UP khap panchayat bans half pants, jeans, skirts

Uttar Pradesh khap panchayat bans half pants, jeans, skirts

Khap panchayats in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the 'Jat' dominated western region, have been known for such diktats

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

An Uttar Pradesh khap (caste) panchayat, in Muzaffarnagar district, about 500 kilometres from Lucknow, has banned half pants, jeans and skirts and warned men and women against wearing them.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the members of the khap panchayat of the 'Thakur' community, at Pippalshah village in the district.

According to the reports, the meeting was convened to discuss the strategy of the community in the forthcoming panchayat elections but a little later, the focus shifted to what the members termed ''social evils'' and stressed on strong measures to make people follow the age-old "culture" of the country.

''The men are seen wearing half pants, while the girls wear jeans and skirts....these dresses are against our culture and corrupt the society.'' said Puran Singh, who presided over the meeting.

Singh said that there is nothing wrong in providing opportunities to the girls to study but they should not be allowed to wear jeans and skirts. He also said that those not following the panchayat diktat would face 'social boycott'. 

Singh said that the community members should withdraw their children from schools and colleges, if they did not impose a similar ban on these dresses.

Khap panchayats in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the 'Jat' dominated western region, have been known for their bizarre diktats. In the past also, they had imposed similar bans. The khaps have been against love marriages and marriages within the same clan. In the past, several girls were killed by members of their own families for "safeguarding family honour" after they eloped with their lovers or got married in a different caste.