On Khap – Listen to Madhu Kishwar

For a moment there, I thought I should start subscribing to ToI 😉

Well, maybe just one good sensible piece wont cut it for me and I’ll wait for ToI to grow more brain before buying it again.

In a very courageous, politically-totally-incorrect, balanced article, Madhu Kishwar has made the following points and I have added my thoughts too –

1. Hindusthan has not implemented a Uniform Civil Code, a Directive Principle in our Constitution.

– I have also touched upon the UCC here and here.

2. Hindusthan has codified Hindu Law for Hindus and has allowed Personal Laws for religious minorities.

3. The Khap, as spokespersons for their local communities, are asserting their Personal Laws.

4. If Hindusthan has no stomach for a Uniform Civil Code – a wholly liberal agenda and one that the allegedly Hindu BJP champions; then with what face can the Khap’s proposal for amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act be opposed?

5. Killings in the name of social honor need not be confused with the issue on hand. Murderers should be punished severely.

6. On the other hand, if Hindusthan’s personal laws are attuned to local traditions; the role and space for Khaps to operate will diminish. If not diminish, these can certainly be legally regulated/oriented without inherent conflict.

7. Conflating heinous murders and traditional mores is a liberal ploy that will serve no good purpose but will only frustrate Hindus who want to keep their traditions alive by practicing them.

8. Finally, those couples that want to opt out can do so whilst resorting to the Special Marriage Act. Their families are/should be; at liberty to disown them of any relationship and/or inheritance.



That’s the charge.

Hindu Traditionalists/Nationalists, nay all non-Muslim traditionalists should guard against and never give into the charge of “Talibanism” or being “Taliban-like”. This abuse is freely bandied about by their liberal detractors. One need only to recall how effectively legitimate pride in one’s Nation and Race was criminalized in the shadow of motivated charges of Nazism and Fascism.

Today most, if not all Western political parties that avow Nationalist pride in their cultures and traditions and want to protect and preserve their distinct ways of life against liberal and liberal inspired depredations – are uniformly branded Nazi and/or Fascist. They are mostly on the backfoot and seem incapable of going on the offensive. A lone exception being Geert Wilders. Such is the liberal stranglehold that even those parties that call themselves Conservative, bow to the liberal diva. Similar is the case with our so-called Hindu political parties at home. These fall all over themselves in trying to prove their secular “credentials”.

Interestingly, prior to Nazi Germany’s act of war on 1st Sept, 1939 and perhaps prior to even the first glimpses of the Shoah or Holocaust post 1941-44 when the invading Allies and Soviets began encountering extermination camps – talk of Race pride and its linkages with National pride was not looked at askance. These latter organic elements were a source of positive inspiration for all nationalists. What certainly seems to have criminalized such wellsprings of inspiration is the criminal use to which the Nazis put these elements to.

A perfect analogy would be the Swastika. This symbol of positive power and well-being has been shunned in the West for its linkages with Nazism. However there are and have been moves to educate peoples about the ancient origins of the Swastika and values it embodies. The Swastika is being reclaimed by the forces of good.

Similarly, traditional values and mores of evolved balance must be reclaimed by the forces of good and those forces that either mis-use these inspirational values for their selfish/evil reasons or those that try to delegitimize them in the name of liberal free-will, must be opposed tooth and nail.

Am I alluding to a Good Taliban and a Bad Taliban stance?

Fair question.

No, I’m not.

Here’s the point. When it comes to Islam and its representative formations like the Taliban – There are no Good and Bad versions because there is no Good and Bad Islam. There is simply, Islam. It is entirely up to Muslims to either reform Islam (?) or live by its Allah bestowed laws as laid down by its formations.

Wrt the Khap – These can only work with evolved traditions. These traditions can continue to evolve provided there is sound basis for change. When the Khap resists sagotra alliances, it does so on basis of experiential *localized* lessons learnt. Illiterate Khap-reps may not be able to articulate it well but that’s no argument against the idea. As Kishwar shows, even the current Hindu Marriage Act disallows certain types of alliances on grounds of incest.

More to the point, the Khap is not a proselytizing army out to bend peoples of the world to its ways. They only seek the liberty to live by their traditions.

Can we not agree with that?

– Namaste

4 Responses

  1. Nice article.. on the question of taliban comparison i have penned my thoughts in my blog..


    the talibans are self-appointed autocrats who enforces a particular book on the whole people.. whereas the khaps are elected leaders of a community, who makes decision on mutual consensus..

    Secondly, there is no holy book for khaps to blindly enforce it upon their people.. they are expressing their points as rational as possible, and it is these media brigade, who is irrational and hysteric in demonising the khaps..

    I can only say that the educated people within the khap community should come forward and defend their community..

  2. Thanks guys.

    Great and indepth analysis by Senthil. Enjoyed the read!

  3. Critique of critique of Madhu Kiswar’s article- http://incognitocomments.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/khap/

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