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Hooda’s claims on khaps not correct

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has given a clean chit to khap panchayats by stating that khaps have no role in honour crimes (October 6). Facts, however, speak otherwise.

It were khap panchayats which declared married couples as siblings in Jondhi and Asanda villages of Jhajjar district. The decision had to be reversed after the High Court's directive. It were khaps which declared marriages void in Paintawas and Samaspur in Bhiwani district and they had to retract after the High Court intervention and public outcry.

It was a community/khap leader whose instigation led to the brutal murder of Manoj-Babli and it is he who organised the social boycott of Manoj's family in the village. The trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment for his role in honour killing. Ved Pal's murder was the handiwork of Bhanwala khap which had decided to teach him a lesson for violating the neighbourhood norm in marriage. Ram Dia, head of Bhanwala khap, was sentenced to life imprisonment along with 11 others.

A big khap conclave was held at Kurukshetra on April 13, 2010, where a committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Gathwala khap head to collect ten rupees from each family to help the killers of Manoj-Babli. This is a clear-cut proof of khap leaders extending financial help to convicts in a well publicised case of honour killing. Examples can be multiplied.

Khaps have fostered a culture of intolerance in the name of tradition in villages which subjects a family with 'deviant' daughter to taunts and sneers which makes its life in the village unbearable. This drives its members to commit murder to win peace. It is this psyche that drove the father of the girl in Girnawati, near Rohtak, to murder the couple recently, though there is no direct involvement of the khap in this case.

Khap zealots should change their mindset in tune with the changing times and concentrate on larger social issues instead of meddling in marital affairs only if they wish to earn social relevance in the age of globalisation.


Communal politics

The recent incidents of communal violence in Kishtwar and Muzaffarnagar have put the Constitutional resolve of fraternity in doubt. Why is this communal disharmony arising when elections are round the corner? Well, the communal forces are trying to divide the electorate into 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' vote-banks. To achieve this diabolical goal, these powers are using the instruments of false propaganda against the other communities.

Now in Malerkotla in Punjab attempts are being made to create a communal discord between the Hindu and Muslim communities. Malerkotla, a largely Muslim-dominated town, has a history of brotherhood among the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim communities. In 1947, when the whole of the Indian sub-continent was bleeding there was perfect harmony in Malerkotla.

LOVLEEN SINGH, via email

Negative voting

With the inclusion of "NOTA" (none of the above) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Election Commission has provided a chance to the people to register a negative opinion against the candidates in a constituency. It is a good move, otherwise voters abstain from voting in the absence of worthy candidates. The Election Commission should consider the figures of "NOTA". If the number of "NOTA" votes exceeds the highest number of votes fetched by a candidate, then there should be a re-polling after discarding all the candidates on the list and taking a fresh candidate list from the constituency. Thus, political parties will not nominate corrupt and tainted candidates as crores of rupees spent on campaigning would be wasted along with the stake of the party. Only worthy, noble and honest candidates will be surfaced.


Liquor vend

The Himachal Pradesh government's excise policy prohibits setting up liquor vends in close proximity of educational institutions. However, the liquor vend at Ambota village of Una district violates the said policy as there are three largely attended co-educational schools functioning within a radius of 200 yards from it. Is not it strange, pray?

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

DA instalment

The Central government has announced another 10 per cent DA instalment for its employees and pensioners with effect from July 1, 2013. On the other hand, the Punjab government has not released even the earlier instalment (due from January 1, 2013) so far. With the festival season fast approaching, the Punjab government is urged to immediately release the instalments so that the employees, pensioners and elderly could get some relief.

G R KALRA, Panchkula

Spurious drugs

This is with reference to the report 'Illegal pharma unit raided' (September 29). There may be many more pharma units at Kala Amb village in Sirmaur district which are manufacturing spurious or substandard drugs and misusing the exemption given by the Himachal government.

Drug Controller Navneet Marwaha had done a condemnable job by unearthing and seizing a huge cache of spurious drugs being illegally manufactured. I suggest periodical screenings of the units must be carried out by the authorities. Those found guilty must be brought to book and awarded an exemplary punishment.

M P SINGH, Mandi

Spiralling onion prices

The steep rise in the prices of onion and vegetables is going to be a hot election issue. It has been rightly mentioned in the editorial Onion on the boil (September 19) that the decision to put a ban on the export of onions is to be taken now. On its part, the government seems helpless to control its prices due to some mighty lobby of onion growers. The whole scenario of price mechanism is being controlled by the supply forces. If the countrymen decide to boycott the use of onions for a week, hoarders and traders will come out of their shells to sell onions at much lower rates.

DR S K AGGARWAL, Amritsar 

A good gesture

The photograph of Sunil Jakhar of the Congress bowing to touch the feet of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal (October 5) reflects the deep-rooted moral values, maturity and uniqueness of Punjabi culture for which it is known all over the world. It emphasises the fact that we can have political and ideological differences but still the experienced and senior citizens are to be respected. It conveys a strong message to those elected representatives who do not hesitate to come to blows and throwing chairs at each other in a legislature. Such gestures help build a peaceful and congenial atmosphere in the temples of democracy.




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