Khaps want schoolbooks to shun intra-gotra weddings

Khap panchayats, many of them self-styled, have been inimical to same-gotra marriages and marriage to those within the same village, which is why representatives of the khaps now feel a need to formally "educate" boys and girls from childhood on the do’s and don’ts of a marriage. PTI file photo

If khap panchayats have their way, the curriculum for schoolchildren in Haryana may even see chapters on matrimony that tell them whom to marry and whom not to marry.

School textbooks in the BJP-ruled Jatland already have chapters from the Bhagwat Gita, on Yoga and more.

Khap panchayats, many of them self-styled, have been inimical to same-gotra marriages and marriage to those within the same village, which is why representatives of the khaps now feel a need to formally "educate" boys and girls from childhood on the do’s and don’ts of a marriage.

Former MLA Sukhbir Farmana, who aired his views at a mega congregation of khaps in Rohtak on Sunday, said marriages within the gotra and within the same village are prohibited and children should be taught in schools about the long-standing practices of the community.

Marriages within the same gotra lead to genetic disorders, he claimed, while adding that all such information can be incorporated in the school textbooks, just as Yoga and excerpts from the Gita have been included.

The worrisome part is the diktats often issued by khaps against those who violate traditions.

There have been instances where the couples were declared siblings after marriage only because the marriage was within the same gotra.

In March this year, the Supreme Court had ruled that "any attempt by informal institutions, such as khap panchayats, to end a marriage between consenting adults is illegal as it violates their fundamental right to choice and dignity".

The khaps have taken the ruling with a pinch of salt.

Sunday's meeting resolved to seek amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to include a complete ban on inter-gotra and inter-village marriages.

The love between consenting adults from the same village invites punitive action that may begin with ostracising the couple and their families.

The khap diktats have often been outlandish, with some self-styled leaders suggesting a correlation between eating chowmein and rapes.

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Khaps want schoolbooks to shun intra-gotra weddings

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