INDIA NAMED THE WORST PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR WOMEN TO LIVE
Indian village bans marriages that have not received parental permission as raft of draconian measures are introduced against women
- Village elders ban women from using mobile phones and order them to cover heads in public
- Women under 40 told they must be accompanied in public
While India's desire to modernise continues unabated, away from the Bollywood glamour of Mumbai and the vibrancy of New Dehli attitudes in some parts of the country remain stuck in the past.
Village elders in the small settlement of Asara in the north-western state of Uttar Pradesh have just a passed a ruling which forbids any marriage which has not been given parental approval.
Not only that but the council has also banned the use of mobile phones by all women and insisted that those under the age of 40 must be accompanied when they step outside.
Order: A village in India has ordered that all marriages must be agreed by both sets of parents
Females have also been told by the body called the Panchayat that they must cover their heads in public.
It was reported in the Daily Telegraph that council representative Sattar Ahmed described love marriages as a 'shame on society'.
He said: 'It is very painful for the parents , especially the girl's family, because such marriages dent their respectability.'
While the rulings carry no legal weight because of their standing in sections of Indian society Panchayat councils do have significant sway and police are investigating the decision.
India's drive to grow its economy contrasts with its ongoing struggle to break free of conservative social traditions in areas where women's rights remain almost non-existent.
Rural: The controversial ruling was made in the small village of Asara located in the north-west of India
He said: 'Police must act against anyone issuing such diktats.
'If anyone takes action against any young man or woman based on illegal village courts then they must be arrested.'
The Panchayat have vehemently defended their new decrees, insisting they are vital to protect women from 'bad elements' in society.
Women's rights groups have condemned the decision with the All India Democratic Women's Association's general secretary Sudha Sunder Raman saying the concept of women up to the age of 40 needing protection and to be controlled was extremely chauvinistic.
Panchayat councils are an unelected group of elders whose rulings have been blamed for a number of abuses recently such as the sanctioning of so-called honour killings against women deemed to have brought shame on the family.
Ongoing issue: Last month Ogad Singh, pictured, beheaded his daughter Manju Kunwar and paraded her severed head around the villageof Dungarji in Rajasthani
India was named as the worst place in the world for women to live out of the top 19 economies in the world in a poll by Thomas Reuters Foundation last month.
In recent weeks Mumbai police have adopted a stricter moral line with women with bars and clubs being fined or shut down for being overcrowded and scores of women were arrested accused of being prostitutes.
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Pictured: Father who beheaded his daughter in rage over her relationships as he remains unrepentant over attack
- Father had carried daughter's bleeding head into police station two days ago
- Marble miner accused daughter of sleeping around
- Man carried his daughter's head through village declaring what he had done
- Coroner stitched woman's head onto body for funeral
A father who admitted beheading his daughter with a sword in a so-called 'honour killing' in northwestern India showed no remorse today when he was seen for the first time since the shocking incident.
Oghad Singh surrendered at a police station two days ago, carrying his daughter's head in one hand and the bloodied ceremonial sword he had used to chop it off in the other.
Residents of Dungarji village expressed shock as they performed the last rites for the 20-year-old woman who had accused of sleeping around by her father.
Unrepentant: Oghad Singh, pictured in white, surrendered at a police station, carrying his daughter's head in one hand and the bloodied sword he had used to cut it off in the other
Women wailing in grief lined the dusty road of the village in Rajasthan state as a procession carried Manju Kanwar's remains to her funeral pyre.
As in many north and west Indian villages, the women, including her mother and four sisters, were not allowed to attend the funeral.
A coroner stitched Kanwar's head onto her body for the funeral.
About 100 men, many of them relatives wearing ceremonial Rajput warrior clan turbans, surrounded her muslin-wrapped body, and her brother lit the funeral pyre.
Villagers condemned the father's actions as extreme. They said the father, his shirt soaked in blood, had carried his daughter's head through the village, describing what he'd done to neighbors.
Narayan Singh, a distant relative, said: 'He told me that he took the sword out, and when the daughter was all alone in the house he beheaded her with a single stroke and the head fell on the ground.'
He said he persuaded Singh to surrender, and took him by motorcycle to a police station 2 miles away. Police charged Singh, 46, with murder.
Horrific: Ogad Singh's daughter had been living with him in the village of Dengari in Rajasthan, India, after leaving her husband two years ago
He added: 'Oghad admitted immediately that he killed his daughter because she had earned a bad name for the family.'
Police described Kanwar's recent life as difficult and unorthodox for the traditional community of about 1,000 just outside the Rajasthani tourist town of Udaipur.
She left her husband from an arranged marriage two years ago and moved back home to live with her parents.
She recently began seeing several men which 'disgusted' her father, deputy police superintendent Umesh Ojha said.
'Oghad said he was fed up with the lifestyle of his daughter,' Ojha said.
When Manju eloped with one man two weeks ago, her father forced her to return on Sunday and killed her.
Rapidly modernizing India faces increasing social clashes as youths resist traditions like arranged marriage or limits on women venturing outside their parents' or husbands' homes.
The country is considered one of the harshest places in the world for women, with female infanticide and child marriage still common.
The U.N.'s gender inequality index places India second to last, above Saudi Arabia, based on labor, reproductive health, education and politics. The index does not consider issues of violence.