Two very different instances of religious/caste patriarchs intervening in civil society have come to the fore in the last couple of days. Both are Anti Constitutional. And, its about time the Government and the System said religious oppression in the name of Religious freedom be damned – the Constitution comes first.

The first instance was the Khap Panchayats that has been flexing its muscles for quite some time – excommunicating and killing without consequences. They have got Navin Jindal to tow the line now.

Mr. Jindal has said

“I and my whole family respect the years old traditions and rituals of khap panchayats. My house is their own home and they can come there any time. I am just like their own child and I can never go against them; rather I always need their blessings.”

Navin Jindal, if you remember, is the man who went all the way to the Supreme Court for the right of Indian Citizens to fly the Indian Flag, and won .

Mr.Jindal has forgotten that the Indian flag represents the Indian Republic. And, the Indian Republic is enshrined by the Indian Constitution . The Indian Constitution states:

14. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
15. (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

If the Khap Panchayat had its way – it is not just same gotra marriages that will be nullified, but there will be penalties to anyone who breaks caste rules . And, as all of us know, these rules – if applied to their logical conclusion – will lead to the Hindus getting their equivalent of the Taliban.

I wonder if a Member of Parliament who is so ready to violate the Constitution has the right to be in Parliament !

The second instance of the Constitution being violated, is the Deobandi’s – who have declared that it is haram for women to work

“It is unlawful (under the Sharia law) for Muslim women to work in the government or private sector where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without a veil,”

If the fatwa is followed through to its logical conclusion, it would mean that Indian citizens who are Muslim women cannot be the President, Prime Minister, Member of Parliament. They can’t work in a Hospital, a Call Centre, a Hotel. They can’t teach in a co-educational school, they cannot work for a NGO, they can’t work as engineers…. This essentially means that women are barred from most professions except sweat shops where they can sit with other women and sew stuff at cut price rate.

In both cases a bunch of patriarchs want the world to bend to their interpretation of religion, and honour …. I hope that in both cases this is the straw that breaks the back of an communities that have kept quiet — and rise up to delegitimise both the Khap Panchayats and the Deobandi’s. The best way to destroy them is to stop listening to them !!

And finally – i hope everyone remembers that the reason Krishna wasn’t invited to Rukmini’s swayamwar was because he was a Yadav and she was a Kshyatriya princess.

Let us also remember that the Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid – a merchant who employed him.

Those who have proclaimed themselves as guardians of religion and tradition seem to have forgotten their own religion and tradition πŸ™ –

News Reporter

30 thoughts on “Navin Jindal, Khap & the Deobandi’s – Anti Constiutional therefore anti Indian?

  1. I just don’t understand why is it wrong for a parliamentarian to take the message of his constituents to the Centre? Our media is on a constant hunt for sizzle rather than substance!

    No issues with taking a msg, having a debate and thereby addressing concerns. As long as it doesn’t lead to violence, honour killings and unlawful activities!

    BTW Khaps are not extra-constitutional – if i remember my class 6 civics right – people in this country have a fundamental right to form associations or unions (under the right to freedom). And Khaps are no different as long as they don’t involve themselves in unlawful activities like honour killings.

    They have a genuine demand, something that majority of people in Haryana (77% as per an HT sample survey) support and it also has a scientific reason (refer to recessive diseases on wikipedia). And if they are using democratic channels to raise their demands, what’s the problem? Naveen Jindal has categorically denounced honour killings / social boycott judgments by Khaps – those are issues which are morally wrong. And what is morally wrong can never be politically correct.

  2. I am his active follower and supporter and that is because I have seen him functioning with dedication as a parliamentarian over the years. He is ‘young and dynamic’ as expected – he actively believes in a utopian world where every issue with our country can be fixed – and what’s best is that he pursues his beliefs.

    Please do research the entire spectrum of things he is doing ….. from free health checkups in his constituency to digitising land records to creating awareness on the population issue to improving quality of education!! I think his work is quite commendable.

    1. he has done good work. but, that is his job as a MP.

      supporting the khap panchayat’s dictats against ordinary people – whether it is nullifying marriages, or excommunication, or death sentences – is dangerous.
      in lieu of political support to save his seat, he is sacrificing our freedons.

      1. Hi Ankit & Gargi,

        I had just started writing…. but prior to that i thought of searching the “recessive diseases” in wiki, sorry but cud not find the same there, Ankit could have given the link also. Anyway coming to Jindal…Ankit says he is active follower and supporter of Jindal because he is “young and dynamic” and so on….there is no denying of the fact that Jindal might be doing good works and he is of the league of new breed of young and dynamic politicians…and we hear about the same very often through press and media. But the question in the topic is broader and more intense. The question is of our constitutional and fundamental rights…..the question is that as a member of parliament who takes oath in the name of constitution and that too such an MP who belong to group of well-educated and knowledgeable MPs supporitng such a thing as Khaps suits….as far as developmental and good work done by Jindal and thats why we shud not say against him is not correct…..the fundamental rights of freedom, equality etc. enshrined in the Indian constitution are not mere sentences and words, these have far greater significance and meaning and it outweighs even development and progress….if we are restricted from exercising these rights then whatever development is gained will not be suffice to match the recess created by such restrictions. Coming to marraige between close relatives (i dont have much idea about gotras) and all..I tried to search about recessive disease and I found that it increase the risks of recessive diseases but it does not say that it is going to cause the recessive disease and many times even the offsprings of couples who are not blood related can get the disease. And coming to southern parts of the country i.e states of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra etc. the marriages between cousins is quite common and can be said that more common than marriages between unrelated parties and it is since centuries but I dont see any kind of “epidemic of recessive diseases” because of the same. So taking guard in this respect can’t be justified……..
        But yeah in our country everyone has a right to raise their views and voice in suport of their way of thinking but the only thing is that it shud not be imposed on others and that to with the use of violence and force.

