L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Reining in the khap panchayats

The article “Khap panchayats are violating human rights” by Ranbir Singh (March 15) is apt. Khap panchayats must be restrained by law enforcement authorities from interfering in the marriages of boys and girls of the same gotra or from different gotras in their villages.

The kahps are bringing a bad name to Haryana in general and the Jat community in particular. The khaps are violating the human rights and the Haryana Government must protect them.

No doubt the courts have come to the rescue of victimised couples, however, the police and the state machinery has been least sympathetic. Shamsher Singh Surjewala’s stand against the khaps is appreciable and every right-thinking person must support him.

Exemplary punishment for those responsible for intimidating the couple will deter other so-called khaps from violating the law. In fact, khap panchayas have no legal standing and should not be allowed to function as a parallel judicial system.

Harish K Monga, Ferozepur CITY


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has done a good job in asking the Haryana government to act against the unlawful khap panchayats which have been creating havoc in the state by “passing orders annulling marriages, asking couples to live like siblings and socially ostracising them if they flouted their diktat” (editorial, Reining in khaps: Making DCs, SSPs accountable is apt”, March 12).

Making the DCs and the SSPs responsible for action against the recalcitrant khaps won’t serve the purpose, as the politicians will not allow them to do their duty honestly. If they wanted to, the politicians could have invoked the “Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act, 1967” a long time ago. Even the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh, has asked for invoking this law to deal with khaps. I wonder if the Haryana government will act as per the directive of the High Court.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh.


The khap panchayats have created a reign of terror in Haryana due to the lack of fear of the law and order machinery and the nexus between politicians and the bureaucrats. The High Court’s decision to make DCs and SSPs accountable to curb the khap menace by invoking the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act 1967 is a step in the right direction. It is highly appreciable that the court has specified that failure to deal with khap hooligans would result in adverse entries in the ACRs of the DCs and SSPs. It is high time that the khap goons are brought to their knees and given exemplary punishment.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Women’s education

Truly there has been a change in the vocation of women over the years (“The World transformed”, middle by Roopinder Singh, March 13). Women’s education, which started from the cities, has now spread to villages. Earlier it was thought that spending money on education of a girl was of no use, since she would get married and later do household chores.

However, educated women later on helped in better educating their daughters, who, owing to the winds of change, were employed in professions earlier dominated by males. The world really would be transformed when all women are free to lead a life of dignity and equality.


Improve governance

PP Rao has suggested three pillars for better governance: electing persons of ability and integrity; appointing qualified and competent ministers; and recruiting men and women of proven merit (“Time to tone up governance”, March14). But how does one ensure it? With rare exceptions, politics is dirty.

Ministers, especially at the state level, are appointed more on the basis of area and caste considerations rather than merit. People are also selected on political considerations. Even the members on the selection bodies are hardly qualified. The solution lies in education. The judiciary or persons with credibility should draw a criterion for selection. If it is not followed, the selection should be annulled.

Dr. S. KUMAR, Panchkula



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