Rohtak: Surprising the critics lashing out at them, a Khap panchayat in a tiny village in Rohtak district permitted two young men, who were allegedly in a clandestine relationship for two years, to garland each other and exchange vows amidst claps and whistles from the local crowd. The path-breaking verdict was applauded by not only the residents of that village, but also from neighbouring towns, and is likely to set a precedent for future marriages between the same sexes.
This incident comes close on heels of another bizarre event in Bihar where a local panchayat allowed a man to get his wife married to his brother-in-law after the latter had admitted to falling in ‘love’ with her.
Somnath Chautala, the Khap panchayat who supported the homosexual couple, claims he had given a lot of thought and consulted elders from the community before making up his mind.
“With increasing cases of female foeticide, the ratio of men and women in our village is very low and leading to a growing number of unmarried, sexually-frustrated men indulging in violence against women. At the same time, we elders were also worried that these guys from our community would stray towards women from a different caste and end up marrying them. Because just a few days back, a man committed a sacrilege by secretly marrying a girl from the same gotra and then eloped with her. Our men are now wasting all their time and effort in tracking that couple down. To prevent such untoward incidents in the future, we elders unanimously decided to support gay marriages with a condition that the partners should be from the same caste but different gotras. At least that way, we believe the male-female ratio would come down to reasonable levels.”
This incident has however drawn the ire of several religious leaders having affiliations with the Sarv Khap council.
“Gay marriages are against our culture,” yelled an eccentric right-wing leader, “So what if these men love one another? They can do all they want without having to get married, right?”
Another staunch conservatist added, “What will that panchayat do if two women come up with the same request? Will he get them married as well? This is atrocious, against the tenets of our religion.”
These words evoked sharp reactions from feminists across the country. Leading LGBT rights activist Celena Jaitley stated, “I appreciate the Khap panchayat in being broad-minded and permitting two men marrying. But the same law should apply to women as well? Why this indifference to us? Why this male chauvinism?”
“Yes, what that actress is saying is correct. We should permit two women getting married as well,” sarcastically responded Shatrughan Kunda, a 35-year old bachelor, with frustration looming large on his face, “But first ask her to come to our village and show us where the women are!”
Struggling to contain his tears, the man, who sorrowfully revealed that he was still a virgin, continued, “Already the female population is dwindling in our village. And then the khap panchayats laid rules that women shouldn’t carry cell phones, refrain from wearing jeans, get married as soon as they turn 16, forcing most of the them to migrate to other civilised towns and cities. Finally all we are left with is a handful of young ladies and there is plenty of competition for them; dozens of guys from all age-groups fight among themselves to marry a single girl. As a result, some sissy men have gotten bored of women and instead started developing attraction towards other men like that homosexual couple who recently got married. And now if these panchayats permit two women to marry each other, what will be condition of men like me who can neither be gay nor find a girl to marry?”
Hundreds of tensed-looking, unmarried men joined Shatrughan and shouted slogans against bringing such a law that would encourage same-sex marriages between women. Amidst all this chaos, in the same village, a young heavily-pregnant lady was secretly ushered through a dimly-lit street towards a clinic by her mother-in-law, both of them having their heads and faces concealed with their sarees, to undergo an illegal sonography test with an intention to terminate the foetus in case it’s a girl.