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Historic move: Hisar khap agrees to climb down on gotra, caste marriages
Deepender Deswal
Tribune News Service

Relaxation not absolute
The ban will continue on marital ties among people belonging to the same gotra, the same village and the villages sharing borders

Hisar, April 20
A skewed sex ratio has driven the mahapanchayat of the Satrol khap, comprising 42 villages in the Narnaund region of the district, to allow inter-gotra and inter-caste marriages in these villages with the exception of marital ties in the same gotra and same village.

The mahapanchayat presided over by Subedar Inder Singh (retd) announced to let go of the six-century-old ban on having matrimonial alliances among those residing in these 42 villages.

The decision has been hailed by most khap leaders and the younger generation, but a section of elders from one of the four “tapas” (groups) of the khap has expressed its reservations. It is being considered as a major step towards breaking the shackles of age-old social restriction. The ban has caused a social problem in the area as a number of youths remained unmarried even after attaining the marriageable age.

The Satrol khap, which is one of the major khaps of the Hisar region, has influence over 100 different gotras of 36 communities and 42 villages, prominent among them being Bans, Petwar, Chulana, Jmawari, Kumba, Dhurna and Khanda Kheri.

These villages have been observing “bhaichara” (brotherly ties) and wedding alliances are prohibited in these villages, irrespective of their caste or gotra.

Hansraj Singh, pradhan of the tapa, said there had been a demand from the society. “We have been getting requests from people to allow marriages among boys and girls of these villages. The khap representatives carried out a survey to realise the problem and create a consensus on the issue,” he stated. Over 100 youths of these villages had not been able to get married even after crossing the marriageable age, he said.

The mahapanchayat had formed a five-member committee comprising Zile Singh of Ugalna tapa, Hosiar Singh of Narnaund tapa, Mahavir Singh and Hansraj Singh of Bans tapa and Satrol khap pradhan Inder Singh to look into the matter.

Announcing the decision to do away with the restriction, Inder Singh said, “With this decision, the khap has paved the way for inter-village, inter-gotra and inter-caste matrimonial alliances among boys and girls of these villages. However, the ban would continue as regards marital ties among people belonging to the same gotra, the same village and the villages sharing borders. I hope the social bond would get stronger among people after this decision.”

Petwar tapa representatives, however, opposed the move and decided to boycott the meeting by walking out of the mahapanchayat.

Reacting to the khap decision, Janwadi Mahila Samiti state president Shakuntala Jakhar said the khaps had no right to meddle in the matrimonial affairs of the people as they had many other social issues like dowry, girl education, women rights to work upon, if they wanted to contribute their bit to the welfare of society.





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