Khaps of Haryana,known for their archaic rules and diktats often bordering on primitive,are going a step further with the construction of a monument as a symbol of their traditions and customs,which includes barring the same-gotra marriage. The first of its kind initiative was approved during a meeting of the representatives of one of the largest khaps of Haryana – Malik,traditionally known as Gathwal khap.
For the purpose of constructing this monument complex,the Gathwal khap has chosen village Ahulana near Gohana,in Sonepat district of Haryana. The Gathwal khap has also got a vacant four acre plot from the Ahulana gram panchayat.
Confirming the development,state president of Gathwal khap,Baljit Singh Malik,said,The decision was taken at a meeting attended by eminent representatives of the Gathwal khap in Jind. The monument shall be a symbol of our customs and traditions. We shall be holding another meeting on June 16 to decide the design of the monument. We shall also be hiring an architect soon. The complex will also have a hall and rooms for indoor meetings and other purposes.
Demanding that the Indian government amend the existing laws for safety and security of women,Malik added,The existing laws are invariably misused by unscrupulous elements who target people for their own vested interests. Gathwal khap will be raising its voice in Delhi and demand amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act,so that same gotra marriages are barred legally.
As per our customs and traditions a boy and girl belonging to the same gotra can only be brother and sister, he added.
On June 16 we shall hold a mahapanchayat in Ahulana village in which representatives of various khaps will participate. We shall hold discussions on various social evils like female foeticide,dowry and child marriage, Malik said.
There have been several cases in Haryana where the khaps have separated couples belonging to the same gotra. Over 100 khaps of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have also raised the issue of barring same gotra marriages in the Supreme Court.
A Delhi based NGO Shakti Vahini had filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding guidelines to rein in khaps because of their archaic verdicts. The SC had asked all the khaps of Haryana and UP to come forward and present their viewpoints on the issue.
Haryanas khaps have been widely criticised by the law makers for their arbitrary rules and regulations,which are binding on people belonging to various communities living in Haryana,UP,Rajasthan and in some areas of Delhi and Punjab.