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Tribal women in Himachal entitled to ancestral property: High Court

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 Shimla: Setting aside almost a century old customary law that  allows only men to inherit ancestral property if it is not  bequeathed, the Himachal Pradesh High Court in a historic  judgment observed that tribal women, too, could inherit property.

“The daughters in the tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh shall  inherit property in accordance with the Hindu Succession Act of  1956 and not as per customs. This is in order to prevent women  from facing social injustice and all forms of exploitation,” Justice  Rajiv Sharma said in a judgment provided to the media on Friday.

He said the laws must evolve with the times if societies are to progress.

“It is made clear by way of abundant precaution that the observations made here only pertain to right to inherit the property by daughters under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, and not any other privileges enjoyed by the tribals in the tribal areas,” he said in a 60-page order.

The law, “Wajib Ul Urj”, which came into force in the state’s tribal district of Kinnaur in 1926, permits only men to inherit ancestral property, if it is not bequeathed.

It is also applicable in Lahaul and Spiti districts and some remote areas of Chamba district.

The patriarchal law even bars widows from inheriting their husbands’ property, which under the customary law is transferred to the sons.

Justice Sharma upheld an order passed by the district judge of Chamba in 2002 to grant legal property rights to women.

“The tribal belts have modernized with the passage of time. They profess Hindu rites and customs. They do not follow different gods. Their culture may be different but customs must conform to the constitutional philosophy,” the judge added.

“It is really a victory over social evil,” 61-year-old social activist Rattan Manjari, chairperson of the Mahila Kalyan Parishad, a women’s rights group, told IANS over phone.

Manjari said that the condition of deserted women, widows and spinsters in the district was deplorable due the customary law.

“Now the inheritance right would enable these women in tribal areas to live with dignity,” she added.

Manjari’s mother bequeathed to her the family’s entire agricultural land though she had a brother.

“The women commanded much respect in tribal society, especially with the polyandry system in vogue until a few decades ago, and never felt the need of the right to inherit property.”

“With times changing, however, there were many cases when women, after the death of husband or parents, were abandoned by the family members, forcing them to do petty jobs (for survival),” she said. (IANS)

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Home is Where Mountains Are ! Rundown of 7 Mountains in India

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Beautiful mountains in India
Manali in India. Pixabay

Sep 20, 2017: Mountains are simply attractive, but the blooms and lush greenery creates a lovely shading which makes them appear even more alluring. India is blessed with such splendid sights and eye soothing mountain ranges.

Take a look at these 7 magnificent mountains in India

Valley of Flowers, Uttrakhand

Beautiful mountains in India
Valley of flowers, Garhwal Uttarakhand India. Wikimedia

Valley of flower is situated in Uttarakhand, also Known as God’s own land. The impressive panoramas of the mountains and valleys of the downtown ought to be exceptionally noted. This place is brimmed with distinction.

Chandratal Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Beautiful mountains in India
Different colors of Chandratal lake. Wikimedia

Its magnificence is conceived by its snow-clad mountains, waterways, and lakes. There befall peace and solace by seeing them.

Beautiful mountains in India

Rohtang Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Beautiful mountains in India
Rohtang Pass, Manali. Wikimedia

The wonderful valley of Rohtang Pass here gives a feeling of paradise on earth. In the meantime, the magnificence of the Solang valley adds four moons to the perfection of Rohtang.

Kanchenjunga Mountain, Sikkim

Beautiful mountains in India
This is the view of the great Kanchenjunga Mountain range in Sikkim taken in the morning at a freezing temperature. Wikimedia

Every scene of Kanchenjunga situated in Sikkim is unmatched and wonderful in itself. The mountains secured with snow, streams ascending through the mountains heighten the magnificence of this place.

Beautiful mountains in India

Pithoragarh, Uttrakhand

Beautiful mountains in India
Aesculus indica, Horse Chestnut, Pithoragarh, Himalayas. Wikimedia

This area is the easternmost Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, also known as the little Kashmir. High Himalayan mountains topped with snow, emerald grasslands and meadows is a sight full of astonishment.

Ranikhet, Uttrakhand

Beautiful mountains in India
Ranikhet (Beauty of Himalaya valley). Wikimedia

Located in the Kumaon mountain, the Ranikhet slope is arranged amongst Nainital and Almora. It is encompassed by woods from all sides, the name of the slope of Ranikhet, which is named after Rani Padmini. The excellence of this place are the fundamental focuses of fascination.

Beautiful mountains in India

Rishikesh, Uttrakhand

Beautiful mountains in India
Monsoon in Rishikesh. Wikimedia

The bright slopes and valleys spread over the city makes the place even more alluring.

