In recent years, khaps - community courts - in Haryana have made news mostly for the wrong reasons including diktats on weddings and opposing jeans for girls. In election time, the same khaps are being wooed by political parties as they command wide influence.
For a state known to ban marriages within the same `gotra` (clan), a community in Haryana`s Gurgaon district has been forced to abandon a 600-year-old tradition of brotherhood within the community and allow such marriages.
Giving out an unusual opinion which is very different from the ideologies of Khap panchayats so far, chief of such an informal social institution in Haryana has given his approval to use mobile phones and wearing jeans for girls, saying that this is a fundamental right of a girl and no panchayat should put a ban on it.
A prominent Jat outfit decided to join the Jat Khap panchayat`s rail blockade in the district from March if the Centre did not take steps to grant reservation for the community in central government jobs by Friday.