In a bizarre and outrageous ruling by a village council in Rajasthan, a woman whose husband ran off with the neighbour’s wife has been ordered to live with the abandoned man or pay him compensation
After his wife and two children disappeared with his neighbour Kalulal Meghwal, Rajendra Meghwal approached the council in the desert state of Rajasthan for help, a case the police is investigating.
Kalulal’s wife Mamta has alleged that the council or khap panchayat has ordered her to pay Rajendra 300,000 rupees ($4,775) in compensation for her husband’s actions or move in with Rajendra.
The officers have started questioning council members in Bundi district after Mamta filed a harassment complaint with the police.
Local police officer Sanjay Kumar told AFP, “The woman was not present in the khap meeting but she complained to us that she has been asked to pay money or live with Rajendra.”
It was unclear whether the woman was asked to live with him as his spouse or as his employee in the house.
Branded as ‘kangaroo courts’ by their critics, Khap panchayats have no legal recognition and have been held blamed for sanctioning honour killings of women, public beatings and other harsh punishments for perceived crimes.
From plastic straws to copper vessels, handmade lamps and bangles, Rajasthan’s leading hospitality players here are establishing new trends by engaging local artisans to showcase traditional artistry to guests and serving them locally-inspired cuisine amid green surroundings.
“We have initiated the use of paper-made straws; there is no use of plastic bags anywhere in the hotel property and the local-inspired food is being served to guests to ensure the locals have a regular source of income,” Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Bishangarh’s Alila Fort heritage hotel, some 50 km from here, told IANS.
Once a warrior fort, the management of the heritage property also engages the villagers in tasks like organic farming.
“Our association with the locals is quite strong. Working with them, we take our guests to the local temple. They also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.
“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker.
Ashok S. Rathore, General Manager of the Rambagh Palace, said: “We have curtailed the use of plastic. There are no plastic straws being used on the property. We serve in glass bottles instead of plastic water bottles.”
This property is also adopting sustainable routes to ensure that the locals get decent income opportunities for their sustenance.
“Our interiors are reminiscent of handmade interiors. Our suites are adorned with Thikri art, a rare gold-dipped miniature artwork of Rajasthan. But skilled artists are disappearing and it comes with a high cost of production,” said Rathore.
Fairmont Jaipur has incorporated the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the local cultural heritage and artisans of Jaipur. The ceilings are hand-painted by local artisans with complex motifs.
“We associate with the local artisans to showcase their talent at the hotel in the form of the evening entertainment, the welcome experience and celebrate the local heritage of Rajasthan,” said Srijan Vadhera, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur. (IANS)