayat, on March 20 issued a directive to kill the couple and save the honour of the community, prompting the youth to approach the court. The couple, who had started living in Matour village, was provided protection but the khap managed to separate the duo and bring the girl to her parents home about a month back, where she was kept in ‘illegal confinement’.

Ved took legal recourse and armed with a High Court order and accompanied by policemen, he had gone to his in-laws’ house where around 400 people attacked him. His body was placed on the main road for hours, before the administration removed it on Thursday morning. Police denies allegations of inaction by the victim’s family; Jind SP Satish Balan said on Thursday, ‘‘As soon as the team reached the village, Pal disappeared in the dark. By the time the policemen spotted him again, he was being thrashed by a mob.” He added that a case has been registered against the girl’s parents and 12 other villagers on the complaint of the warrant officer.

In Haryana, especially rural areas, caste Panchayats hold great influence and almost dictate social life and prohibit marriage within the same Gotra. A Gotra is the lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth. Marriages within the gotra are banned as people within the gotra are regarded as kin and marrying such a person would be thought of as incest. According to All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Haryana and Punjab alone account for 10 per cent of all honour killings in the country

One reason for the increased visibility of such crimes is the trend of more and more girls joining educational institutions, meeting others from different backgrounds and castes and establishing relationships beyond the confines of caste and community.

There is no category of crime, where parents kill their children for marrying the wrong person, in government records and there is refusal even to recognise this phenomenon. Data for such incidents are seldom available and they would mostly be classified under the category of general crimes. Unlike the recent cases where the police protection fled the victim, such cases do not gather media attention and often go unreported where first information reports (FIRs) are not filed and post-mortems are never conducted.

The worst part of the incident is that three days after Ved Pal was lynched by a mob, the police have failed to arrest the accused though they claim to have identified those involved in the crime. Also no action has been taken against the policemen who fled the spot only Narwana’s SHO has been suspended for failing to protect the life of the boy despite court orders. The state’s illegal khap Panchayats have also been doling out extra-judicial rulings to couples for violating social norms in getting married. The local administration, police and politicians also keep away from such killings and illegal decisions of community Panchayats, given the domination of the Jat community in the state.

The body, which the villagers had left on the road, has been cremated and around 100 policemen have been deployed in the two villages as authorities suspect that Sonia could be the next target.

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