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India Rajasthan panchayat bars girls from carrying cell phones

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Rajasthan panchayat bars girls from carrying cell phones

    IANS - Aug 25, 2012, 10.22PM IST


    A village panchayat in Rajasthan has prohibited minor girls from carrying mobiles and directed them to cover their heads when going out of home.

    JAIPUR: After girls in a Uttar Pradesh village were banned from using mobile phones about a month ago, a village panchayat in Rajasthan has prohibited minor girls from carrying mobiles and directed them to cover their heads when going out of home.

    The village council has also ordered minor boys not to play music on their mobile phones.

    The restrictions have been imposed in Kishorpura village near Udaipurwati town of Jhunjhunu district, some 200 km from here.

    "The panchayat recently held a general meeting in which village elders expressed the view that mobile phones were spoiling girls," Kishorpura sarpanch (council head) Bimla Meena said.

    Following the meeting, the elders decided to impose a ban on the use of mobile phones by minor girls from the village.

    "The minor girls have been asked not to use and carry mobile phones. They have also been directed to wear proper clothes. They will have to keep their heads covered with stole. It would make them look decent," Meena added.

    The village head did not specify the punishment to be meted out to any girl found flouting the panchayat's edicts.

    Most of the villagers were, however, in agreement with the panchayat order.

    "It has been observed that mobile phones have given 'unnecessary' freedom to girls, which is distracting them from following our culture. The panchayat's decision will be followed strictly in the village as it has been accepted by all," Ramkesh Kumar, a resident, told IANS.

    Earlier in July, the panchayat of Asara village in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district had issued similar orders, banning girls from using mobile phones and stepping out of their houses without male escort.

    source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...carrying-cell-phones/articleshow/15703351.cms
     
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  3. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Some parts of India are cut off from civilization, if they know one!
     
  4. Ishna

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    One would think these elders have nothing better to do with their time. Their villages must be pretty perfect in all other regards if all they have to do is pass edicts against 'minor girls' to curb their 'unnecessary freedom'.
     
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  5. itsmaneet

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    my personal views are ... that the decision is correct to some extent. But it should have been common for both boys & girls especially 'no mobile for teenagers' ... its not required actually. It's only spoiling the kids & hardly benefiting. As far as covering head for girls is concerned...i agree with this decision of the panchayat ..
     
    #4 itsmaneet, Aug 26, 2012
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  6. Harry Haller

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    why?
     
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  7. itsmaneet

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    its the culture of our country & certain good cultures need not alter .... BTW if you think otherwise....any reason for tht?
     
  8. Sian Haller

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    Itsmaneetji

    My understanding of Sikhism, having read the below link is that there is no Sikh reason for girls to cover the head.

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/islam/27427-sikh-women-expected-cover-head-all.html

    Imposing an outdated cultural practice onto young people who live in a modern progressive environment will only serve to alienate these young people from their culture and their religion. In my opinion, the best way to maintain any belief or practice in an evolving situation is to allow the culture to evolve as well.

    If covering your head is not a necessary part of religion, better surely to update cultural practices and evolve, rather than risk losing the core beliefs that are important.

    Veerji, you may think these actions are protecting your culture, but long term, they are quite destructive.
     
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  9. Harry Haller

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    A culture that discriminates on sex or caste is not what I would call a good culture.

    I am astounded that a Sikh would laud the repression of women in such a way.........
     
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  10. itsmaneet

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    Since ages, covering head for girls has been regarded as the matter of self-respect for a girl. So, i mentioned above it's my personal views on the decision of Panchayat & i favour it. If you'll read my view carefully i said mobile should have been banned for both boys & girls. As far as covering head is concerned, i personally don't feel it's objectionable the culture in which i have been grown. I have seen females in my family covering their head .... and i feel thats good. Now you feel uncovered head for a girl looks good then thts your views & i have nothg to do with tht.

    Gurfateh !
     
  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    In Sikhism all Sikh boys who keep uncut hair are expected and forced to cover their hair either by Turban, Patka dastar , etc .Cricketer Harbhajan singh once let his hair loose on ramp and SGPC got angry on him on the other hand 90% plus Sikh females who keep uncut hair on head roam without head covering.So Sikh culture discriminate between boys and girls the only exception force is used on Sikh boys so I guess Sikh culture is not a good culture
     
  12. Sian Haller

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    I completely respect your view and your right to have your view, but it concerns me that the imposition of any form of restraint in dress code, or the banning of modern technology may only cause resentment, and cause people to move away from their culture and religion.

