#India -Bonded brides – Molki women on Sale #Vaw #Trafficking


ASHOK KUMAR, The Hindu

Marriage or shackles? Molki women lead a life of subjugation.
APMarriage or shackles? Molki women lead a life of subjugation.

Trafficked brides in Haryana are reduced to sex objects and cheap labour.

Import of women to Haryana as brides from far-off regions outside the State is by now a known trend, but a recent study on the social status and rights of these women, usually referred as paro or molki (meaning purchased), reveals how they cut from their people, native place and culture forever, end up as “sex toys” in bed and cheap labourers in the fields. They end up with no right to property or to interfere in family and social matters, even as the police, the media and society as large turns its back to the issue.

“Though the trend of bride trafficking is mostly associated with skewed sex ratio, there are several other factors such as need for cheap labour that contribute to it. An overwhelming majority of themolki women work in fields and just a fraction of them are managing households. Because of fast decreasing landholdings and increase in labour cost, the families in Haryana bring these women from other States in the garb of marriage and keep them as bonded farm labourers. The well-off zamindars usually don’t keep these women with themselves due to social constraints and marry them off to their local labourers. The women are then sexually abused both by their husband and his employer and also double up as cheap farm labourers,” said Shafiq R. Khan, founder of Empower People that carried out the study ‘Molki: Women on Sale…’

The trend of bride trafficking is also linked to age-old custom of karewa (sexual relations of more than one male with a single woman) that has been in existence in the region for ages, but was gradually on decline due to sanskritisation. The custom is now being revived through this practice and the molkiwomen are sexually exploited by all the males of the family. Social acceptance of karewa and its prevalence can be seen in folklore and local proverbs.

The study conducted in Haryana’s Jind and Kurukshetra districts, which are most notorious for female foeticide, reveals that 66 per cent of the families practising bride trafficking are Jats, followed by 15 per cent Sainis, though the custom is prevalent among almost all other castes. “Jats being the dominating caste, both economically and politically, play a significant role in setting social trends. On the other hand, Sainis are the only caste in Haryana to challenge Jats politically and economically and are leading the non-Jat politics in the State for several years now. So, when the molki woman was set as a standard of social dominance, the Sainis started challenging the Jats in this sphere, too,” explains Mr. Khan.

With local women having no right over land and little say in family and social matters in many areas of Haryana, the circumstances of the molki women are even worse. More than 80 per cent of the molkiwomen interviewed as part of the study revealed that they are not registered in local ration cards or voter lists, thus denying them the status and rights of a permanent family member. These women hardly participate in local customs and do not stand a chance of visiting their parents or native place ever after the “marriage”. Though most of these trafficked women, especially those belonging to West Bengal and Assam, have non-vegetarian food habits and take rice, they are forced to adjust to vegetarian food habits prevalent in Haryana, says Mr. Khan, adding that those in nuclear families enjoy relatively more independence within the family, but not in society at large.

The lives of the molki women, who have no right to property, become more pitiable after their ‘owner’s’ death and they are either sold or handed over to others as there is no social pressure on the family to take care of their basic needs. Some of these women adopt prostitution as a means of livelihood. They, however, stand a chance to stay with the family if they have children.

 

#India- #Rajasthan panchayat bars girls from using mobile phones #censorship #WTFnews


Nov 1, 2012, PTI

Jaipur: A community panchayat in Rajasthan has unanimously favoured prohibiting girls from using personal mobile phones in order to ensure that they do not get involved with boys.

Alarmed by the case of a girl who eloped with her boyfriend a few days back, elders of Bhandarez town in Dausa district decided to impose the ban in an all-caste meeting held yesterday.

“It is a matter of serious concern that the use of mobile phones is causing unwarranted problems particularly when it comes to youngsters. Girls using mobile phones are easily connected and approachable and this freedom may create unnecessary problems for her family”, Durga Lal, Sarpanch of Bhandarez, who was present in the meeting, said today.

Reuters

“Considering this fact, it was the common opinion in the meeting that the girls should be prohibited from using personal mobile phones and also scarves, which helps in hiding identity”, he said.

Saini said that a well-educated adult girl eloped with a class 10 drop out boy of some other caste on October 26 and is untraceable since then.

“It was a common opinion, passed unanimously, not a binding decision. If anybody wants to allow girls in his family for using and carrying personal mobile phones, he can do so but I hope that everybody would follow the common opinion because ultimately it is for good”, he added.

He also added that the panchayat also requested the local police to expedite efforts in tracing the girl as soon as possible.

A local villager Santosh also said that the villagers were in agreement with the panchayat’s directive.

SP Dausa S N Khinchi said that nobody has approached the police against the decisions or opinion of the meeting.

“So far, there is no complaint against any panchayat’s decision. We will look into it if there is any complaint”, he said.

PTI

 

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