Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Friday came out in support of Khap panchayats claiming that their stand on not allowing marriages between people of same gotra has scientific backing.
Khaps, or caste or community organisations in villages, have often, acting as quasi-judicial bodies, pronounced harsh punishments based on regressive customs and traditions.
“Some people have tried to defame the khap panchayats, but they have a principle that within a village…intra-clan marriages should not take place. It has been proven scientifically that intra-clan marriages should not be performed,” Khattar said in Panchkula.
“If the relation of sister and brother is followed within the village, or within neighbouring villages and khaps… then certainly it will have an impact on the society. I have given the example of Gujarat also where the women are referred to as behen (sister) and the men are referred to bhai (brother). Marriage is an ancient tradition…If we maintain such relations (of sisters and brothers), then any person should think well before committing such a crime (of marrying in the same gotra),” he added.
Opponents of the same gotra marriages term such weddings as social crime. The khap panchayats have been seeking an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to prohibit same gotra marriages.