Wednesday, January 25, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Khap Panchayats: A Socio-Historical Overview

Khap Panchayats: A Socio-Historical Overview
By: Ajay Kumar
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Vol XLVII No.4 January 28, 2012

Khap panchayats have had a long innings in the Jat-dominated areas of
north-western India and some of their decisions that go against
individual rights have led to heated controversy. This paper gives a
brief account of how these informal social institutions for conflict
resolution took root and the reasons for their continuing influence.
It also looks into how big landlords have come to use khaps for their
own interests and the causes that prompt these bodies to interfere in
marriages that do not conform to traditional norms. Interrogating the
modern state's failure to check the unwritten powers of khap
panchayats, it suggests some remedial measures that could be taken.


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