Thursday, 17 September 2009

Indian Taliban: Diktat against marriages within 'Gotra'

The Panchayats of North Indian states have emerged as the desi versions of Taliban but their mindless acts evoke little response despite the hazard they pose to our society.

If a young girl and boy who belong to same clan marry, the Panchayats don't think twice before ordering their execution. Ved Pal and Shilpa were not cousins. They just belonged to same khap (clan).

This was enough for the elders to not just issue the diktat of their deaths. But they killed Ved Pal. This happened even after the case had reached the High Court.

In the name of honour, customs and traditions, young couples in Haryana, western UP and parts of Punjab, have been facing threats to life and are killed. Ironically this dastardly practice gets social sanction.

Police fail to act due to popular support to such regressive and barbarian traditions. The Jats and Gujjars are most vocal on this issue and don't want any intervention in their 'culture'. For them marriage within the Gotra is anathema, even if it is lawful.

In this part of Northern India, umpteen such murders take place. The administration remains apathetic and political class turns askance. Hindustan Times' Vikas Pathak and Satvir S Sarwari have covered the issue of 'honour killings'.

The report titled 'Honourable murderes in Haryana' should serve as an eye-opener to us. How thugs hijack our system. It's shameful as couples keep getting lynched, for no fault of theirs.

The growing influence of these panchayats in 21st century is a shame and the courts along with national commissions and the polity must act, to put an end to the local Taliban.

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