I went to the railway station to receive my friend. I got to know that the train was 30 minutes late. I started glancing over the newspaper headlines while waiting. Suddenly I saw a snippet mentioning “Amends for Hindu Marriage Act”, below that, there was a small paragraph of information about the Khap Mahapanchayat. I thought that it would be great news for the youth as the people from the Khap Panchayat would want to make it more meaningful. I opened the concerning page, and searched for article and finally found it. Skimming over the lines, I got to understand that they are not ameliorating it, rather trying to cripple it.
The Khaps are supporting the convicts of honour killings and their families, defying the court orders. They even collect money for the kin of honour killers. And they demanded an amendment for the Hindu Marriage Act, so as to fecilitate a ban on within a three gotra distance, means one cannot marry one’s own, one’s mother’s, and one’s father’s mother’s gotras.
Manoj and Babli belonged to the same gotra, got married on May 18, 2007. But they were killed by the girl’s family within a few days, who objected to their incestuous relationship, and their bodies were thrown in a canal. How could he kill his sister? As a brother he should protect his sister but he brutally killed her and her husband. And their kin acted as an accomplice for him to accomplish his dreadful deed. How relentless are these people? After this was done, the government intervened and dug into the matter. Finally their felony was disclosed. Her brother and four other members were sentenced to death, and others were sentenced to a life term of imprisonment. However, even that is not the deserved penalty for them.
But now these Khaps are huddling together to protest against the court orders, and the Khap leader said that they did not want a constitution or a law that goes against their aged-old tradition. They are executing road blockades as part of their protest. Extending their complete support to the convicts and their families, the self-styled mahapanchayat resolved to fight a legal battle to save the honour of the convicts.
Is killing an innocent couple in any way helping their traditions or the purity of their so called gotras to be upheld? Honour killing is an atrocious crimes, and support for that is condemnable. All of this happened from Kurukshetra, the town named after the battlefield of the Mahabharata. This is a chagrin to our so called religious and historic epic.
Being a part of a secular country like ours, one should not be pondering over things like these in the context of marriage. One should know that the couples go along with each other and not their castes or gotras. These people making infringements for the society, they do not deserve to be Indians. As in the picture, the jury was formed by the men only; this represents the value and reverence they give for women. I strongly feel that there could have been a different outcome, if women had played a prominent role in these issues. They cowered to collect money for supporting the convicts. If they had shown the uniqueness to fight for the abolishment of these gotras and stood for the couple, they would have been with their families together.
As they said — Dignity is best resolved by the elders but not arrogance. They should be like parents but not tyrants. Otherwise there is no difference between us and the Palestine Terrorists. Castes or gotras help people to come together. These should not incite them to commit these oppressive acts.