(Here is a news update on what I wrote)
Bhopal Sindhis slap conduct code on girls - Times News Service Community Cracks Down After Elopements With Muslim Boys
Bhopal: After two high courts upheld a couple’s marriage and asked the state to provide them security, a local Sindhi panchayat has come out with a code of conduct for parents to ‘prevent’ their girls from falling in love with Muslim boys. After marathon meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, the panchayat issued a list of instructions to the parents to “keep their daughters in check’’ and “not give them much liberty’’. “Sometimes too much liberty becomes a burden on society,’’ it said.
The panchayat came to these conclusions in the wake of two Sindhi girls eloping with two Muslim boys in the recent past. In the first case, a community girl, Priyanka Wadhwani, eloped with Mohammad Umar and married him only after Umar embraced Hinduism and changed his name to Umesh.
In another case, a minor girl eloped with a Muslim boy. The panchayat has banned use of cell phones by community girls, who have also been asked not to cover their faces with scarves and ‘dupattas’ even during summer. They have also been asked not to move around on two-wheelers in the city. Bajrang Dal activists, too, joined the panchayat under the banner of Hindu Kanya Raksha Samiti. Former Bajrang Dal convener Devendra Rawat claimed 346 Hindu girls married Muslim boys in the past three-and-half years of whom 200 were minors. Altogether 120 of these girls returned after a few months and some even attempted suicides. Sindhi community members claimed over 100 girls have eloped with Muslim boys.
A community leader who headed the panchayat, Bhagwandas Sadnani, told TOI, “We have instructed young girls going to schools and colleges not to carry mobiles. They will not be given two-wheelers. Also, they will have to reveal their faces when they are travelling on the roads. Priyanka Wadhwani’s parents gave her a twowheeler. The family is suffering for that. Has anyone thought of the parents of that girl? What has she accomplished by eloping at the age of 21 with a boy from a different community? What is so great about her act that she has become a role model for some?’’ He added, “We are talking about the well-being of the girls here.” The Hindu way of living is completely different from the Muslim way of life. Many cannot adjust. Has anyone asked what happens to these girls when they are left by their husbands after a few years? Where do they go from there? Parents get their daughters married in their own community to ensure that she is not ill-treated after marriage.The community has its own responsibility because she is a daughter from the same community.’’
The Sindhi community is equally adamant about accepting the marriage. “If Umar has converted, will he go to Hanuman temple? Will he worship Ganesh?’’ Unless he converts in toto, we will not accept the marriage,’’ Sadnani said.
And then there was bound to be an equally silly reaction:
Muslim youth ostracised Angry Muslims in Bhopal also gathered under the banner of Majlis-e-Sura. Chairman of All India Muslim Teohar Committee Oshaf Shahmiri Khurram said, “We have ostracised Mohammad Omar. He has converted to Hinduism. He can’t be part of our community any more. Islam does not acknowledge such marriages. Priyanka Wadhwani should have converted before a nikaah.”