Continuing their tirade against love marriages, khap panchayat leaders of Haryana’s Jhajjar district bordering Delhi have demanded closure of Arya Samaj temples in the state because they solemnise same-gotra marriages that are taboo for orthodox Hindus.
Even Haryana Arya Samaj leader Acharya Baldev Singh backed the khaps, saying, “We have already asked Arya Samaj temples to keep a check on all runaway couples coming to them to get married. To save the sanctity of society, we don’t allow inter-caste and same-gotra marriages.”
On a more strident note, Dhankhar Sabha president OP Dhankhar warned, “The khaps will not bend to allow marriages within the same gotra. Even if the SC issues any guidelines in this regard, we will not follow them. If the government tries to pin down khap panchayats, we will retaliate with protests.”
The SC had on January 14 pulled up khap panchayats for their alleged involvement in ‘honour’ killings after NGO Shakti Vahini filed a PIL against them in June 2010.
Lamenting the khap move, Swami Agnivesh, president of the World Council of Arya Samaj told HT on Monday, “Arya Samaj is a progressive movement and instead of opposing the diktats of the khap panchayat against love marriages of responsible couples, leaders like Acharaya Baldev are airing illogical views.”
He clarified that Arya Samaj founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati was not against intra-gotra marriages but opposed any form of violence, including those perpetrated on people marrying according to their own wishes.