Recently, a young man from Dalit community in Mewat (Nuh), Haryana, was punished by a joint panchayat for sharing a facebook post against the prophet of another religion. The man, named Daulatram, is from Prajapat community. He was punished with 11 shoe beatings in front of panchayat and fined Rs. 21,000. Also, he cannot enter his village Nagina for a period of 3 months as punishment.
The panchayat had a representation of members from all communities, though the entire Mewat district is a Muslim majority area. To keep the punishment ‘just’, an elderly member of the same Prajapat community was asked to beat Daulatram with a shoe 11 times, and the fine of Rs. 21,000 is said to be deposited in the temple where the same community goes to.
Looking at the recent arrest of a minor boy in West Bengal over a Facebook post, flouting the laws for protection of minors, and the fact that many Hindus were attacked as a reaction to that post, even the house of that young boy was burnt down, this punishment for Daulatram seems less damaging and was even appreciated by certain people sitting in the panchayat. However, one cannot deny that Daulatram was publicly humiliated and made to pay a hefty fine.
Usually, the leftist liberal groups are always against the diktats of khap / joint panchayats, these panchayats are often blamed by them for making their own laws and for announcing patriarchal decisions. However, this news has not earned any prime-time. But the question arises if it is alright for these local panchayats to make inter-religion decisions and curtail the freedom of expression of the residents who are minority in that particular area?
Similarly, we still have colonial hate speech laws like 295 A, 153 B and others, which actually are a blot on the absolute freedom of speech that the secular – leftist – liberal groups call for. And these laws are misused many a times against logical discussion / expression on religion/s.
It is unimaginable that a small Hindu resident group would punish a Muslim boy for disrespecting Hindu Dharma in a Muslim country like Pakistan and Bangladesh! Of course, the usual leftist excuse given is that we are ‘different’ and our constitution is ‘secular’. But that doesn’t mean that any criticisms of religion should lead to public humiliations and financial fines outside the court.
Featured Image Credit : News 18
(We thank Shilpi Tiwari for speaking to us).
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