    You say

    but that is not the case, covering ones head is surely personal choice, and I would have it remain that way, I do not seek to impose my will on another, you, however, agree that women are incapable of making their own mind up regarding this, and must subscribe to an outdated Islamic tradition in order to show submission and respect.

    How can we be equals in such a scenario?
     
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  13. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    It is not just covering head or hair, but face.. as in a ghoonghat when with non family males!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Harry Haller

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    Firstly, given the problems in Punjab, I would have thought there are more important things to get angry about, secondly, it is not Sikh culture that is not good, if anything it is Punjabi culture, and I say this only in context of the above quote, rather than as a generalisation, being Punjabi myself
     
  15. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Harry ji

    How is it Punjabi culture? By blaming everything on Punjabi culture we just want to find a scape goat.Punjabi culture is one which is practiced by religious and non religious families.The non religious punjabi family will not even care what his son do but religous sikh family will be the one who impose much restriction on him
     
  16. Archived_Member16

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    AS A MATTER OF INTEREST: ".....80 per cent of the Sikh youth in rural Punjab have cut their hair and discarded their headgear. An exaggeration, one thought. But president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest decision-making body for the Sikhs, Avtar Singh Makkar, confirms this trend. He told Outlook: "Yes, it's true that in many places about 80 per cent of Sikh youth have indeed cut their hair."

    religion: sikhism

    Gobind's Shorn Flock

    It's the crest of Sikh identity. But the clergy is worried as rural Punjab shaves its locks.

    Chander Suta Dogra - Outlookindia

    One is often told that a Sikh without his flowing hair and turban is like a king without a crown. But, across Punjab, and more so in the countryside, young members of the community are giving up the most visible religious symbol of Sikh identity—long hair and the turban. The trend, which has been growing in the last four to five years, has reached "epidemic" proportions and now has the Sikh religious leadership worried.


    So much so that desperate campaigns have been launched to revive the use of the turban.

    When Outlook began examining this trend, Sikh organisations engaged in saving the turban estimated that about 80 per cent of the Sikh youth in rural Punjab have cut their hair and discarded their headgear. An exaggeration, one thought. But president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest decision-making body for the Sikhs, Avtar Singh Makkar, confirms this trend. He told Outlook: "Yes, it's true that in many places about 80 per cent of Sikh youth have indeed cut their hair. Sadly the 'dastaar bandhi samaagam' (a turban-tying ceremony for young boys), too, has become rare in villages because very few boys of 13 or 14 years of age have long hair."Does this mean that the day is not far when a Sikh village in Punjab won't have a single turbaned male to show? This is not just in the realm of possibility but an inescapable reality according to a dismayed and rather helpless Sikh leadership.

    But why are Sikhs, otherwise very dedicated to their religion, saying goodbye to turbans and going in for haircuts? Scholars say it is a combination of various factors, both social and economic, at play. The most common reason cited is the convenience of not having to go through the elaborate rigmarole of maintaining a beard and tying a turban. Says Baldev Singh, the patriarch of a large family in Adliwal near Amritsar, "Except I and my two brothers, all our sons and grandsons have shorn their hair.

    "The SGPC has given up its traditional role of preserving Sikh values and heritage and is more embroiled in politics."

    It does pain me to see my family like this but no one listens to us nowadays." His daughter-in-law Roominder Kaur is quite happy with a clean-shaven son as she doesn't have to go through the tedium of combing and tying his hair each morning.

    Everyone agrees that the turban problem is acute in the villages where the land-owning Jat peasantry resides. One reason, perhaps, is the rural Punjabi youth's overriding desire to go West. Sikh scholars feel that in the aftermath of 9/11, when Sikhs are being mistaken for Muslims and attacked for sporting a beard and turban, there is a tendency among members of the community to adopt a more assimilative appearance so that they "look like others". It becomes easier to get past immigration.

    It is common knowledge that drug abuse and liquor consumption in Punjab has reached unprecedented levels. Sixty per cent of the youth in the 14-25 year age group are estimated to be drug users. Sikh intellectuals link this with the trend to shed turbans. This is because Sikhism prohibits smoking and use of intoxicants. Points out the Akal Takht jathedar, Joginder Singh Vedanti: "Smoking or taking drugs with a turban on one's head makes a Sikh feel more guilty of breaching his faith. The absence of his kesh (long hair) and turban frees him from such qualms."

