Khap Panchayat Outcasts Family After Daughters Perform Father's Last Rites
Community leaders denied the incident, saying people from outside Bundi were spreading rumours.
Image for representation only. (Getty images)
Kota: A khap panchayat of Rager community in Bundi district allegedly outcast four women and their family members on Sunday for performing the last rites of their father, who had no son to shoulder his bier.
“The family was subjected to the community wrath as we four sisters decided to shoulder our father's bier as per his last wish,” said Meena, the eldest of four daughters of Durgashankar Tailor, 58, who died at his residence in Barli Bundi Rager colony of Bundi on Saturday.
Though some community leaders denied the incident, the victims insisted that they had been ostracised “not openly but in a silent way” as they were not allowed to have the customary, post-cremation bath at the community complex.
“They did not supply us any food either after we returned home from the crematorium ground,” said Meena, explaining the custom as per which no meal is cooked in the house of a deceased on the day of the death and the family is supplied food by the neighbours.
The incident comes close on the heels of another case of ostracisation of a five-year-old girl in Bundi district for accidently damaging some eggs of a sandpiper bird.
Meena said following her father’s death after a prolonged illness, she and her three sisters decided to perform his last rites as per his wishes and shoulder his bier to the cremation ground as “we have no brother”.
But the community leaders objected to it, threatening with ostracisation and non-participation of community members in the funeral, said Meena.
“The community leaders first asked us not to shoulder the bier and not to perform the last rites but when we stuck to our decision, they asked us to lay prostrate before them along with our wailing mother and seek forgiveness from them,” said Meena.
“As we did not tender apology, we were not allowed to have bath in the community complex after we returned from the cremation ground. The complex was locked and all the men and the women in the family had to take bath at home,” she said.
“It was our father's last wish that his four daughters should shoulder his bier and perform the last rites as we have no brother and we just fulfilled our father's wishes. We have committed no crime,” said Meena's younger sister Kalawati, a BA final year student.
“We later apologised to the community leaders, but they were adamant. Only a few of the educated community members participated in the funeral,” said Tikam Chand, the maternal uncle of the four women.
When contacted, community head Chandulal Chandeliya refuted the allegations and said he was away from the city. He went on to praise the four women and alleged that “some community people from outside Bundi having rivalry with us are behind spreading the rumour of outcasting the family”.
Bundi municipality’s former chairman Modu Lal also refuted the allegations, saying no such diktat was delivered. On not unlocking the community complex for Durgashankar's family members to have a bath, Lal said they did not ask for the keys.
“The khap panchyat does not deliver its diktat in writing but their diktat can be justified just by a visit at the family's house,” said a senior community member on condition of anonymity.
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