Khap panchayats refuse to mend medieval ways

Khap panchayats refuse to mend medieval ways

Talking tough

 “Same gotra marriages cannot be allowed and stern punishment should be given to the guilty...such marriages are immoral in the Hindu society and should be banned,” the panchayat chiefs of several villages, who assembled at Soram village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, said. “We can go to any extent to stop such marriages....the guity will have to face the consequences of their act,” convenor of the ‘Mahapanchayat’ Rakesh Tikait said after the meeting.

The caste panchayats have in the past taken a strong view on love marriages and same gotra marriages and in many cases the couples had been killed for the sake of family’s honour.

Resolutions

Although as many as 14 resolutions were adopted at the meeting, same ‘gotra’ marriage issue dominated the agenda and almost all the members spoke against it.

On killings of such couples, Tikati said that they are ‘natural consequences’ and could not be avoided. He, however, said that the caste panchayats were not responsible for honour killings.

Tikait said that the government could not ‘guarantee’ protection of those, who ‘break’ the social customs.

“Who will allow a girl of a village, who is considered as a daughter of the whole village, to become a daughter-in-law of the same village...killings will definitely take place,” he said.
“In many cases, the families themselves take action against the offending couples....such couples must be banished from the village and the families be socially boycotted,” he said. Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Mahendra Singh Tikait, who was also present at the meeting, dubbed same gotra marriage as a marriage of brother and sister.  The panchayats also demanded an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act making same gotra marriage illegal and void.

The meeetings also saw members calling for an end to the dowry system and ‘unnecessary display of money’ at the wedding ceremonies. They also advocated marriages during the day and not the nights as usually happen.

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