Prepared by Naina Mishta of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Jibhi: Tiny virgin hamlet of Himachal Pradesh in the embrace of Himalayas

Pristine and undisturbed, serenity and calmness linger in the air of Jibhi, a lesser known destination in Himachal Pradesh

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Jibhi , small town in Himachal Pradesh
Mountain peaks in Himachal Pradesh. Wikimedia

Jibhi (Himachal Pradesh), Sep 10, 2017: If you are looking for an escape from the cacophony of maddening city life, head to this tiny village located in the lap of Banjar Valley in Kullu district. Pristine and undisturbed, serenity and calmness linger in the air of Jibhi, a lesser known destination in Himachal Pradesh.

Ever wondered how serene and soothing mornings can be? Imagine waking up to a misty morning and watching a bunch of clouds trapped between high and erect mountain ranges with sudden drizzles! There can certainly be no better way to start a day in this tiny Himalayan hamlet.

This village is not exactly a tourist destination, which is perhaps the best aspect about this place that may appeal to travellers. What this village offers is peace — no sign of commercialisation — it has ability to propel the raw appeal of nature’s beauty and will never fail to offer the solace you are probably seeking. The virgin village, which stands an hour away from the Great Himalayan National Park, is an abode of mother nature’s blessings, a sheer token of beauty, that will hypnotize the very moment you touch down the valley.

Just walk down a few extra miles along the curvy roads where maple leaves pave a carpet and sudden showers frequently lash down. Surrounded by hills on all sides, the tall deodar and pine trees towering on the hills dwarf the tiny surrounding huts. As I proceeded along the path — full of promise and excitement — there was a symphonic harmony in the silence that the valley offered. The constant crackling sound as the Beas river rushes along, as also the rapturous call of the cuckoos and sweet melodies of other little birds, left me enchanted.

Also Read: Gunehar- The Paragliding Zone of India in Himachal Pradesh is home for Emerging Artists 

As the sun settles down behind the hills and the tops blush in a reddish hue, warm yourself over a cup of tea or set up bonfire. With the night’s arrival, the entire valley adorns a different look, especially if it’s full moon time. There is nothing more blissful than watching it shine bright, casting a shimmery silver shadow over the hillsides.

Praising Jibhi only for its scenic charm will be injustice as the place has more in store for travellers. Take a day and trek to the Jalori Pass. And a slightly tedious trek of around five-six kilometres will take you to the Serolsar Lake. What will also enchant you is the walk amidst the path wrapped in a thick blanket of mist and fog while the pine and deodar trees rustle with the passage of chilly winds through them.

Himachal Pradesh is also home to rich architectural structures, most of which usually go unnoticed. The peculiar identity of Himachali monuments lies in their unique craft and woodworks. Go for a stroll across the Chaini village, some four kilometres from Jibhi, and you will encounter a slightly tilted Chaini tower. Opposite to it stands a Krishna temple which has been converted from an almost ruined Chaini Fort.

Trout fishing is another attraction for the travellers over here. Although you need permission, the guest-house authorities will easily be able to help you in procuring it. One can also get the permit from the Fisheries Office near Banjar.

Accommodation in the village is pretty affordable; from luxurious cottages to cheap homestays, there are a lot options for travellers. You can even set up your tent (you’ll have to take your own) near the river bank.

However, don’t hope for a good restaurant. If one is looking for fancy meals then Jibhi is perhaps not the place to be. JD’s Cafe in upper Jibhi and Dolli’s Guest House in lower Jibhi are some exceptions that serve delicacies to the visitors.

Extremely stiff and too many sharp turns make the road from Aut quite an adventurous ride. Although the road is smooth, it is advised to have an experienced local driver at the wheel.

FAQs:

Reaching there: Take the Mandi-Manali route and divert from Aut. If travelling by bus, take any which is till Kullu or Manali and get down at Aut, and take another bus till Jibhi.

Time taken: From Delhi, it takes around 14 hours.

Best time to visit: Avoid winter as road remains mostly closed owing to snowfall. Summer is pleasant otherwise and the monsoon keeps the place cool. (IANS)

 

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Men too Suffer Under Patriarchy: Read Here!

Men are often faced with questions like "You're still pining over an unsuccessful relationship? Come on, boys don't cry" and "What do you mean you cook and your wife doesn't?" under the Indian patriarchy.

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Patriarchy places immense pressure on men as well.
Men are often at turmoil, deciding how to confine to society's set expectations. Pixabay

New Delhi, July 30, 2017: 

FEMINISM – An issue that has been trending on all social media for a while now- the Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. From elaborate movements defending first-day-of–period leave and equal pay, the movement is finally seeing the light of the day in the Indian context.

