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Khap ‘ostracises’ family after daughters perform father’s last rites in Rajasthan

Press Trust of India

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Kota: A khap panchayat of Rager community in Bundi district near Kota on Sunday allegedly outcast the four women and their family members for performing the last rites of their father, who had no son to shoulder his bier.
“The family was subjected to the community wrath as we four sisters decided to shoulder our father’s bier as per his last wish,” said Meena, the eldest of the four daughters of Durgashankar Tailor, 58, who died Saturday night at his residence in Barli Bundi Rager colony in Bundi.
Though some community leaders denied the incident, the victim family members insisted that they have been ostracised “not openly but in a silent way” as they were not allowed to have the customary, post-cremation bath at the community complex.
“They did not supply us any food either after we returned home from the crematorium ground,” said Meena, explaining the custom as per which no meal is cooked in the house of a deceased on the day of the death and the family is supplied food by the neighbours.
The incident comes close on the heels of another case of ostracisation of a five-year-old girl in Bundi district for accidentally damaging some eggs of a sandpiper bird.
Meena said following her father’s death after a prolonged illness, she and her three sisters decided to perform his last rites as per his last wishes and shoulder his bier to the cremation ground, as “we have no brother.” But the community leaders objected to it, threatening with ostracisation of the family and non-participation of community members in the funeral, said Meena.
But as we did perform the last rites of our father, they declared us outcast, she added. “The community leaders first asked us not to shoulder the bier and not to perform the last rites but when we stuck to our decision, they asked us to lay prostrate before them along with our wailing mother and seek forgiveness from them,” said Meena.
“As we did not tender an apology, we were not allowed to have a bath in the community complex after we returned from the cremation ground. The complex was locked and all the men and the women in the family had to take bath at home,” she said.”It was our father’s last wish that his four daughters should shoulder his bier and perform the last rites as we have no brother and we just fulfilled our father’s wishes. We have committed no crime,” said Meena’s younger sister Kalawati, a BA final year student.
“We later even tendered an apology to the community leaders, but they stood adamant. Only a few of the educated community members participated in the funeral,” said Tikam Chand, the maternal uncle of the four women.


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National

Chaiwala vs doodhwala: Akhilesh’s battlecry in Azamgarh

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AZAMGARH: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav coined a new battle slogan to counter Prime Minister Narendra’s chaiwala (tea seller) catchphrase.
“If PM Modi is chaiwala, then we are doodhwala. Without good milk, good tea cannot be made,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister while addressing a rally at Baitholi bypass after filing his nomination from Azamgarh parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha election 2019 .
Targetting PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the SP chief said, “BJP is calling the alliance of SP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal as Mahamilawat. And what will be the coalition of 38 parties be called?”
Ahead of the general election, SP, BSP and RLD announced their alliance on March 6. BSP is contesting on 38 seats, SP on 37 and RLD on three seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In a subtle reference to UP CM Yogi Adityanath while urging voters to remove the “dictatorial” BJP government in the state, Yadav said, “BSP, RLD and SP will hold a new history. First the chowkidar will go away from the country and then the thekedar too.”
“The BJP showed just dreams to everyone, but did not even complete the work. BJP’s talk starts with the toilet and ends there. In any case, there is no special difference between the Congress and BJP in the matter of toilets. If one digs a pit for the toilet then the other has two crates,” said the 45-year-old SP chief.
The SP chief said Azamgarh is the ‘karmabhoomi’ of ‘samajwadis’ and that the SP-BSP-RLD coaliton is an alliance of ‘mahaparivartan’ (grand change) and not ‘mahamilawat’ (adulteration) as alleged by the BJP.
Thousands of BSP supporters joined SP chief and raised slogans like Kaam bolta hai (work speaks).
Akhilesh Yadav is seeking election Azamgarh, a seat won by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 general elections. The BJP has pitted Bhojpuri superstar Nirahua or Dinesh Lal Yadav against him.
Uttar Pradesh is witnessing polling during all seven phases of the election. The first and second phases were held on April 11 and April 18. The next phases are scheduled to be held on April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

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Hardik Patel slapped at a Gujarat rally

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New Delhi : Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped at a public meeting in Gujarat on Friday morning. Patel was slapped in Gujarats Surendernagar district during a Jan Aakrosh Sabha.
Television visuals showed Patel was slapped when he was addressing the gathering. A man could be seen walking on the stage and slap Patel from his right side. Soon, others present at the venue climbed the stage and caught hold of the man.
The man was later detained, reports said.
The incident came a day after a farmer refused to let Patels chopper land on his field. This led to the delay in Congress leaders visit to Lunawada in Gujarats Mahisagar district at the last moment.

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Not going to retire; will be by Rahul’s side when he becomes PM: Deve Gowda

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Bengaluru: Former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has said that unlike BJP veteran LK Advani, he is not going to retire from active politics, and that if Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister of the country, he will be by his side.
Talking about his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls, Deve Gowda said, “I announced three years back that I will not contest elections. There are circumstances now in which I have been forced to contest. There is nothing to hide. I have no ambition of anything but what I always said is that I am not going to retire from active politics.”
Deve Gowda is contesting from Karnataka’s Tumkur parliamentary constituency against GS Basvaraj of BJP.
When asked if he wants to retire like Advani, he replied with an emphatic ‘no’, adding, “I want to save my party first and last the office building.”
Commenting on his son and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s statement that there is a possibility that Deve Gowda might become the Prime Minister as a consensus candidate, he said: “I am not bothered about this. My concern is Modi will come to Parliament. I have got the guts and conviction to tell it to the face of the PM. I have the courage. If Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, I will sit by his side. It is not necessary to become the Prime Minister.”
Speaking about his commitment to the Congress, he said: “Madam Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision to support Deve Gowda even though we are a small party. Now it is my responsibility to move forward with Congress, though I do agree in some states there is no question of any coalition. But in Tamil Nadu, there is a coalition between Congress and DMK and with Sharad Pawar’s party in Maharashtra.”
Responding to accusations of saving the family rather than the party, the JD(S) chief said: “Several leaders who worked with me collectively, have left. Some people are in Congress, some in BJP. I was able to keep the party intact but suffered. I have not allowed my family members to become president of the party.”

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