ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Khap Panchayats: A Socio-Historical Overview

Khap panchayats have had a long innings in the Jat-dominated areas of north-western India and some of their decisions that go against individual rights have led to heated controversy. This paper gives a brief account of how these informal social institutions for conflict resolution took root and the reasons for their continuing influence. It also looks into how big landlords have come to use khaps for their own interests and the causes that prompt these bodies to interfere in marriages that do not conform to traditional norms. Interrogating the modern state's failure to check the unwritten powers of khap panchayats, it suggests some remedial measures that could be taken.

REVIEW OF RURAL AFFAIRS

Khap Panchayats: A Socio-Historical Overview

Ajay Kumar

Khap panchayats have had a long innings in the Jatdominated areas of north-western India and some of their decisions that go against individual rights have led to heated controversy. This paper gives a brief account of how these informal social institutions for conflict resolution took root and the reasons for their continuing influence. It also looks into how big landlords have come to use khaps for their own interests and the causes that prompt these bodies to interfere in marriages that do not conform to traditional norms. Interrogating the modern state’s failure to check the unwritten powers of khap panchayats, it suggests some remedial measures that could be taken.

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