Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh: A Khap Panchayat in Shoram village in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district on Wednesday passed a bizarre diktat, which bans girls from wearing jeans, using mobile phones and the internet.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptullah condemned the ban, saying the panchayat should remember they were raised by a woman.
"All those men were born of a woman, they have forgotten that they were raised by a woman. The day they will think about this, they will stop giving such statements," she added.
Women's rights activists have also condemned this move.
"I think the district administration of each area and district, especially in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh should work towards a blanket ban on such village councils. I mean all of the councils should get a very strict directive that they cannot do this and there should be a blanket ban actually on all such panchayats which are so regressive," said National Commission for Women (NCW) member Shamina Shafiq, condemning the diktat.
Social activist Barkha Shukla also echoed similar sentiments and said such diktats need not be paid heed to.
"I am absolutely against this. The khap panchayats who come up with such baseless rules, one need not pay heed to them. Our country should surge ahead the way it is doing," said Shukla.
The ban will have an affect on 46 villages in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. Panchayat leader Chaudhary Naresh said jeans are a part of western culture and therefore, should not be allowed in India as they spoil the society.
"The clothes that our mothers and sisters used to wear, do they not exist anymore in the society? They should be a part of good society. The jeans that they wear today, it is spoiling the society and the environment. These things should not be allowed in India, they are part of western culture," said Naresh.
The council has also asked the residents not to use social networking websites such as WhatsApp and Facebook.