UP village sets code for men

Finally, it is the turn of men to face a code of conduct from the panchayat. A panchayat held in Haibatpur village in Muzaffarnagar district, on Saturday, declared that men up to 30 years of age would not be allowed to hang around unnecessarily at road crossings and public places.

Boys below 18 years of age, found smoking or chewing tobacco, will be punished. The elderly have also been ‘advised’ not to use hookah.

Naresh Kumar, a senior member of the panchayat, said that boys and men hanging around at public places without any work mostly indulge in eve-teasing and create nuisance.

“We have also barred boys from using bikes and mobiles, except in cases of emergency, because after getting these things they do not concentrate on studies and other household work,” he said.

The panchayat further decided that people demanding dowry would be banished from the community and has suggested that the groom should not be accompanied by more than 11 people in the wedding procession so that there would be lesser financial burden on the bride’s family. The panchayat was attended by members from 35 villages in the district.

Expectedly, the women in these villages have whole-heartedly welcomed the panchayat decision and have expressed the hope that the new code would make the men behave in a respectful and decent manner with the women.

“The society is patriarchal and unless the men change for the better, the society will not change,” said Kulwanti Devi, 65, a homemaker.

It may be recalled that earlier this month, a panchayat in Asra village in Baghpat district had banned men below 40 from using mobile phones and venturing out of the house without an escort. Later, in view of the widespread criticism, the panchayat said that the restrictions were ‘advisory in nature’ and not binding.

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