Khap panchayats get support from Congress MP



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.

PTI