  3. Now I am totally confused. (not joking about the confusion bit)

    (i) Many a cross belt wearing tam bram will say marriage within the Gothram is unacceptable
    (ii) Deobandi school clerics will keep passing Fartwas on music, culture and religion

    The issue for me is not with their ideological stand. They have a right to express their opinion, however much I may disagree. My real issue is with their use of force to exercise/execute their understanding of what is right/wrong.

    In the case of the Khap – it’s very visible and the violence is crude/blunt. Therefore it’s easy to rally public opinion against it.

    However, there are many cases where these dictats are enforced but the violence is not so visible. For example the *Madi Taliban* in traditional brahmin households where the woman is literally locked up for 3-4 days a month because she has her periods. Somebody I know struggles to even feed her child because every time she touches the baby – she needs to have a bath – and because she need to hold the child – the child to is kept “at a distance” when she has her periods. This is far more common than most people are willing to admit.

    If we start looking at upper caste retribution and caste conflict there will be no derth of examples.

    I agree with the right to declare allegiance to a regressive practice. I do not agree with the right to enforce it.

    The answer maybe in empowering people with choices. Letting them know early, that they have a constitutional right to chose how they want to live their lives. How do we push for such empowerment?
    Maybe we need to take a page from how these groups use propaganda? The process has to be slow. Moving to fast will only flame the conflict. Ignoring it is dangerous cause the embers will keep burning. We also need to protect the rights of these people to say whatever nonsense comes to their mind. If we ban that, then the whole point of reform is lost.

    Totally confused.

    1. i would agree with you.
      i don’t have an issue with the khap or the deobandi’s having and holding their points of view.
      i have a problem when it becomes a dictat that impacts your choice & mine.

      btw – my parents are the same gotra – married in 1965, and one of the few of their generation who had a registered marriage because of the furore it caused in the community.
      also, they were the only one not related by blood – others married first cousins :):)

  4. I am relating this one with one of your earlier post which occurred in my mind when I gone thru this one. There you discussed something about your family and as such.

    Now what can you do about it, if jerks want to get medieval. Either crush them with iron fist or just plainly ignore them. But both are not possible.

    These same khap bastards (no qualms about using this word) supported female child foeticide to come to the conclusion of further killing.

      1. wouldn’t that be crushing a walnut with a bulldozer? if they are gone more radical bunch will take their place, punish the enforcers seriously but u have to change peoples mindsets , else this will be like communist law enforcement in the early communist rule in china .

        1. actually, it would be implementing the rule of Law. The State needs to take on relgious bodies – be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian – when they violate rights of citizens.

  5. I do wonder how no one files cases/do something against these people…after all people have time to file cases against cheerleaders but not these people…Well guess we have to do so much more so that these weird ideas die now itself…

    1. the state should book charges against these people. for violating our rights. else people from the community – that is being harassed – with the help of civil rights organisations ought to !
      it is happening, but not enough. besides that these groups survive with the oxygen of publicity …

  6. Gargi, I am afrad you got mixed up when you say “the reason Krishna wasn’t invited to Rukmini’s swayamwar was because he was a Yadav and she was a Kshyatriya princess. ”

    As far as I know Krishna was a kshatriya by birth but brought up by Yadavas. He was not invited to the swayamvar because Rukmi (Rukmini’s brother) hated him.

    1. Krishna is beyond caste πŸ™‚
      but, in the Bhagwad Purana, he is described as belonging to the vrishni’s – descendent of Yadu – and therefore a Yadav.
      a number of people apart from Rukmi describe him as a non-Kshatriya … including people like Jarasandha, Sishupala, Duryodhana …. while we may describe these a villains … they were, in their time, influential …

  7. Well
    the constitution,, was never really seriously considered sacred by our politicians for vote bank reasons or otherwise.
    be it the addition of the word socialist or the overturning of the verdict of the supreme court by a parliament lead by none other than the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi , in the Shah Bano case thanks to pressure from the deobandi mindseted people etc.
    These things are small change, and people still have recourse to the laws of the state, as neither the khap or deobandis can legally enforce their edicts..
    What about Shah Bano and countless others who had no legal recourse?
    have u thought about that ?

    1. if only Rajiv Gandhi had backed Mohd. Arif Khan during the entire sorry Shah Bano Episode – the world would have been different !!
      The Indian Govt – the Cong Party – let down the Muslim Citizens of India by giving their religious leaders greater right over their life than the state !!

      1. you must also remember that that was the time when the non muslim masses got disenchanted with democracy.. and political justice .

      2. The Passing of Muslim Women Protection Act allegedly sent a message of Muslim appeasement practised by the Congress party. To counter this charge Rajiv Gandhi began his election campaign in 1989 from Ram Janma Bhumi ( birth place of Lord Rama ) in Ayodhya. This led to revival of the Ram Janma Bhumi – Babari Masjid dispute which was lying in cold storage for about forty years

  8. ps i wasnt surprised with what navin jindal did, he has prestige money and the jindal empire to consider, and taking on the khap would seriously dent not only his vote bank but he also risked messing up his family ties, and posed risk to his family s industrial empire.

      1. well most politicians are the same, when it comes to protecting their turf, media labels some thats all… doesn’t matter which party they are from.
        take for instance if bjp is communal isnt rjd or samajwadi or bsp or in this case congress?
        some only wear sucular khadi kurtas …

  9. I think it is totally vote bank politics. Khaps should settle marriage disputes or other disputes within their villages. But on the other hand, no one has any right to interfere in anyone’s personel life. If 2 adults marry with their consent i think no one has any right to interfere in their personel if any one do so he must be behind the bars.

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