Support for Khap Panchayats swells

After their threat to lay siege to his house, Congress lawmaker Naveen Jindal on Monday attended a Khap Mahapanchayat in Khaithal as support for the caste councils swelled with INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala backing their demand for a ban on marriages within the same lineage.

Mr. 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.

“The INLD was the first to support this view,” he told reporters.

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.

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

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

Mr. Jindal, who is elected to Lok Sabha from Kurukshetra, on Sunday, 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.

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.

"Will take it up with Government"

IANS adds

Congress MP Naveen Jindal clarified on Monday that he had not taken a stand on the demand of khap (caste) panchayats in Haryana to amend the Hindu Marriage Act to prevent marriage within a gotra (clan) but said he would take up the issue with the Government.

“I have not taken any stand, nor has the Government taken a stand,” Mr. Jindal told CNN-IBN channel, responding to queries about his letter to khap representatives.

The MP from Kurukshetra said khap panchayats had demanded that people should not be allowed to marry in the same gotra.

“People have different views. They (khap panchayats) say there should not be marriages in the same gotra. I do feel this had more significance hundreds of years earlier because there were small clans and for medical reasons it was not good to be marrying and reproducing in the same clan,” he said.

Mr. Jindal said people had a right to bring forth their issues and he would take these up before the government for debate in parliament and the State Legislature. “They have a right to say what they want to say.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 2:01:57 AM |

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