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Khap Panchayat’s rule in Mumbai?


80 families have been boycotted in Varsova Koliwada

KhapMumbai: In a shocking revelation to the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai which is known as the financial capital of the country, the law of age old Khap panchayat rules the society and not the law of justice!

The reader might get shocked to know that neither the politicians nor the educated fellows like doctors have been saved from the clutches of this system. In a day light crime of social exclusion, around 80 families including a family of politician and of a doctor have been socially boycotted by the Khap panchayat in Varsova area of Andheri.

Chhaya Bhanaji, Ex-Corporator, Shiv Sena along with her family has been boycotted from the community. The list goes long and many shining names and faces can be seen as excluded. There are nine lanes of local community in Varsova area of Mumbai at present. The community is been ruled by the traditional panchayat. Those who oppose the ruling class in the community are socially boycotted.

The members of Dongari Galli Tarun Mandal have boycotted Chhaya Bhanaji and her family. In the 2007 corporation elections, Bhanaji was elected by the fishermen community. Thus the question naturally comes to mind whether these ill traditions are mushrooming in the city day by day.

‘Male ego’ hurt with women empowerment:

Chhaya was living in the area before her marriage and she had good local network so it helped her in winning in the municipal corporation elections for the first time. She also served as a director of the Varsova Fishermen Various Development Society for five years. Thus the leader of Dongari lane did not like the empowerment of a woman who was once used to sell the fish. Accodring to Bhanaji, the chairman of the tarun mandal Mahendra Ladage had an ambition to contest the elections but he could not thus he socially boycotted Bhanaji and her family when her daughter was about to get married in an attempt to lower Bhanaji’s social status.

She wrote a letter to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to look into the matter and has demanded for the justice.

It is reported that there are around 80 families in tere lane, Budha lane, Patil lane no. 1, 2 and 3, Bajar lane, Mandavi lane, Dongari lane, Shiv Lane,etc.

Families of Bhanaji along with doctors like Umesh Kutur, Anant Kutur, Narayan gutalikar and others have been socially excluded by these panchayats.

Kashibai Devchand Masali had fought for the justice against the tarun mandals in the court of law but she did not get justice then but she couldn’t. The practice of social exclusion started during the year 1993.

Tualshidas Masali was excluded from the community.

Why do the families get socially boycotted?

The children of Koliwadas have been educated and they have knowledge of laws. But if there are any arguments or quarrels over the issue of property, land, etc. they are solved by the mandals of the area and those who goes against the mandals are socially boycotted.

Jayram Bhanaji and Kisan Bhanaji had opposed the members of these Shivgalli mandal.

Thus the members boycotted this family. Talking with Prahaar, Mangesh Bhanaji said, “As we are socially boycotted nobody from the community come or communicate with us. Whether it would be marriage or any other social gathering programs, we are neither invited nor allowed to attend the programs,” he said.

Sudarshan Bhanaji said that there was so much pain because of such exclusion but being in Mumbai one did not feel much pain and constraints for family life.

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