So when he khap panchayats of Haryana got Kurukshetra MP Navin Jindal to air their views to the Parliament, as he likes to put it, the story became simpler. Now it was one individual (Jindal) vs. modern India. Now it was an educated babalog neta letting us down. How could you? Now one didn’t have to enagage with the khap panchayats themselves. It could now be given more ai time and column space than when the khap panchayats were getting same-gotra couples killed.
Now, a ‘section’ of the Arya Samaj in Haryana says it won’t allow Arya Samaj temples to be used for marriage of same-gotra couples, or for any marriage without the consent of not only both sets of parents but also the entire village. Outrage is in order, though perhaps “shocker” is not a great word.
Haryana is not far from Delhi, but the media portrayal of the story sounds like we are talking about another world – the word medieval is used ad nauseaum. Well, at least 4,810 times the last I Googled. The word medieval is typical of the portrayal of the Jat khap panchayats and their campaign against same-gotra marriages as distant, as something that doesn’t belong to our modern social milieu. It happens in some village in Haryana which has never been visited by the TG (Target Group) of our news channel, paper or magazine.
An editor with The Pioneer tweets: “Decent society should shame and shun moron called Naveen Jindal. Indecent society should strip and chase him to netherworld of khaapis.” Poor Navin Jindal, you can see he doesn’t believe in what he is saying but if he has to win the next election from Haryana he has to say it.
Further, on the Arya Samaj issue, again the editor makes it out to be about just an individual: “Arya Samaj should expel Baldev and his thugs.”
The problem here is that not marrying within the gotra is very common and widespread, and when the marriage is arranged, or even when it is not, parents do take care of it. Across north India, couples elope and find shelter in feminist-run NGO organisations (who for the purposes of the TG are to be derisively described as jholawallahs) and often run for their lives. Honour killing is not a rarity even if the media has convinced us that a middle class family in Noida did not do so in the recent past.
So here’s the real “shocker”: 65% in urban Chandigarh shares the view of the khap panchayats. Go figure. Discover a whole new world where your TG is not what you thought. Your TG is against same-gotra marriage even if they, and you, claim you don’t know your caste, let alone gotra.