A bizarre barbaric system mixed with religion, misogyny, patriarchy practiced by millions

Khap is a powerful social institution. It exists in Jat Hindu community in some states of Northern India. Some elderly men set rules for everyone. You do not follow the rules, you get severe punishment. Khap does not allow people to marry in the same gotra or clan. It is believed that millions of people living in several neighboring villages are from the same clan and they are all brothers and sisters. So the holy fatwa is, no one is allowed to marry in their own or neighboring villages. If they want to get married, they have to choose someone from some far away lands where there is no chance to have the same clan.

It’s an ancient tradition but it still continues for people in the 21st century. It is illegal in modern independent India but it is widely practiced across some regions. Another bizarre rule that Khap makes, is child marriage. Children are forced to get married. Khap believes child marriage is a wonderful protection for boys and girls from being interested in marrying anyone in the village. But when the married children grow up, they may not get interested in marrying someone in the villages but they sometimes refuse to accept their child marriages. Santara Meena refused to accept her child marriage, but Khap wanted her dead or alive. She needed police protection.

Men and women whoever marry same clan people get thrown out of the villages or get killed. Manoj and Babli  got murdered.

It is not so shocking anymore that newlywed couples get murdered for having same clan marriage. And just recently Khap issued a fatwa against women: women below 40 are not allowed to go outside after sunset, they are also not allowed to have mobile phones and not allowed to marry the one whom they love. Khap banned jeans for girls. . Khap or Khap panchayat is loudly advocating misogyny and hateful patriarchy.

Millions of people practice whatever Khap asks them to practice. There is no reason to think that only the poor and illiterate people in the villages practice the bizarre barbaric system, the rich and literate people practice it too. No matter how many academic qualifications you have received, the truth is you get easily attracted to irrationality, superstitions, inequalities and injustices if you do not educate yourself with rationalism, humanism, secularism and feminism.

A movie was made to create social awareness against Khap but who cares!


  1. StevoR says

    A movie was made to create social awareness against Khap but who cares!

    Me for one. Thanks Taslima for letting me know about this awful situation. Grim reading and the first time I’ve heard of it. Will share this on facebook and hopefull start raising awareness for people.

    PAS. Still having facebook difficulties and bans yourself I take it?

    • says

      Facebook banned my accounts and kept all the fake accounts created in my name by unknown people. Google blocked my main Gmail account because I haven’t yet paid for the extra storage they offered for my Gmail. Yes, I am living with difficulties. But these are nothing compare to the difficulties I have been facing for more than 20 years.

  2. Sutirtha Das says

    No matter whether we are ‘educated’ or ‘modern’, in the name values and for the sake of religion we keep on walking backward to the medieval period. There is a medieval, barbaric animal in each one of us and unless it is killed to death, we will continue living in a dark age.
    Excellent piece of article that was. Thanks for that.

  3. steve84 says

    Prevent people from marrying anyone who lives near them and then prevent women from leaving the village to get to know anyone they are eligible to marry. The perfect system to force them into arranged marriages since those are the only option.

  4. left0ver1under says

    And just recently Khap issued a fatwa against women: women below 40 are not allowed to go outside after sunset, they are also not allowed to have mobile phones and marry someone whom they love. Khap banned jeans for girls.

    So the “leaders” have decided to extend their influence over their communities, doing things they never did before. The question is why.

    I have no doubt it’s because they saw other groups (especially muslims) use and get away with violence and intimidation as tactics. They saw that it worked and that the government wouldn’t do anything to them, so they jumped on the bandwagon.

    The Indian government deserves some blame for this. They should have cracked down on islamic extremism but instead chose to do nothing. And now the women of India will pay the price for it.

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