Plan to oppose khaps through partying

August 2nd, 2010 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 2 (IANS) Youth in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district have come up with the idea of organising a “Lovers’ Party” across the country to motivate lovers into standing united against khap panchayats (caste councils), known to back honour killings.
The Lovers’ Party would be organised under the aegis of a Meerut-based outfit — Uttarrajya Navnirman Sena (UNS).

The main objective behind organising the Lovers’ Party is to lend support to lovers who find it difficult to wed owing to the fear of khap panchayats or elders of their community, UNS officials said.

“The Lovers’ Party will not be confined only to celebrations or feasts… In the party we would also offer free-of-cost counselling, legal aid and other assistance to unite lovers,” UNS chief Amit Jani told IANS over phone Monday from Meerut, some 350 km from Lucknow.

“In the party we would also invite those courageous couple, who defied khap panchyats to unite with their partner… Their success stories would serve as a morale booster for those who hesitate in going against the decision of the panchayats,” he said.

According to UNS officials, the Lovers’ Party that would be launched this month would later cover several states that have witnessed honour-killings or other crimes that lead to tragic, and at times brutal, end to love stories.

“We have decided to start from Meerut on the occasion of Independence Day (Aug 15). After covering a number of cities of Uttar Pradesh, the Lovers’ Party would be organised in Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and other states,” said Jani, a lawyer by profession.

UNS officials claim their organisation has around 70,000 young members across the country.

“Lawyers, social activists, teachers and people from all walks of life are our organisation’s members,” said Jani.

“I don’t say that by organising Lovers’ Party, we would be able to change the situation overnight. However, I am sure if we continue to get support of the youths, we would be able to improve the situation to a considerable extent,” said Jani, who formed the UNS only a few months back.

In the past five days, the UNS has prepared a database of around 800 people, who are finding it difficult to marry the partner of their choice owing to stiff opposition by khap panchayats, family members or elders of their community.

“Our workers have compiled the database. Of the 800-odd people, who sought our help, most of them are from Haryana. People from various regions of western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have also sought assistance from us,” said Jani.

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