Kaith Pariat is sick of housekeeping and even more so of being bossed around by his mother-in-law. He has put up with this situation since he was married. "Can you imagine the shock of leaving your family home and suddenly becoming a dogsbody in your mother-in-law's house?" he asks. "She gives the orders and you become a good-for-nothing servant."
The Khasi, who number about 1 million in India's north-eastern state of Meghalaya, carry on the matrilineal tradition. The youngest daughter inherits, children take their mother's surname, and once married, men live in their mother-in-law's home.
"Only mothers or mother-in-laws look after the children. Men are not even entitled to take part in family gatherings. The husband is up against a whole clan of people: his wife, his mother-in-law and his children. So all he can do is play the guitar, sing, take to drink and die young," Pariat concludes gloomily.
Men are the weak sex in Meghalaya, but Pariat hopes the Syngkhong Rympei Thymai (SRT) campaign [roughly "a wedge to shore up a shaky table"] will promote reform of family structures. Indeed he wants to achieve more than mere equality. "Men are endowed with natural leadership. They should protect women, who in return should support them," he says.