Khap's Diktat Poem by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

Khap's Diktat

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In five minutes flat, a Khap can do
what a Supreme Court cannot in decades:
justice is delivered in a lightning flash
on the spot, by five buzurg wise men
who have never been to a court of law.

If a ladki is r@ped, just force the bloody balaatkari
to marry that girl - if he refuses, or escapes,
force the haraami's younger brother to marry the girl -
you cannot let a village ladki's life to be ruined like this -
Haan, if a jean clad woman is molested in broad daylight
then the Khap cannot do anything much about it
if you dress like a firangi, you are corrupting the minds
of our simple village folks; you have to dress properly,
and first of all, you have to stop eating this Chowmein
This chowmein is the chief cause of all modern evils
such angrezi food will create heat in you, bringing evil thoughts
So if you wish to be protected by your own people,
you have to eat your own desi food - your ghar ka khana.

And see, all people in village are brothers and sisters,
so a village ladka cannot marry a village ladki;
and you cannot marry in the same gotra also -
Ha! what do these kal kaa chhokraa know about gotra -
people of the same gotra have the same ancestors,
how can you marry your own brother or sister?
Such things are happening in foren countries, and you see
what's happening there - AIDS, wars, disease, gun culture…
and you compare that with our culture, our life! !

We have nothing to say against the education of girls -
but they should dress properly and not carry mobiles;
wear proper saree, put bindi on your forehead if married,
stay at home all day, if you want to go for sabzi shopping,
go in the company of chaachi, mausi, behan or relative,
and always look down at the road, not sideways, behave
as our bahu beti with proper chaal-chalan, sanskaar - and then,
and then if someone even looks at you with a slanting eye
Maa Kasam, that eye will be gouged out with hot iron rods!


(The poem was short-listed for the AIPC-2013 National Poetry Competition)


Khap: - Informal village court where rules are framed by elders
Buzurg: - A respectable elder
Ladki: - A girl (Ladka = boy)
Balaatkari: - One who forces oneself on another
Haraami: - A wicked person (sinner)
Firangi: - Foreigner (lit. white skinned)
Angrezi: - English (anything of foreign origin)
Desi: - Country made / indegenous
Ghar ka khaana: - Home made food
Gotra: - Kinship on the basis of hoary ancestral totemic lineage dating back to millennia
Kal kaa chhokraa: - The Young Generation (yesterday's child)
Saree: - Indian dress for women, in which entire body is covered with a single long cloth
Bindi: - Vermillion mark on a woman's forehead symbolising her married status
Sabzi: - Vegetable
Chaachi: - Paternal aunt
Mausi: - Maternal aunt
Behan: - Sister
Bahu: - Daughter-in-law
Beti: - Daughter
Chaal chalan: - General character, conduct and behaviour of a person
Sanskaar: - Family/cultural values and traditions inculcated in a person
Maa kasam: - An oath in the name of Mother

Khap's Diktat
Khaps are caste-based village level informal decision making bodies, which are prevalent in North India - especially among certain communities like Jats and certain areas of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan etc. Mostly Khaps depend on consensus decision of village elders to impose rules and to award punishment to people violating caste norms. Many top political leaders of India support Khap decisions. However, the almost Talibanesque manner in which some Khaps have been imposing restrictions pertaining to women and sexual morality has become a hot topic of debate recently.
Ramesh Rai 01 May 2014

A beautiful Hinglish write. Love it.

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Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
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