Chandigarh: Notorious for their diktats
prohibiting same `gotra` (clan) marriages, the Khap panchayats
or caste councils of Haryana have got support from Congress MP
from Kurukshetra, Navin Jindal, who has praised them for
rendering yeoman service to the society.
In a letter to Khap representatives, Jindal, who is also
an industrialist, acknowledged the existence of these
panchayats since the time of great rulers like Ashoka and
Harshvardhan and said that these Panchayats had always given a
"new direction" to the society.
Declaring his support to them, he showered encomiums over
these panchayats saying they had been rendering yeoman service
to the society by resolving people`s problems even before the
present day legal system came into existence.
The Khap panchayats at a meeting (Mahapanchayat) held at
Pai in Kaithal district on May 2 had 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 gherao Jindal in Kurukshetra
tomorrow in case he did not extend support to their demand.
Naveen Jindal stated that he supported their demand and
regretted that he could not attend their Mahapanchayat.
"I and my family have always respected the society`s
traditions, customs, beliefs and culture," Jindal said in his
letter, extending full support to the Khaps within the ambit
of the law of the land.
He also requested the Khaps to vigorously fight evils
like female foeticide and dowry besides seeking their guidance
from time to time in future.
Jindal`s letter to the Khaps has come at a time when
opposition INLD has already favoured the demand to amend the
law and ban the marriages within the same gotra and villages.
Various caste Panchayats in Haryana had launched a
campaign against same gotra weddings after a Karnal court on
March 30 awarded death penalty to five persons and sentenced
two others, including a Khap leader, to life imprisonment in
connection with the murder of a couple who had married despite
having a common lineage.