Elopement in Rural North India-Repurcussions

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India is in ferment.There is all around progress, but this progress which is material has not touched the psyche of the village populace. Tube wells and canals, with tractors and TV have pervaded the villages, but it is a sad commentry that the villagers thinking has not changed. The caste system which is anathema to an educated man rules the roost in the villages, more so in North India which is home to the largest population of the naton.

With the spread of education, it is inevitable that boys and girls will intermingle.This social contact can lead to imtimacy and love. There have been umpteen cases of boys and girls eloping and running away to get married. This is not accepted by the village elders who cannot countenance a marriage that does not have the sanction of the elders. Worse a intercaste mariage is still not accepted, with the higher castes thinking it below their dignity to let their offspring marry a person from a lower caste.

It is a sad commentary that close relations of the boy and girl have tracked such couples and brought them to the village to stand ‘trial’ before the panchayat.The result is invariably death by hanging. The police which is supposed to be the guardian of  the law appears to have abjectly failed in its duty.The sad part is that though some people are arrested for murder, yet there is not a single conviction till date. This shows an apathy that is hard to explain.

What is the solution ? Mere legislative measures and enacting laws will not do, unless the masses are educated and amade to realise that loving is not a crime. Perhaps a carrot and stick policy is appropriate. but the crime for such murders can only be death by hanging.Even if one man is hanged for such a murder it will have a salutary effect.Remember how the British oblitered Thuggeree ? something similar is required and the writ of the law made to run.

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