Khaps stick to stand: No same gotra & within village marriages

Over 30 khap panchayats in Haryana have categorically asserted that they will never allow or accept marriages within the same gotra and within the same village.

In a meeting at Jind district on Monday, representatives of the prominent khaps of Hisar, Bhiwani, Rohtak and Kaithal districts, also ruled that marriages, in which youngsters do so against their parents' wishes, should be registered in special marriage courts.

Their views will now be presented in the Supreme Court which is hearing a petition filed by a Delhi-based NGO regarding the questionable role of khaps in honour killings and female foeticide.

The apex court had asked the khaps of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to come forward and submit their views on the two issues. While 67 of these bodies had already submitted their opinions last month, the remaining have been asked to do so before February 18. The case comes up for hearing at the Supreme Court on March 5.

Talking to The Indian Express, Sube Singh, coordinator of the Sarvkhap panchayats of Haryana, said: "Our contention is that if gotras are not important then why do women change their maiden names after marriage. This is not only done by people who are illiterate and follow their customs and traditions but also the literate society including IAS, IPS officers and even judges. We are not saying anything against the norms. We have not made these gotras but are simply following and preserving our culture and traditions. These kind of marriages will simply ruin our entire tradition and culture."

He added that the khaps will file separate replies in the case. "Since it would not be possible for us to sum up our suggestions and views in a single reply, we will be filing separate replies so that we can cover all the points that we want to put forward to the Supreme Court," Sube Singh said.

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