KHAP PANCHAYT: TRADITIONAL v. MODERN APPROACH
A Khap Panchayat can be further classified into three categories namely: -
The origin of khap panchayat can be tracked back to Vedic Period; they provided a secured living for people for the same caste of people and provide for their upliftment. Mainly the panchayats were made deliver justice by fair play and ensure high level of efficiency. Many steps were taken forward to ensure and promoting justice, fair play and efficiency, some of the major steps were as follows-
The main criticism of Khap panchayat is that rights of an individual are not respected. Rights of liberty, dignity, freedom to choose own life partner are jeopardized. Women are abused and their issues are never addressed. Most of the Khap rules are against law. Rule of men rather than rule of law prevails (emphasis added). The rate of female foeticide and infanticide is highest in North India, especially in Haryana, where the sex ratio is highly disproportionate. According to the census, there are only 792 females for 1000 males. These Khap panchayats have failed to take measures for social upliftment such as propagating primary education, criminalizing killing of girl child- the reasons which led to the formation of these panchayats in the ancient times. There is a lack of adequate representation of women at the decision making level. One major criticism of such a mechanism is agitation by the youth as it disregards their aspiration
We all know that law evolves with the society, but what about authorities, have you ever heard of a fact that authorities have changed its administration for meeting the newly generated requirements of the society? It might happen that the procedure of a particular authority might change with time or a decision taken by an authority might be dismissed by a higher authority. But these processes take a lot of time due to which many people have to suffer. Same scenario stands with Khap Panchayat, this is a quasi-judicial body which have its relevance in the Constitution. The khap panchayat enjoys some powers conferred to it by the Constitution it-self, but it also misuses the powers. In order to deliver justice it sometimes delivers such a decision which is impracticable and immoral to abide by. Generally the Khap leaders are uneducated senior citizens who lack flexibility in their approach. Through education they can be made aware of the existing law and work in accordance with it. This will help in bridging the gap between the older and younger generation. Participation of women should be encouraged at the core level and everyone should be given a fair hearing before deciding a matter. In this manner, the Khap Panchayats can successfully maintain their identity, gain popularity and contribute to social and economic upliftment of its people. Not only this, but they can be an immense help to the Government and bring in social reforms at the village level.