Dictats by the Khaps; what next?

July 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm 8 comments

It is a known (shameful) fact that Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan have the highest ratio of female foeticide and now the regions are set to make another record- ‘highest number of honour killings’.

In news again for all the wrong reasons-Marriage out of caste or within the same gotra (lineage or clan assigned to a Hindu at birth) means a sign on your death warrant issued by the families lead by the khap panchayats. 

Today a slew of such killings have made ‘khap panchayats and their (in)-justice’ a matter of national debate but one such case which happened a few years ago is still edged in my mind. Bibi Jagir Kaur, the first woman to be elected for the second time as the president of the SGPC, tortured and killed her pregnant daughter because she married a boy of her choice. The law is yet to punish her.

According to me worse than the killings is the fact that these bloody killers go scot free.  They mock at our legal system, the politicos support the khaps who lead the vote banks and we read about such killings on the front page of a national daily … Today’s leading national daily quotes a Khap panchayat, ‘girls should be married off by 15 yrs to stop them from eloping.’

I read an article by veteran journalist Ashok Mahadevan in the June issue of Reader’s Digest in context to the ‘death of democracy during the emergency’. I am quoting it here since it perfectly conveys the sentiments “Only as a free society, where everyone has equal rights and is allowed to express them, will we thrive.”


Entry filed under: Me & Media.

Equals The strain of rains

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Prateek  |  July 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    What honour are they protecting? This medeaval thinking has to end. But as you rightly said, they walk free because of politial support. Only decent education can cure such evils.

    Each day someone is killed. And people call the killers heroes who are cleaning the society. Pathetic indeed.

    And Khap is an apt name for such Panchayats. All they are doing is create chaos and anarchy.

    P.S. For those who don’t know Chaos = Khap in Punjabi.

  • 2. Lakshmi Rajan  |  July 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Khaps exists coz they make a political vote bank and so none of the politicians wants to antagonize them.

    • 3. delhizen  |  July 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      precisely the point I mentioned!

  • 4. ray of light  |  July 4, 2010 at 12:42 am

    yes, agree with what you’ve written, bt (as prateek sed) i dont know if education, just, wl do it , it could help , bt thats not all, many educated ppl support all ths vocally or silently,wch is shameful, n thr r many so called, illiterate who know better, its the change of mindset tht is required and that always does not come with education, atleast not the way we define it or impart it..

  • 5. Raju Bist  |  July 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

    You are right in saying that ‘…politicos support the khaps who lead the vote banks…’
    A case in point is Naveen Jindal, one of the ‘baba logs’along with Rahul Gandhi, Murli Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot, all of whom are being projected as young, bright Congress leaders of tomorrow.
    The MP from Kurukshetra openly came in support of the khaps.
    But he met his match at a press conference when a lady reporter asked him how, as a young, educated leader, he could oppose same-gotra marriage.
    “Will your mother allow you to marry within your gotra?” asked JIndal. “Let me speak to her.”
    The connection was established and much to his surprise, the MP got a earful from the journalist’s mother for supporting medieval views!

  • 6. Sapna  |  July 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Just another example that justice is a joke in India. And we proudly call ourselves largest democracy in the world.

  • 7. BullsEye  |  July 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Pallavi, Agree with you that aalthough India is touted as the next economic superpower, but it will stop at that, we will still be socially backward. I am ashamed at the thinking of people when they become self proclaimed judges of someones life. I only hope that the next generation is learning from the older generation’s mistake and is not wrapped in Caste and Creed Taboos.

    • 8. delhizen  |  July 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      I hate to quash your hopes Rahul but the fact is that most of those involved in these murders/killings are young men in 20s…. so looks like we have to wait for a few more generations before these things die forever.!


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