However, when we focus on how feminism solely reimburses the women under patriarchy, we miss an extremely integral part of the conversation- the ways in which patriarchy affects men.

As a feminist, I have a lot of sympathy for men as well, for which I am almost always at the receiving end of a lot of flack. But I believe that it isn’t just women who are the victims of the society and its patriarchal conditioning, but men too!

We live in a society where the sight of a woman shedding a few tears doesn’t raise any eyebrows, but a man doing the same invites a buzzing swarm of ‘Haww! Look at him!’

The way it is acceptable for a woman to openly express, but the questioning of even the most trivial expressive actions of a man, highlights an imperative underlying problem that is being overlooked in the pretext of ‘patriarchy’.

The society and its collective mentality which says that a woman should stay at home while the man should be the bread earner of the family is the core factor for imbibing different upbringing for boys and girls.

And for some reason, breaking this stereotype does not get the same response.

A man breaking these stereotypes is greeted with a sea of questions.

“Why do you stay at home? A man’s true calling is out there, to work in the field amidst competition.”

“You’re still pining over an unsuccessful relationship? Come on, boys don’t cry.”

“What do you mean you cook and your wife doesn’t?”

While women defying popular stereotypes are flooded with appreciation, men often struggle to justify their stance at every step.

Ways in which patriarchy affects the Indian men-

  1. Toxic masculinity

Men get bullied too. Men face abuse too. And men have their heart broken too.

Because men are human too. Period.

However, the society expects men to never be open about their emotions, but ignore them and ‘toughen up’.  The societal standards for men are venomous- they are destructive and downright regressive.

A man is not supposed to cry, feel pain, or despair because well, ‘boys don’t cry’.

2. False implications 

False complaints of rape and dowry  not just blemish the image of a man, but his line of business, future possibilities, and physical and mental harmony.  Alas, there still are cases of false accusations to extort money or ruin another man’s life that men fight in the Indian patriarchy.

3. Sexual assault

Male rape victims have always been unvoiced sufferers. They are neither at the receiving end of compassion from the society, nor do they have appropriate laws in place for their defense. To add to the anguish, the society makes them feel as “less of a man” because they were assaulted at the hands of ‘frail’ women.

4. Monetary Pressure 

Men do not have a choice but to be bread winners for their families under this patriarchy, which sometimes comes at the cost of sacrificing their own aspirations. They have to think twice and are almost always ridiculed for taking a major career decision because they are always fraught with ‘responsibilities’ to shoulder.

5. Fatherhood 

A child has to be just the responsibility of a woman, apart from the financial aspect of child bearing- that specifically is a man’s domain. As long as a man can take care of all the finances, his assistance in other aspects of child care are not questioned, or asked for. This is the reason why basic concepts like a paternity leave are understood as a redundant notion.

ALSO READ: Girls Count: Uprooting patriarchy by recognizing the role of civil society

Just like women, men fight stereotypes on a daily basis, too. They are looked down upon if they don’t fit society’s set stereotypes- cooking, dancing, fashion continue to be domains not viewed as ‘manly’ enough. And the men who manage to scrap being type-casted to this concept of toxic masculinity prevalent in the Indian society are humiliated.

Equality between sexes is a long drawn battle.
Patriarchy exerts immense pressure on both the sexes in the Indian society. Pixabay

Popular opinion holds that in cases of domestic violence, men are the instigators while women suffer as victims. However, while this is the dominant course of actions, what cannot be ignored is that men are at the receiving end of this abuse, too.

According to the latest statistics by UK based ManKind initiative (released in February 2017), 4.4% of men stated that they have experienced domestic abuse in 2015-16, equivalent to an estimated 716,000 male victims. The same research pointed out  male victims (39%) are over three times as likely as women (12%) not to tell anyone about the partner-abuse they suffer from.

The reason that most female-perpetrated violence goes unreported is due to the stigma attached to it, apparent biases, and the promptness of the system to believe that a woman would never be in such a dominant position to overpower a man in any way possible.

A father’s role as a parent has also always been undermined, if not ignored by the society when in reality, his presence is as important as the mother’s.

These examples are simple, however thought-provoking of how men are type-cast to cater to notions that are not only ancient but also regressive.

What is important to understand is that gender equality should be both ways. Motivating a woman to work and cook for the family, but demeaning a man for doing the same is plain hypocrisy!

The goal should be to create a society where gender equality doesn’t mean the commemoration of women only but a society where issues are of key importance, rather than the combination of chromosomes one inherits.

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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