21 June, 2021

Alone In A Man's World

Sudaka villagers make their women pay for the 'sins' of one who dared to marry above her caste

Alone In A Man's World

IN a man's world, Sudaka is a man's village. Women in this dusty hamlet in Haryana's Nuh tehsil are born to live out male prejudices. Those who dare transgress are punished brutally. Or made to suffer tormenting rejection. This is indeed a painful story. Rife with victim women. One languishing with festering wounds in a Nari Niketan, another abandoned with a suckling infant and many others junked by their husbands in their maternal homes. All severely penalised because a woman in the village dared defy.

This terrible tale of torture and tears traces its beginnings in 19-year-old Maimun's love for Idris. Eleven years older than her and a father of two, the child woman was not considered a suitable match for Idris by the Sudaka elders. Not because he was already married. Most men in the village after all, they reasoned, have more than one wife. Maimun was ineligible because she belonged to a lower butcher Kureshi caste while Idris was a higher land-tiller Meo.

Braving the wrath of elders, however, Maimun convinced Idris into elopement and wedding in Gurgaon on June 8. Once...

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