BAHADURGARH (JHAJJAR): On the face of it, Bamdoli village in Haryana is like any other north Indian hamlet in November — a cool breeze blows through the fields while elders sit outside kucchapucca homes, smoking hukkahs.
But this time, the breeze is carrying with it a strong message of change. Bamdoli is MissWorld Manushi Chillar ‘s ancestral village, and the residents here have decided to honour her victory by ending regressive traditions.
Soon after the 20-year-old medical student won the pageant in China, the Chhillar-Chhikara khap comprising 11 villages in Haryana and Delhi, banned celebratory gunfire during weddings — a status symbol in a male-dominated society that often leads to accidents and revellers being hurt or killed.
The khap leaders also banned playing of loud DJ music during weddings, which results in excessive spending and gives troublemakers a chance to engage in brawls and spoil the festive mood.
The khap decisions were announced following mahapanchayats at Nijampur village in Delhi and Kahnod village in Jhajjar.
Gulab Singh Chhikara of Kahnod village told that Manushi’s win was a proud moment for the khap.
“With the world’s eyes on us, we wanted to take advantage of the spotlight and bring social change. Our decisions will help end the culture of extravagant spending on celebrations,” he said.
He pointed out that a joyous occasion like a wedding often became a heavy burden for the family. Many ended up in massive debt as a result.
Basti Ram, chief of Chhillar khap, said the decision would show the progressive face of khaps. “Our focus is on social reform,” he said.
Satish Chillar, ex-chairman of Jhajjar zila parishad and a khap member, said they have asked the CM to come to the village when Manushi arrives. “The khap has decided to give her a grand welcome,” he said.
Manushi chillar was the winner of fbb Colors Femina Miss India 2017 and went on to win the title of Miss World 2017.