Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Postmortem of article by D.R. Chaudhry that came in Tribune on April 11, 2010, with title “Bringing khaps to justice”.

 Few points on essence of Choudhary's article:

1. Honor Killings are prevailing in areas with tribal hangover (Haryana, some part of UP, Pakistan and Yemen).

2. Honor Killings are (solely) a product of institution called Khaps.

3. Khaps leads to grotesque and barbarous manifestation of gender discrimination. And Skewed sex-ratio might be a by-product of Khaps.

4. Khaps have no relevance today. (Though some UP Khaps are different as they are doing some good 'work'.)

5. It is unimaginable that Khaps in Haryana can do any good work.

6. Khaps are rigid (though later he contradicts himself, giving examples of Khap's progressiveness).


My postmortem: Nice international touch, I must say, in comparing the Khaps with some of the worst Muslim countries! Author’s 'agenda' behind this comparison becomes quite clear when he introduced the 'barbarous gender discrimination '. After all these Muslim countries are famous for treating women as commodity (no education to girl, can't go outside without male from his family).

I really wonder when did all this started in Haryana? Last time (in Nov 2011) I checked in/around my village (not a Las-Vegas or Paris, I should declare), Girls were not being treated any worse than boys. At least 20 girls are doing Masters Degree and multiple times doing Bachelor Degrees and almost every girl of my village is doing schooling. Their will of career and study are always patted by their parents and villagers, their successes in studies and career are equally cheered up as of the boys. I see no Gathwala-Khap declaring any fatwa against any of these girls. And it’s all in the central hinterland of Khaps. Skewed sex-ratio has of course many other reasons.

Girl and Dishonor: Not true, a boy marrying in his gotra or village brings equal dishonor. Author seems to be myopic (of course prejudiced); even in some recent much-publicized cases it was the couple (which means, BOY along with girl) who got killed. Those too were by their family and relatives no Khap member even by miles nearer in such engulfing.

But who cares... bring the allegation of gender discriminations along with neo-liberal thoughts (which resonances with people, who read these articles; who, BTW, do NOT have any idea about the actual situation/local traditions or rationale behind them) and you are a HIT.

Not surprisingly he beats the Jat & Khaps with a recently invented stick--- Khap are Indian Taliban-- latest fashion in media (and among some intellectuals).


Author seems to have a lot of knowledge about the honor killings in other countries too. Surprisingly he did NOT mention our own Indian states. I have repeated this many times at various platforms that Southern states are no better when it comes to honor killings. One friend of mind living in banglore for last five years says in his own words, “In my last five years in Bangalore, I have met many people from these states - almost all kinds and from the villages, town and cities and had good discussion with them. Every region has some traditions and people abide by them. e.g., one of my lab mates (from AP) told that they too don't marry in their own village. My persistent question what if someone does; he yielded: Village as a whole will boycott them and it will be stigma to them forever, hence nobody does that. Further probing yielded: yes, there have been mysterious 'deaths' supposedly due to dishonor!!”

I don't understand how author (and some people) absolves themselves, parents and society of Honor killings and put the whole blame on Khap as if there won't be any honor killings if Khaps cease to exist.

Will you, I, your relatives or your friends or your local society become liberals (media sense) instantly if some magic button aborts Khaps??

More on honor Killings: Sometime back there was news about 'honor killing' somewhere in UK or Canada where NRI couple killed their daughter as she married to some firangi.

Was it Khap's influence?? Was it the fear that they (NRI) might be out of their 'village'??

Author further elaborate (his sick fantasy) that sex is quite common nowadays in villages; courtesy modern ways of communication. And hence intra-village and/or intra-gotra marriage should not be frowned upon. (And apparently 'Not frowning upon' means banning Khaps; though it's yet to see how govt or pseudo-intellects propose to BAN Khaps in practice).

Quite surprising: if it is in the same village how modern communication gadget has increased the chances of sexual encounters. At least I never saw that girls were being accompanied by their brother/fathers/uncles everywhere. 10 years back they enjoyed the same liberty as they do now (at least in terms of moving in villages).

Needless to say there are/ (have been) some wayward kids who are blinded by the lust; take infatuation for pious love and make the life hell for their family.
What kind of love is this?? When they know the social norms, they know the traditions. They know the consequences of their actions... What it does to their family... what it make the life of their siblings and cousins. Still they go ahead with their lust. I, personally, do NOT see it any better than incestuous. Time, sex between siblings was forbidden, reason was not Genetics (no one knew genetic codes that time), and it was so for social reasons.

I can understand some out of Khapland origin reporter who does not have any idea about our 'traditions' or someone who can not differentiate between the surname, gotra and/or lineage. I really don't care if my disapproval of incestuous relationship makes me 'uncivilized' or 'talibani' in the eyes of some high-society bawd. But it is painful is to see some esteemed members of society 'glorifying' such couples, branding them as the 'winds of +ve change' in our society. What is going to be the next +ve +ve change?? Marrying in same family as found in some other religions? Marriage between siblings as some non- Homo sapiens do it?? To what end??
I mean, do we really need to import some alien culture instantly?? Are we not changing with time? Do we really need to throw all our traditions because it is a globalized word? Do some stupid actions of 0.00001% of people dictate our collective reasoning?

I don't see Khaps any better or worse than myself or persons I know. May be I am in a bad company. Yes, khaps are not perfect… neither am I. Anyway, perfection had always been imaginary!!

Note: This postmortem was done in true spirit of journalism to say the reality and deny the allegations at least propagated ones.