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Towards the Cause of Men

In one matriarchial society in India, men are bristling with indignation as power rests in feminine hands.

Meghalaya is a beautiful place in the north-eastern corner of India. Meghalaya literally means the abode of clouds, and may I let you into a secret: not all the men in the abode of clouds are happy.

The reason is fairly simple. Belonging to a matriarchal society, these men love to smile when feminists pass their way but otherwise are brimming with indignation. They even tried forming an organisation called Synkhong Rympei where men came together to protest against the atrocities women commit on them! The organisation exists even now but it is difficult as locals, say, to garner support for an age-old tradition.

The tribals of Meghalaya are, as all tribals, happy go-lucky people worrying about their life from minute to minute. Khasi men are prime examples of this, enjoying their drink and having many a stories to recount to each other. What keeps them going is that after a couple of drinks, it does not matter even if they repeat the same story again, no one is listening, no one is hearing. As they indulge themselves, their wives work hard earning the livelihood. As in most hill tribes, you will find more women in the market places selling their wares, more women working in every facet of life. Men seem like ornaments. Actually in Khasi society even that is not true. The Khasi women are so beautiful, that they are famous for their beauty.

In fact that is where the whole problem arose. Khasi women with their beauty and monetary power, tended to have the roving eye. Men from all over the world fell for them and proposed to them in marriage. The highly westernised society of Meghalaya, a fall out of the colonial rule, lost no time in changing their way to match the worlds' and while the men were left watching the women moved many a strides.

Soon it happened that a non-Khasi man was the head of his household while living in Meghalaya and even gave his children his name while a Khasi man still walked behind the name of his mother. There was then the idea that children of mixed marriages should not be allowed a share in the property.

But who is to decide that because they were generally women who married outside and they were the boss! It hurt the male pride immensely and that is how Synkhong Rympei came to be.

In many houses, the man is still the de facto boss of the household. It comes naturally to the children to take the mother's name and that property moves along the matriarchial line. Women say that they will not let this situation changes unless and until men change their way of life and become more responsible. The prospect seems so frightening that sixty percent of the men themselves are against the change!

But this desperate bid by men who are struggling to wear the pants is now entertaining people rather than actually moving their women even by an inch.