After Jindal, OP Chautala extends support to Khaps

Navin Jindal attended a Khap meet while Chautala met Chidambaram for their cause.

Updated: May 11, 2010, 00:11 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Khaithal/New Delhi: After their threat to lay siege to his house, Congress lawmaker Navin Jindal today attended a Khap Mahapanchayat in Khaithal as support for the caste councils swelled with INLD supremo O P Chautala backing their demand for a ban on marriages within the same lineage.

Chautala, the former Haryana Chief Minister, met Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi and requested him to amend the Hindu Marriage Act with a view to banning marriages within the same lineage or clan.

"We are opposed to inter-caste marriages which are not right scientifically and medically. The INLD was the first to support this view," he told reporters.

Chautala, who gave a memorandum to Chidambaram, added: "We will bring a proposal in the state assembly regarding this. This (marriage within same gotra) is not in sync with the Indian culture."

In April, the Haryana Khap panchayats sought an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act seeking a ban on marriages within the same gotra.

The demand came when they were protesting against the conviction of six people, including Khap panchayat leader Ganga Raj, in the honour killing of a couple who had married within the same gotra.

Notorious for their diktats prohibiting wedlocks within the same clan or villages, the Khap panchayats, often flayed for handing out medieval justice, yesteday received support from Congress MP and industrialist Navin Jindal.

Jindal told a Mahapanchayat in Kaithal today that he would vigorously take up their demands with the Congress High Command and Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana.

Addressing the Sarvjatiya Sarvkhap Mahapanchayat, about
120 km from Chandigarh, Jindal, an industrialist and MP from
Kurukshetra, said he would vigorously take up the issues
raised by khap panchayats and their sentiments with the
Congress high command and also with the B S Hooda government.

His assurance came after the Mahapanchayat handed over a memorandum to him listing their demands.

Jindal, who is elected to Lok Sabha from Kurukshetra, yesterday showered praise on the Khap panchayats for rendering yeoman service to society by resolving people`s problems even before the present day system came into existence.

In a letter to Khap representatives, he acknowledged the existence of these panchayats since the time of great rulers like Ashoka and Harshvardhan and said these had always given a new direction to society.

Khap panchayats had at a meeting at Pai near here on May
2 put all elected representatives in the state on a one-month
notice to support their demand for amending the Hindu Marriage
Act seeking a ban on same gotra marriages.

They had also threatened to lay a siege of Jindal`s house
in Kurukshetra today in case he did not extend support to
their demand.

"I and my family have always respected the society`s
traditions, customs, beliefs and culture," Jindal said,
extending full support to the Khaps within the ambit of the
law of the land.

On Jindal observations vis-a-vis Khap panchayats, the Congress said it was an expression of opinion by an honourable Member of Parliament and there was no change in the party`s stand on the matter.

"The Congress` stand is crystal clear. No customary law or practice can possibly be excused or condoned in any manner if it involves killing of any kind in the name of honour, tradition or heritage," spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here.

-Agencies inputs