CHANDIGARH: Progressive Haryana youths have banded together to challenge the traditional Khap Panchayats who have taken to moral policing and enforcing what they think is correct by society, often with brute force.
The Rashtriya Maha Khap Maha Panchayat (RMKMP), as the new outfit is called, was formed just a week back with 19 people from different walks of life, including social activists, farmers, teachers and retired army personnel, among others.
Eleven of them are under 40.
The challengers have dubbed themselves the new khap with the intention ‘to change the age-old mindset’.
It does not believe there is anything wrong in love or an inter-caste marriage, or in girls wearing jeans or using mobiles. They have also declared they would oppose honour killings.
Founder president of RMKMP, Sunil Jaglan said, “Our khap will work for social awareness and educate people against the old mind-set that punishes love and inter caste marriage. There is no room for honour killings.”
Pledging to oppose the “wrong decisions” taken by the other khaps, Jaglan said the RMKMP will focus on women’s empowerment. “We will also strategise to help in increasing farmer’s income. We wish to ensure that no child drops out of school and will work with schools to increase enrolment,” he added
New khap members say they will be starting Khap-Ki-Pathsala (khap classes) and invite university scholars to research the khaps and dispel myths around khaps by going into its positive influence. A web portal Khap.com is also planned to put up details on various khaps across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
This khap believes in technology as it will have its own WhatsApp group, Facebook page, a Twitter account.