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The Khap controversy putting Jat identity in crisis
Agreed,hence the need for amendment in the act. It is argued that in case of conflict between a custom and a law it is the law that prevails, laws have been amended several times to suit the public and society.
THE HARDWORKING Jat community of Haryana, Delhi, Rajsthan and Western U.P. is facing serious identity crisis. The whole country, Union Law Minister Veerapa Moily, National Human Rights Commission, media, particularly the English press and electronic media and Congress party high command is up in arms against the Jats for demanding amendments in the Hindu Marriage Act banning marriages between the same gotra (sub-caste) and in the same village.
 
The National Human Rights Commission has commented that no one has the right to take law in thier own hands by violating an individuals right to life in the name of traditions. C.P.I {M} has even gone upto the extent of smelling conspiracy by the communal forces over the issue as its pilitbuearo member Neloopatal Basu has alleged while addressing a press conference at Chandigarh recently.
 
He alleged that Hindu communalism was being used to establish the supermacy of one particular religion in the country. adding that it is divisive game of reacationary forces and they must be isolated in the interest of social justice and rule of law.
 
Khaps are being projected more dangerous than Kasab. I may clarify that i am not holding brief for thier alleged fatwas of honour killings and breaking marriages between couples which they did not like and asking them to live like brother and sister even after several years of the marriage. I also do not agree to their demand of banning the marriages in same villages as in some parts of Haryana adjoining Rajsthan and in Rajssthan it is common practise. Even in home village of Om Parkash Chautala, this practise is common and D.R.Choudhary, member of Haryana administrative reforms commission of the village is married in the same village.
 
But certainly their demand for banning marriages between same gotra has overwhelming support cutting across caste lines. Mange Ram Sharma, president of all World Brahmin Sabha has also supported this demand adding that marriage between same gotra is sin and it is not the issue conmcerning only the jats.
 
Gujjjars have also supported this demand. Even former top cop K.P.S.Gill has also supported the demand with a rider that Panchayats should not take law into its hands. Even this demand has scientific and medical support as marriage in same gotra may lead to genetic problems. This is not only issue of Jats.
It is another thing that being a martial communtiy they have aggressively raised the issue. Congress M.P. from Sonepat Loksabha constituency Jitender Malik while supporting the demand has assured that he will bring private member bill in the house for this purpose.
 
Shadi Lal Batra, a close confident of Haryana Chief Minister , Bhupinder Singh Hooda has introduced a private member bill in the Rajya Sabha over the issue. I may iask where the champion of civil liberties and those condemning the Jats over the demand for amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act were when the judgement of the apex court in Shah Bano case was overpowered by making amendment in the constitution.
 
Even now Darul uloom has issued fatwa that working in banks and opting for insurance is against the teachings of islam. union minister for minorities Salman Khursheed has rightly said that he was a muslim and has bank account and insurance.

The media partcularly the national english press and electronic media is flooded with reports concerning khaps using the word talibani, fatwas and honour killings. In Haryana it has become a political issue with Om parkash Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal supporting the demand and even promising to bring private member bill in the state assembly for making amendemnet in the Hindu marriage act.

 
Yoga guru Ramdev has also supported the demand with a rider to panchyats not to take law into their hands. The issue has put Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in catch-22 situation as his party high command is against this demand.
 
Although as a part of damage control exercise his close confidante Shadi Lal Batra has introduced private member bill in Rajya Sabha over the issue but his opponents are saying that when Haryana assembly can make amendment what is the need of putting it into Rajyasabha which they allege is only eyewash.
 
Naveen jindal, young M.P. of Congress party, who was forced by the panchyats to support their demand for amendement in the act was grilled by the party high command. Union tourism minister Kumari Shelja has also opposed the demand arguing that couples should be allowed to marry according to their wishes.
 
Bhupinder Singh Hoooda says that khaps will not be allowed to take law in their hands as they do not have any legal authority adding that if somebody does anything good for social cause we welcome it. There is no need of repeating it.
 
Government has enough power under the I.P.C. to deal with such elements provided it has the will power to act. National media is reporting the issue without knowing the factual position. Khaps and panchyats are two different bodies where khaps have historical background doing good social work feels former haryana D.G.of Police M.S.Malik whereas panchayat is gathering of few persons.
 
