Bad times for Khaps. The girls are beginning to seek legal-protection and report sexual assaults instead of dying honourably.
All along the Khaps have had it in their power to deny little girls nutrition, education, freedom, inheritance, safety from sexual assaults and domestic violence, life and happiness. And now they are losing that power. That’s the real issue.
1. Less than one percent of Choice Marriages in Haryana (where couples have sought legal protection) are within the same-gotra. [link]
Less than one percent.
2. When families want a same-gotra marriage, they allow one of the same-gotra-partners to be ‘adopted’ by a different-gotra relative. Gotra is changed, marriage is performed.
3. It seems nobody calls same gotra marriages a Western influence or incest or immoral (etc) unless the couple chose each other.
So it seems the Khaps more concerned about women choosing their own partners (where they might choose equality, love and respect instead of caste; and are very likely to dare to ask for their share in property).
So how do the Khaps preserve their unlimited powers over the lives of Haryana’s little girls? Claim they are objecting to something that might find support from atleast some Indians.
Now the Khaps want the Hindu Marriage Act amended to ban same-gotra-marriages.
“People kill their daughters out of the fear that one day they might elope with men of the same gotra,”
“The minds of the younger generation have been corrupted due to invasion of obscene and vulgar culture. Our youngsters have forgotten the rich values and customs of our society,” said Baljit Malik of Gathwala khap.
Addressing the meeting, Hardeep Ahlawat demanded a change in the law to ban matrimonial ties between couples from same gotras and same villages — traditionally viewed as brothers and sisters.
“A legal ban on such marriages would also help curb the menace of honour killings and female feticide which has brought a bad name to Haryanvi society,” said Om Prakash Dhankar, a khap leader.
Other leaders argued that there would not be any honour killings or female foeticide if same-gotra marriages were banned. “People kill their daughters out of the fear that one day they might elope with men of the same gotra,” said Dhankar.
Do we have a law against Semi-Forced and Forced Marriages? Isn’t that what the Khaps should be given when they ask for ban on same gotra marriages? (Because they really need to be told that they don’t get to decide who two consenting adults marry or live with).
And not a word from Khaps about banning of buying of one wife (from other states or countries), for two, three or more brothers in a family?