Khap panchayat in UP bars boys from wearing shorts

After banning jeans for girls, Khap panchayat in Uttar Pradesh bars boys from wearing shorts

The khap panchayat directed boys to not roam in public wearing shorts as it is 'distasteful' and against the 'cultural traditions'

Representative image (iStock)

A few years ago, a powerful khap (caste) panchayat in Uttar Pradesh's 'Jat' dominated western region, had barred girls from wearing jeans and carrying mobile phones, branding them evils of the modern society that made the girls rebel against the family. The girls had then sought a ban on wearing of half pants by the boys.

The girls have the last laugh as the same khap panchayat now directed the boys to not roam in public wearing shorts as it is 'distasteful' and against the ''cultural traditions''.

''The boys must not roam in the markets in shorts...those found doing so will be punished,'' Naresh Tikait, president of the powerful 'Baliyan' khap, said.

''The elders had objected to the wearing of the shorts by the boys...it does not look good if they (boys) roam in the villages and markets in half pants,'' he added.

Tikait, who was also the president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), said that the khap panchayat had earlier banned the girls from wearing jeans and carrying mobiles.

''The girls had then requested us to impose a similar ban on the boys, who wore half pants....their demand is proper,'' he said.

According to another member of the 'Baliyan' khap panchayat, a youth from Muzaffarnagar district in the state had been caught roaming naked after winning a bet. ''The incident had then sparked tension in the area,'' he remarked.

Khap panchayats are known for their bizarre diktats. They had earlier banned love marriages and marriages in the same 'gotra' and vowed to punish those, who married without the consent of the family.

Though the diktats of the khap panchayats have no legal sanctity, they are followed in the rural areas, especially, in the regions where the khap panchayats are powerful.