Khap panchayat: Hindu ‘fatwas’
In Haryana, khaps ( self-administered units of villages, mainly in references to Jat community. Jats have traditionally been a very brave and heroic community) have in recent years passed some orders (diktats to be more precise) which have created controversies. Here is a letter published in The Tribune concerning this issue. I am inclined to call these these diktats Hindu ‘Fatwas’ ! In a democracy and liberal society, these kinds of medieval practices have no place and are clearly anti-progressive. I am not sure but my feeling is that majority of people (including Jats) donot approve of these acts and probably give a damn!
Tackle khap panchayats with iron hand
Ranbir Singh and Chaitali Pal’s article, “Strengthen panchayati raj to tame khap menace” is timely. I do not think delegation of more powers to panchayats will tame khap panchaysts. In fact, they need to be dealt with an iron hand by the administration. They are running parallel governments and are interfering in the personal life of othercitizens. This is a slur on the democratic set up.
Ironically, khap panchayats generally issue diktats against the poor and weaker sections who dare not utter a word against the rich and the powerful. For instance, no panchayat said a word against Mallika Sherawat (a Jat girl) who has crossed all limits of obscenity.
In the case of the Punia couple of Jevali village in Bhiwani district, the khap panchayat had issued a sermon that the Punia boy who married a girl of sheoran gotra won’t be allowed to enter the village.
The administration kept mum over the incident while the Punjab and Haryana Court had ruled in earlier cases that the administration should curb the misdeeds of khap panchayats by dealing with them firmly and that they should not allowed to reign over the lives of other poor sections of their community.
G.D. GUPTA, Jagadhari