The Godikan panchayat in Haryana has become the first panchayat in the country to pass a resolution to marry off girls only to families that have a toilet in their house. Inspired by Bollywood movie Toilet- Ek Prem Katha, the move, say panchayat members, is aimed to ensure safety and well-being of the women folk. Posters and banners that say “Beti wahin byahenge, jis ghar me shauchalaya payenge" (will marry off our daughters to households where we find a toilet), are expected to be put up soon. The Godikan panchayat has already been declared an Outdoor Defecation Free panchayat.
My icon vs your icon
On Saturday, if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remembered its icon Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Congress recalled Sanjay Gandhi. Both had died under mysterious circumstances on June 23. Mookerjee died ostensibly of a heart attack in the custody of the Jammu and Kashmir police on June 23, 1953. Gandhi's plane had crashed when he flew from New Delhi's Safdarjung Airport on June 23, 1980. Mookerjee was the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of the BJP. While the BJP and the Congress remembered their respective leaders, they also questioned the contribution of the other party's icon. If Congress pointed out how Mookerjee had opposed the Congress-led independence movement, BJP mocked Gandhi's forced sterilisation drive during the Emergency.
Seeing is believing
It isn't that the Congress leadership didn't visit temples earlier. But it now takes pains to advertise the fact. This revival of interest in Hindu religion — or at least in ensuring that people see it as a party that accords due respect to Hindu festivals — leads to piquant situations at times. On Saturday, the staff of the Congress national headquarters in Delhi organised a feast. The occasion was the Hindu festival of ‘nirjala ekadashi'. The team invited journalists to be present at the venue at 11 am. However, the invite was sent out at 1 pm. Sources said the staff did organise food and beverages to be distributed to the poor, but forgot to advertise the event suitably. The invite sent at 1 pm was a post event realisation that word must spread that the party staff observed ‘nirjala ekadashi'.