    The politicisation of the Sikh clergy, which is not doing enough to spread religious awareness in the younger generation, is another oft-cited reason. It is alleged that in recent years the Sikh clergy has become a handmaiden of the Akali Dal and has neglected its role as protector and preserver of Sikh religious traditions. Notes Dr Kharag Singh of the Chandigarh-based Institute of Sikh Studies: "The Sikh religious symbols like 'kesh' represent certain values. If a person holds these dear to himself, then he will never shed them, but unfortunately there is no one nowadays to teach the youth all this. "

    Ironically, the trend of clean-shaven Sikhs has picked up in Punjab at a time when the community is engaged in an international campaign to create awareness about the Sikh identity and the importance of wearing religious symbols like the turban and kirpan. Following the ban on wearing turbans in French schools in 2004, and also several cases of hate crimes against Sikhs after 9/11, Sikh organisations began a drive to create awareness about the Sikh faith in Europe, US and Australia.

    When the French ban was announced, Sikh organisations—political, social and religious—in India and abroad protested. On the urging of the SGPC, PM Manmohan Singh, too, took up the issue with the French government. But as Jaswinder Singh, an SGPC member and president of the Akal Purakh Ki Fauj (an organisation engaged in popularising turbans and long hair in Punjab), points out, "If the French government comes to know of the situation in Punjab now, it will be embarrassing for us. How can we fight for the right to wear long hair and turbans abroad when people are abandoning the same in the home of Sikhism?"

    Is a Sikh without his 'kesh' or long hair a lesser Sikh? In popular parlance, a clean-shaven Sikh is a 'patit' or an apostate. Says Professor Sher Singh of the Institute of Sikh Studies, "Of all the five Ks—'kesh, kada, kirpan, kangha and kachh'—which Guru Gobind Singh had made mandatory for all Sikhs to wear, the 'kesh' comes first and is foremost and indispensable to a Sikh's identity. Without the 'kesh', the other symbols are meaningless."

    In recent years, several organisations have sprung up in Punjab to revive the tradition of keeping long hair and wearing turbans. The 'Kesh Sambhal Prachaar Sanstha' is one such outfit which, among other things, runs two turban-tying schools in Jalandhar and Amritsar, where young Sikhs are taught how to tie a turban. Says the Sanstha secretary, Sukhdev Singh Sandhawalia, "The most common excuse boys give for cutting their hair is that they don't know how to tie a turban."

    Another organisation holds a popular competition to select 'Mr Singh International' which is open only for turbaned Sikhs. Among other things, the contestants have to participate in a round called 'Meri Dastaar, Meri Shaan, Meri Pehchaan' (My turban, my pride, my identity) where they are judged on how well their turbans are tied. The latest champion of the turban and long hair in Punjab is former cricketer and the BJP's Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who held a procession in Amritsar to revive the use of turbans and instil a sense of pride in Punjabi youth in wearing one. Ironically, Sidhu is under flak for trimming his beard and allowing his son to cut his hair.

    Why and how did things come to such a pass? Many feel the custodians of the Sikh heritage like the SGPC cannot escape criticism. Says G.S. Lamba, Sikh scholar and editor of Sant Sipahi, a popular Sikh community journal: "The SGPC has abandoned its traditional role of preserving Sikh values and heritage and is more embroiled in politics. When the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) abdicated its role as a religious party and adopted a secular garb, the SGPC should have taken its religious duties seriously. But unfortunately it's the other way around. The SGPC has become an organ of the SAD, and has neglected preaching in villages. It's also shameful that the two are projecting a 'patit' like Navjot Singh Sidhu as a role model for the Sikh youth for the coming elections."

    He points to the recent controversy over Harbhajan Singh appearing in an advertisement with his hair open as an example. "This shows the SGPC's double standards. They are picking on Harbhajan Singh just to get some good publicity with the Sikh masses. If they are serious about the issue, they should start by taking action against the families of the SGPC members who have shorn hair and also the clean-shaven cadres of the SAD."

    Though Harbhajan Singh apologised to the Sikh clergy for the offending representation in the advertisement, his comment on the matter is telling. "I apologise if I have hurt the feelings of my people, but why should the SGPC compare me with Monty Panesar (English cricketer of Sikh origin who sports a turban and beard) and not Yuvraj Singh and singer Gurdas Mann both of whom have cut their hair?"

