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Laila-Majnu: This remote village in Bijnore marks ‘martyrdom’ of legendary lovers

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LailaThe remote village of Binjore along the India-Pakistan border in Sri Gangangar district of Rajasthan, nearly 600 km from state capital Jaipur, came to life for a week as some 15,000-20,000 people from across the country and a few from overseas participated in an annual fair to mark the “martyrdom” of the legendary lovers Laila-Majnu (Laila and Majnu).

“The fair, which started on June 11, came to an end on Monday. It has attracted a large number of lovers and newlyweds for decades now,” said Rashid, a resident of the village, only a few kilometres from the border, adding that the two tombs of Laila-Majnu have been the centre of attraction, especially among lovers and newlyweds, for decades now.

A number of temporary shops, mainly selling sweetmeats, cosmetics, toys and other household items, came up during the fair time. There were also quawalis and competitions in volleyball, wrestling and kabaddi.

“Every year, the arrivals, mainly of newly married and unmarried couples are growing. This year too hundreds of visitors from all over the country thronged the place to offer their prayers at the tombs of Laila-Majnu,” another villager added that Hindus and Muslims in equal number participate in the fair. Sikhs and Christians also come to the fair.

There were, off and on, visitors from Pakistan too, but not this year. Though the existence of Laila-Majnu is still a matter of debate among historians, this in no way affects the flow of devotees.

“I am not aware of existence of Laila-Majnu, but all I can say for sure is that in the last 20 or so years I have seen an increase in the number of couples visiting the tombs,” said Rajendra, another local resident.

In the Bijnore version of folklore, Laila-Majnu, fleeing oppression in their respective homes that were dead set against their marriage, had drifted into this part of the country in search of water. They were scorched to death by the blazing sun and their tombs were constructed where their bodies were found.

No one remembers when the fair began, but it’s been around for a while. Urmila, a newly married woman who came from neighboring Haryana said “I am here with my husband to seek blessings for a long and happy married life.”

Her husband Ashok agreed. “We have heard people who come here always have a long and happy married life; so I and my husband are here to pray for it,” said Jitendra Singh from a village in Punjab.

-(IANS)

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Village in Rajasthan Bans ‘Fashion Clothes’ and Mobiles for Women

Reportedly, a village in Rajasthan has banned fashionable clothing and mobile phones for women in an "effort to prevent sexual assaults"

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Ban on Fashion Clothes
Parents have been told by the village council to forcefully implement the ban on fashionable clothes and mobiles. Wikimedia
  • A village in Rajasthan has banned all types of “fashion clothes” and use of mobile phone for women
  • The heads of the village, who have also banned the consumption and distribution of alcohol, believe these things to be a “cultural threat”
  • It is also a decision that is taken to “prevent sexual assaults”

July 16, 2017: The administrators of Baldiyapura, a village in Rajasthan, took the decision to ban ‘fashion clothes’ to be worn by the women such as jeans and tops to prevent sexual assaults.

Parents were directed by the village council to supervise that their daughters do not use mobile phones and wear western clothes. The council said that these things are ruining the local culture.

The council also threatened that these decisions are to be compulsorily implemented.

The distribution and consumption of alcohol are also banned by the council, violation of which will result in a penalty of Rs. 1000. Further, there is a reward for the informers who report the violators.

Kanasil Hariom Singh, the leader of the village council, called these things “social evils” and praised the decision of the Panchayat. He also linked the rise of sexual molestation and rape cases to the fact that women wear such clothes.

Also Read: Women Turn into Well Diggers in Drought Hit Kerala Villages

The village elders are to supervise younger one’s clothing and behaviour. The council also plans to meet on the first day of every month to see the progress after implementation.

The surrounding villages in Dholpur have raised protests, particularly the women’s groups. Dholpur’s official Vinod Kumar Meena criticised the restrictions on women but praised the ban on alcohol.

Many Indians try and correlate women’s clothing to their molestation chances. At This time when women safety is the biggest social issue domestically, such policies are an insult to the efforts of awareness by activists and feminists.

Prepared  by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394