Arvindji, does "social order" mean "raping women"?

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Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi, Jan 30: After the Birbhum gangrape shocker, Arvind Kejriwal has sent the world reeling over his opinion of abolishing the khap panchayat. According to an interview by him to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, "khaps" have a cultural purpose and should not be abolished.

Quite contrary to the populist image of the AAP as a party that is based on progressive thinking and women's empowerment. He said, "Khap Panchayats are a group of people who come together. There is no bar on people to assemble in this country ... (But) whenever they take a wrong decision, whenever they take an illegal decision, they ought to be punished."

Governed by men, the khap is known for its inhuman diktats against women, which include "honour killing". Apart from this, they do not allow women to wear western clothes and use mobile phone. In act, some village councils have demanded that the minimum age of marriage for women be reduced to 16 from 18 and to 21 for boys to avoid rape or any kind of social humiliation. It goes without saying that these councils have themselves turned out to be a source of atrocities against women.

Kejriwal's logic, however, is they have been governing the Indian villages for ages to come. Despite their brutalities, they have proved to be a de-facto court for millions of Indians who settle minor issues related to land, marriage, cattle etc, helping maintain social order in a country where the judiciary is inaccessible and slow.

Khap or no khap, Arvind's comments have done enough damage to the psyche of women.

OneIndia News

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