Terming same gotra marriages as “immoral” and “against the tenets of Hinduism”, the caste panchayats, at a meeting on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh’s Jat-dominated Muzaffarnagar district, about 450 kilometres from here, said that such marriages must be banned.
Elder members from as many as 18 khaps, including those from the neighbouring Haryana, where many incidents of honour killings have been reported as well, took part in the meeting, which was presided over by the ‘Sarva Khap’ general-secretary Subhash Baliyan.
The members claimed that “sagotriya” (same clan) marriages have been banned in India even in the ancient times. “Its an ancient system, which has been there for thousands of years,” the members said. “Even during the period of King Harshavardhana, same gotra marriages were considered against the Hindu religion and were banned,” claimed Om Prakash Malik, a senior office bearer of the ‘sarva khap’. “Our society does not recognise such marriages as they violate the social structure and laid down social rules and regulations. One has to follow the social customs and traditions,” said a member.
“There will be social anarchy and immorality if same gotra marriages are allowed,” added another member.
The khaps said that the Union government must enact a law declaring same gotra marriages as illegal and amend the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act. The members said that a memorandum would be submitted to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on July 21 next listing their demands. A similar meeting would also be held in Delhi to decide about the future course of action.
They, however, said that honour killings were not justified. “No one should take law into his or her own hands,” they said, adding quickly that the opposition to the same gotra marriages was also justified.