Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday came out in support of Khap panchayats claiming that their stand on not allowing marriages between people of the same gotra has scientific backing. He said that there have been attempts to defame khap panchayats but scientific research discourages "same caste or sagotra marriage".
Khattar also said Haryana has a tradition "of not allowing boys and girls from the same village to tie the knot". The Chief Minister made the remarks while addressing a public gathering in Panchkula.
Speaking at the event, Khattar said, "Some people have tried to defame the khap panchayats on the issue of same caste or sagotra (intra-clan) marriage and even science does not approve of the same-caste marriage. 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 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)."
The Supreme Court had in March 2018 ruled that an assembly intended to scuttle the marriage of two consenting adults will be deemed illegal. The ruling was pronounced while hearing the matter related to khap panchayats in connection with cases pertaining to honour killings. Opponents of the same gotra marriages term such as weddings as a social crime. The khap panchayats have been seeking an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to prohibit same gotra marriages. Khaps, or caste or community organisations in villages, have often, acting as quasi-judicial bodies, pronounced harsh punishments based on regressive customs and traditions.
(with ANI inputs)