When you’re in a khap, you can say whatever you want, but it has to be pretty outrageous to annoy people beyond the city limits. One idea that has cleared the bar? Lowering the minimum marriage age to prevent girls from being raped.
“Boys and girls should be married by the time they turn 16 years old, so that they do not stray …this will decrease the incidents of rape.”
That’s the kind of thing that you expect a conservative patriarch to mutter through his beard while drinking tea with a friend. Comment done, world moves on.
In this case, a khap – a group of village elders with lots of influence, but no legal power – should have been equally newsworthy. That changed when the media smelled a story: primetime news, debates, news anchors berating the khaps for old-fashioned opinions and lots of young people asking questions.
Unfortunately, the young people were mostly city teenagers; rural teens didn’t show up too much. So what did this accomplish? Did someone change the khap member’s opinion? Did someone stop the khap from changing a law that they can’t change to begin with?