Panchayat bans skirts in schools
A panchayat in the Jat-dominated region of Uttar Pradesh, known for imposing controversial restrictions on women in the community, has banned schoolgirls above fifth standard from wearing skirts.
A “mahapanchayat”, (grand assembly) attended by hundreds of people belonging to the Jat community in Garh-Mawana area in Ghaziabad district, about 450 kilometres from here, imposed the bizarre restriction on school-goers on Sunday, asking them to wear salwar-kurta instead.
“The girls will wear salwar-kurta from sixth standard onwards,” the panchayat, chaired by Jat Mahasabha president Bhopal Singh, ordered. “We will speak to the managements of the schools and will make sure the order is implemented strictly,” said Singh. The panchayat also banned community feasts organised after the marriages as well as after deaths.
“A huge amount of money is spent on such feasts, as a result of which many members of the community face financial difficulties... these expenditures must be banned,” the community leader declared.
Almost a month ago, a panchayat of several community members at Asara village in the Jat dominated Baghpat district, had banned girls from wearing jeans and love marriages.
It warned the youth in the community of severe punishment if found violating the dictates. The panchayat had also banned use of cell phones by women.
“Love marriages will not be accepted... such couples will be thrown out of the villages,” the panchayat, attended by members of as many as 36 communities, including Hindus and Muslims, had declared. Panchayats in Uttar Pradesh have made a name for themselves by issuing controversial restrictions on women that have proved insensitive and out of touch with modern life. Some of the dictates they had issued in the past included death sentence for lovers.