Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Fasting and furious


Posted: Tue, Apr 26 2011. 12:38 AM IST

Quick Edit | Fasting and furious

A group of khap panchayat eaders, troubled by a Supreme Court
observation that labelled khaps barbaric and illegal, had decided to
go on an indefinite protest fast

Indefinite fasts are the flavour of the season, but guess who the
latest subscribers to it are. PTI reported on Sunday that a group of
khap panchayat leaders, troubled by a Supreme Court observation that
labelled khaps barbaric and illegal, had decided to go on an
indefinite protest fast during the monsoon session of Parliament.

The provenance of fasting as a political exercise has increased of
late—no one after Gandhi has had as much success in its use as Anna
Hazare. If the khap leaders have derived inspiration from the latter's
campaign, then they are in good company. The informal courts of north
India and the movement against corruption by an unlikely Gandhian both
suffer from a similar belief in extrajudicial means.

The institutional corrosion in India is certainly a pressing concern.
But the solution to it is not to erect—or tolerate, in the case of
khaps—alternative systems of suspect virtue.


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