Even the allegations that Khaps issue fatwas for honour killings is debatable. Rowdy elements of the affected area issue such Talibanic fatwas and the successive governments have failed to take action against such elements fearing vote bank. Such elements needed to be handeled firmly.
 
National media is creating confusion by clubbing the words same gotra and inter-gotra marriages. Jats have only put their demand to prime minister and president of india and they have all the right to be heard. Even Kasab was allowed to present his defence.
Condeming Jats without listening their viewpoint is not justified, says Yoginder Dahiya , a political activist and Lawyer at Rohtak bar, adding that there is enough provision in the Hindu Marriage Act for amending it to ban same gotra marriages according to the customs and traditions of particular area. He said that same gotra marriage is sin as it is like marriage between sister and brother.
 
Shamsher Singh Nehra of Meham Chobisi area also supported the demand while asking the panchayats to put their viewpoint politely instead of threatening of gherao of politicians.

Sixty five year old judgement of Bombay high court is cited as Bhagwatgeeta by the media to declare same gotra marraige valid.Same gotra marriage legal, court had ruled 65 years ago by Bombay High court, says Jagmati Sangwan, in a leading English newspaper of the country.

 
Keeping in view the historical perspective and the contemporary situation in mind, questions or issues should be raised, says Dr. Ramesh Kumar Maddan, a researcher and political anlyist, adding that no doubt, she is raising the various socio-political issues from time to time and supporting such families against the Khap diktats.
 
But in addition to this, the fact cannot be denied that the Khap panchayats are existing since times immemorial. The media and the activists who are not very well known about the structure and functioning of Khap panchayats as well as the culture of rural society.
 
It is widely accepted fact that we are living in the information and technology era. There is a crisis of identity prevailing in the biradari regarding marriages in Haryana. Under the prevailing circumstances there is an urgent need to understand and analyse the communities and culture in the states particularly Haryana. We find a lot of difference in the style and functioning of life style.
 
With the breach in the principle of village and clan exogamy, due to this reason there is dissent and challenge on this front? The extra- judicial power and activity of the traditional panchayats have severe implications for the state, the state stands devalued, unable to protect its citizens or implement its own laws.
For the progress and development of any state or society, leadership is considered to be an important factor the more dynamic, articulate and assertive leadership is the more progress of the state or society is expected to be. It is sorry state of affairs that the academicians or the power holders are nor taking much pain for the solution of the community problems.
 
Hence the crisis is at its climax. It is the need of the hour to think and introspect in the prevailing situation and play an effective role for the survival, sustainability and suitability for the social system in the larger perspective.
 
If we look at the historical perspective ,the various sources of Laws are---customs, traditions, history ,public opinion, commentaries, judicial decisions based on customary law in that particular community, legislature, executive, judiciary and contemporary situations etc.
 
Because the Khap panchayat mobilises a large number of people on the basis of caste, community, kinship, gotra and villages, including persons from the neighbouring areas. By bringing in a wider biradari from outside the village, links which makes the panchayat look more powerful are activated; issues such as breaking of social taboos, customs, rituals and hierarchy are used as the strategy of mobilisation.
 
Youth and women usually the affected party are not allowed to raise their voice regarding their opinion. The question is raised age and experience should be respected in front of elders. These highly emotive issues succeeded in uniting people in Haryanvi society.

 
In such a situation , there is an urgent necessity to amend the Act in the larger interest of the society ,state and system.

Haryana is no Bombay or Goa where girls even in Western attires can freely roam on beaches without inviting anybodys attention. The Punjab and haryana high court while rejecting public interest litigations of some residents of Haryana for making amendments in the act banning same gotra marriage has commented that no tradition can violate the law.

 
Agreed, hence the need for amendment in the act. It is argued that in case of conflict between a custom and a law it is the law that prevails, laws have been amended several times to suit the public and society as they are for the welfare of the society in a democratic country.
 
