In another Panchayat, girls ask for their rights
Women held a panchayat to criticise the diktat of a Khap panchayat of Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh against using of mobile phones. They said that the directives were unjustified and against the right of women.
The women and girls in Muzaffarnagar district, around 150 km from Baghpat, flayed the 'diktat' and termed it 'talibani'.
'The Khap panchayats should ban social evils, not the rightful activities of females,' the women said in the meeting held at Dudahaidi village under Mansoorpur police station in Muzaffarnagar district there on Wednesday.
The Khap Panchayat of Baghpat, in its 'diktat' a few days ago, had said the females below the age of 40 should not be allowed to move out of the house alone and not use mobile phones. The views of the Khap Panchayat were supported by the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
The 'panchayat' of women, who sat on Wednesday, came down heavily on the 'diktat' and said tthat he Khap panchayat should issue directives against female foeticide, rape and eve-teasing instead of divesting the women community of their independence and their right to live in society.
They were of opinion that all restrictions were imposed on females only and the boys were spared. 'The girls will not tolerate the ban on use of mobile phones as women are matching their male counterparts in every field. The space foray of Sunita Williams being the latest example,' the women's panchayat said.
The women who had gathered were of the view that the restrictions were unjustified and if followed, they would not be able to even go to school and colleges. Why were women being restricted from moving out alone from the house except when it came to going to fields to work, they said pointing to double standards of the Khap panchayat.
They also said the women women were well aware of standards of decency and social norms and it prompted them not to wear jeans in the villages but the ban on mobile phones and their independence would be repulsed.
On the other hand, Yashpal Malik, the convenor of the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said the decision of the Khap panchayat in Aasra village of Baghpat taken last week was right.
The UP government had also been indecisive on the issue with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav remaining non-committal on the Khap panchayat's ban while senior minister Mohd Azam Khan had stated that everyone had the right to express one's views.
The Inspector General of Police (IG), law and order, of UP Badri Prasad Singh, when asked said it was not related to law and order and when such situation arose, the government would take appropriate action.