    Clearly, the situation has gone beyond hair-splitting as rural Punjab's tryst with the barber keeps growing. The land-owning Jat Sikhs have all but shed the turban, whereas the more conservative trading 'Khatri Sikhs' in urban areas are less inclined towards the new trend. One reason is that most of the Sikh gurus were 'Khatris' or from the trading community which is why this section of Sikhs are more staunch believers.

    But go to rural Punjab and there are some tell-tale indicators of change. Where earlier, the sole barber in a village had to supplement his income by selling sweetmeats, now, most villages have three to four barbers. The feisty land-owning Punjabi Jat farmer has always been known for his enterprise and desire to try new things. True to form, it is he who is leading the 'no turban' trend even though it makes him an apostate in the eyes of his religion.

    source: http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?232931
     
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  17. Ishna

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    In the original post it talks about the governing body of a villiage - it doesn't talk about it in the context of Sikhi. What they've said is that any girl child must cover their head whether Christian, Muslim, secular, Sikh, whatever. Even in some Muslim dominated countries young girls are allowed to be children and not worry about covering their heads. They are children!

    It would be interesting to see what responsiblities towards dress the boys in Rajasthan are expected to observe.

    It is also interesting that boys are allowed to have mobile phones but not girls - can a girl not get into trouble and need to call someone for help? One wonders what need boys have that girls don't.

    And for clarity, we are talking about boys and girls, i.e. children. Not men and women (adults). Sometimes the terms are confused.

    If we consider human nature though, it's easy to say 'it should be freedom of choice' but even in a culture where this freedom exists (in theory) there is still peer pressure. In a Western country where the choice should exist, if a girl went to school with a scarf on her head she would be teased. Thereby the choice has been taken away anyway.

    Human consciousness has a long way to go until we reach a stage of true freedom of choice. In the meantime, maybe we need to be told what to do. Just a thought...
     
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    #16 Ishna, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  18. Harry Haller

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    A truly Sikh family would be enlightened enough to promote understanding, rather than restriction, love, rather than fear, a truly Sikh family would not care what the children did, they would do the best to educate, and then leave the rest to Hukam, and be happy with the consequences.

    Those that try and force and bully will reap what they sow.

    I do not think the term 'religious' is a compliment. When someone is described as religious, what comes to mind is a person that observes and practices the rituals and customs of that religion. In Sikhism, the most important 'custom', in my view, is love and compassion.

    Once you have mastered love and compassion, one can move on to the next step, indeed, in my belief, there are many many steps to reach before one can even contemplate the five K's. However, we live in a world where people concentrate more on the 'religious' than on the internal.

    Did Guru Nanakji impose his will on anyone? even his own children? No, he did not, because one person who truly believes and wishes to embrace Sikhi is worth a thousand that have been pushed into it through control.

    Sikhism is a faith of love, so by default, anything outside of this cannot be Sikhi.
     
  19. Harry Haller

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    Sisji,

    With respect, I disagree, I will happily be told what to do if the person telling me what to do is doing so with a clear and free agenda. However, in my view, such does not exist, the idea is to get young females used to the domination that exists in Indian culture, it is the road to Talibanisation. The truth is, I do not trust anyone to tell me what to do other than my Guruji. Human beings are flawed, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I have a theory that every Baba, Sant, Village leader starts off with the best of intentions, but as the power grows, so does the corruption, people get off on power, its like a drug, the ability to dictate to another should be handled with grace, but this rarely happens, people get bloodlust on power, it changes them, they go mad with it, its human nature. Guru Nanakji was the most powerful man of his time, yet, all we know about is his love, his understanding, his serenity.
     
  20. itsmaneet

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    Most of the kids resist strongly going to school initially but parents make efforts to lure them with gifts etc or scold them to go to school (final step). When kid gets little consistent with schools he himself finds it good going to the school.

    Same is with Sikhism. It's a school. "Parents" by various means try to put their kids on the right path & for that even if they have to be strict for some time i feel its fine...but when the kid gets on the right track both are happy-parents & kids ...
     
  21. Harry Haller

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    Most 'parents' have little or no idea what Sikhism is actually all about, it is more about imposing outdated cultural traditions and avoiding family shame
     

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