 


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news in THE Tribune
Senior Congress leader Sampat Singh said here today that the issue of same-gotra marriage was a social concern, which should be allowed to settle on its own without any interference from the state or the union government. Maintaining a safe distance from the issue, he said such matters could create imbalance and affect the social fabric of the state and hence should not be dealt with haste at any level. Speaking to mediapersons, Singh said the society should itself come out with an amicable solution to the issue. Even if a law was enacted to annul same-gotra marriages, its role would remain limited, claimed Singh. He stated that amendments in the Hindu Marriage Act was a vast subject as it would affect lakhs of people across the country and it would be a cumbersome exercise to change it to suit the demands of a single state. On being asked about the discontent amongst the party leadership over the working of the government, he said the Congress government was working as a united house in the state and even if there were some differences of opinion amongst its leaders, the party stood on firm ground. He said opposition parties had been making futile attempts to disgrace the Congress on various grounds. Reacting to the statement issued by local legislator Balbir Pal Shah, he said the Congress was the only party in which all had the right to voice their concerns. Citing examples of Maharashtra and other states, Shah had recently stated that leaders hailing from different social backgrounds had been made Chief Ministers there and why in Haryana only one section of society was being chosen to lead to the state, while there were more experienced leaders in the party who could be in the forefront.
Azad Kaushik
Azad.K.Kaushik,Dsc [Paris] Pandit Mange Ram Sharma, President, World Brahman federation,delhi,india dear pandit sharmaji, Thank you for asking my candid expert opinion about the outcome of gotra marriages.given our expertise in the area of immunogenetics in the context of health and disease, I am pleased to share our well-considered opinion on this important matter concerning health genertics.Essentially ,mariage within a gotra reflects inbreeding with significant health consequences .the studies from southern India have cleraly shown that a marraige within a gotra or closely related clan contributes considerably to infant mortality and morbidity. for these reasons , marriages within a gotra or closely related clans are not advisable because of genetic defects that are likely to occur. We , in the western word , are amazed with the wisdomof great rishi;s of India who created the gotra system to ensure that inbreeding does not occur and it stands to scrutiny of modern science. in fact because of gotra system and marriages outside gotra , north indian have few genetic disease as compared to others, for example , Muslims and jews where marriages within first cousions are common . In Europe and North Amercia , genetic counselling frior to marriage ,consistent with gotra system to maintain genetic diversity, has become common to avoid genetic diseases.i do hope that these comments are helpful to understand and resolve the current gotra controversy you mentioned about. please feel to let me know if i could be of further help in this regard.Ii is important to understand many Indian traditions that have a stron scientific basis and should not be discarded in the name of progress. sincerely.Azad.k.kauchik professor of IMMUNOLOGY
Mayank Delhi
It seems that a section of english press has launched malicious campaign against young and patriot M.P. from Haryan Naveen jindal over his support to demand of khaps for amendment in Hindu marriage act banning same gotra marriages. Jindal who had attended meeting of khap held in his constituency has never supported honour killings. he has only supported the demand for ban on same gotra marriages and at the same time he has asked the khaps to launch campaign against other social evils like female feticide etc and i think that by this he had nmot committed any son. But engilsh media is projecting him as orthodox and supporter of regressive ideas. comparing his fight for every citizen;s right to hoist the national flag it is being written that when a crusader for individual freedom backs a proposal preventing two human beings to be in love and make a future together , one wonders what our politicians will do to get a few extra votes. adding that Jindal could be role model for rural youth of haryana but be blew it with his short-sightedness to remain in power. What a strange comparison between hoisting national flag and marriage in same gotra. i see a bigger conspiracy by his political opponents to discredit him in the party high command as he is getting popular cutting across the caste lines. Even jat leader and former chief minister omparkash chautala has also appreciated his boldness. Naveen has rightly asked reporter of a national english daily that whether she will marry with boy of his gotra He has rightly told the reporter that villagers consider their culture and traditions as it gives them a sense of security. The newspaper story has projected jindal that he believes in the khap patriarchy and wants people to practice it. naveen should not bother about media campaign as it has its own agenda. He should bother only about the people of the state. As i remind the readers extracts from the memoirs of ousted American president Nixon regarding dealing the media . He says that when you are morally firm and right on your stand then do not bother about media and have straight dialogue with the masses.Naveen has inherited values from his father O.P.Jindal who created hiss business empire by hard work
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