Khap,gotra and tradition

Hi all,
This post tries to make sense of the narrow traditions the Khaps (the so-called moral leaders of the Jat community) are trying to set example of and how the civil society has issues against them. It also does touch upon some of the unsanitised versions of the Hindu culture which is not known by many people.

There had been lot of news about Khaps and their ways as given in the article

Don’t mess with us, threatens khap mahapanchayat

A massive gathering of 20 khap panchayats (caste councils) from Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday reasserted the validity of diktats to “keep society in order”.
The meeting demanded that the Hindu Marriage Act be amended to prohibit marriage within the same gotra (patrilineal lineage), and passed a resolution against intra-village marriages.
The meeting was called in the backdrop of a Karnal court sentencing to death five members of a family for killing a young couple, who belonged to the same gotra. The couple was killed a few days from their May 18, 2007, marriage by the girl’s family members who objected to what they said was an incestuous relationship.

This is just part of the article which was published in DNA paper on 14th April, 2010

There was an interesting letter which was published on the 15th of April 2010

Look at heritage

This is with reference to the story ‘Don’t mess with us’, threatens khap mahapanchayat (DNA, April 14). A defiant assembly of 36 khap panchayats from Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi demanded that the Hindu Marriage Act be amended to ban marriages in the same gotra (clan). But do these ‘cultured’ upholders of the so-called Bharatiya sanskriti know that ancient India never made bones about endogamy? The word gotragaman (sex in the clan; gaman as in sexual intercourse) was prevalent in the Vedic era and Mahabharat has 26 direct/indirect references to sexual relationships among the same family members.

Kunti’s fascination for her half-son Sahdev was so flagrant and embarrassing that her son Yudhishthir and Bhishma had to admonish her (5th stanza, 4th canto, Aranya Parv). The Sanskrit poets of ancient India never condemned incest or gotra-based marriages or liaisons. The legendary Sanskrit scholar Monier Williams, who died a Hindu, studied almost all the old Sanskrit texts and concluded that there were more than 700 instances of mother marrying her own son or having sex with him, innumerable cases of father ravaging his own daughter or brother-sisters having a swell (pun intended) time together! The point is when such self-proclaimed custodians talk of vansh, gotra, parivar and desh, do they ever bother to have a look at their own history and heritage?
—Sumit Paul, via email

There was an extended article on the same subject on 18th April,2010. The short of all this, while for sometime I rued the fact that I wasn’t born into the Ambani family, I am happy that I was not born into a Jat family.

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