Village Council Slammed For Banning Love Marriages

by VR Sreeraman on  July 14, 2012 at 6:48 PM Lifestyle News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Font : A-A+

A village in northern India has banned "love marraiges" and has prohibited women below 40 years of age from shopping alone or using cell phones in public, according to reports.
 Village Council Slammed For Banning Love Marriages
Village Council Slammed For Banning Love Marriages

In a slew of restrictive measures on women's behavior, the council, or "panchayat," in the predominantly Muslim village Asara in Uttar Pradesh state also insisted women cover their heads in public, said the Press Trust of India.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram condemned the orders, saying they had "no place" in a democratic society.

"Police must act against anyone issuing such diktats. If anyone takes action against any young man or woman based on illegal village courts, then they must be arrested," Chidambaram said at a press conference.

Local police superintendent V.K. Shekhar told PTI that an inquiry had been ordered into the content and legality of the council restrictions.

Panchayats often comprise an unelected group of elders, who are seen as the social and moral arbiters of village life.

Although their rulings carry no legal weight, they can be highly influential and have been blamed for numerous abuses, such as sanctioning "honor killings" of women whose actions are deemed to have brought shame on their family.

The measures were swiftly condemned by women's rights groups.

"This notion that women up to the age of 40 need protection and need to be controlled is extremely chauvinistic and undermines all basic norms," said Sudha Sunder Raman, general secretary of the All India Democratic Women's Association.

The head of the National Commission for Women, Mamta Sharma, said the council rulings were "laughable" and unenforceable.

"Panchayats do not enjoy constitutional powers. And if there are no powers, there is no need to follow the orders," Sharma said.

Council representatives interviewed by the Mail Today newspaper said the rules were intended to safeguard women from "bad elements" in society.

Council member Sattar Ahmed said "love marriages" as opposed to parentally arranged marriages, were damaging and a "shame on society."

"It is very painful for the parents, specially the girl's family, because such marriages dent their respectability," Ahmed said.

The villagers themselves were reportedly satisfied with the panchayat rulings, saying they would help prevent young women being misled and forming unsuitable relationships.

"Mobile phones are a curse, especially for girls. I would have been more happy if the panchayat had completely banned girls from using mobile phones," villager Tarun Chaudhary told the Mail Today.

Source: AFP

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

More News on:

Sexual Intercourse Facts Flowers And What They Mean To Us 

News A - Z


News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store


News Category

News Archive