After two youngsters who lived in neighbouring houses married for love, the enraged panchayat passed a resolution banning love marriages. Not content with that, they also pasted an order asking residents to socially boycott the family at several places in the village.
On April 29, members of the gram panchayat, local gurdwara committee and village sports clubs signed a resolution to boycott couples marrying for love. This came after a woman and a youth who lived in the same street married each other.
Falling in love has been forbidden by a diktat, in a village in Punjab’s Ludhiana district. The diktat also imposes a complete ban on love marriages as well.
Couples and families preferring to go against the diktat will be ostracized in the village, warns the resolution passed by natives of Chankoian Khurd village in Ludhiana. Ironically, the resolution was met with little resistance and ‘unanimously’ passed, at least overtly, in a well-attended meeting a few days ago.
The diktat threatens to boycott consenting adults who fall in love and eventually get married. The edict warns of severe consequences in case of any attempt to subvert or displace the directions. Local traders, shopkeepers have been advised against any business transactions with erring couples. This in effect would mean that couples entering into wedlock out of love will struggle to even procure provisions of daily needs.
Sources say, the diktat was signed by members of the gram panchayat, the local Sikh shrine committee and the village sports club.
Officiating village headman, Hakam Singh, firmly argues in support of the diktat stating that past incidents of love marriages here had brought a bad name to the village.
Such diktats are arguably uncommon in Punjab. In contrast, in neighbouring Haryana, having a skewed sex ratio and dominated by several self-styled Khap panchayats, uncanny diktats are common. Last month, a village in Rohtak banned girls from using mobile phones and wearing jeans. The logic was that smart phones facilitate girls to elope with boys and wearing jeans attracts the opposite gender.
Khaps in Haryana have often come out with diktats, bereft of prudence and judicial sanctity, where even married couples have been declared siblings after annulling marriages. In the case of the Ludhiana village diktat, officials said, it does not have any legal authority and those found thrusting terms of the resolution on consenting adults will be dealt with as per the provisions of law.
Justifying the resolution, acting sarpanch Hakam Singh said it is not a diktat and has been passed by the entire village. He said after the couple got married, the girl’s grandfather and other family members came to them asking for such a resolution, saying they would set themselves on fire if it was not passed.