India village council loosens iron grip on rural life
Published on Jul 6, 2014 12:36 PM
BASS, India (AFP) - Yashpal Mor grew up watching men in his village stay single rather than defy the rules of the traditional council which controls Indian rural life with an iron grip.
For as long as anyone can remember, families in a cluster of villages north of the capital have lived under two sets of laws - those of the government and another imposed by unelected but powerful men.
From marriage to property and even the wearing of jeans, all-male councils, or khap panchayats, have issued diktats that have controlled life in much of Haryana state, which borders New Delhi.
"I have seen many men in our village remain unmarried all their lives," Mor told AFP in Bass, a village surrounded by lush farmland. "I don't want to share their fate."
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!