One Man Khap Panchayat- My Ego!

My favourite subject appears to have become the Ego! Last night my wife Jaya and I had gone out for dinner with some friends. I met the Hero of this episode for the first time at the dinner. You must be sure that when I talk of Khap panchayat, the hero must be a hot blooded Punjabi or a Haryanvi. But he is a pure soft spoken South Indian, called Madrasi by our North Indian friends, though he is from Kerala. This episode only proves our faith in National unity and integration. You go North, South, and West or East we will have exactly same behavior, no deviation when we handle marriages!

Our friend is happily married for last twenty years. Has a lovely family with a brilliant daughter. Now here is the story. (I am not going to write the story in details because of copy rights issues!  ) Our friend wanted to get married and had met his future wife before family started getting involved. When his family suggested to him that he should get married and settle down, he told his parents that he has a girl in mind and would like to marry her. The girl was from the same caste, religion and whatever they see at the time of the marriage. She was from the same बिरादरी! Everything was perfectly matching plus the groom and bride had already agreed. So where is the hitch?

Our hero’s father, a famous lawyer in their area asked him what is going on. The hero said, “as suggested by you and amma, I want to get married and have looked for a girl”! Oh my god! My son is getting married and the son is taking the decision! What’s going on? The father was upset and said he will not allow this marriage. There was exchange of views, to use a mild term. The hero being a cool guy decided to let the dust settle down after the storm or the typhoon. The dust did settle down but the clouds never went away. The father said sorry you cannot get married to this girl. When the reason was asked the father said, fixing the son’s marriage is his privilege. He would not allow him to marry this already selected girl. Period. No more discussion. Case is dismissed, in court parlance.

One thing is for sure. Love changes the personality of a person. Our hero decided to take things in his own hand. He told his mother “I am going to get married to the same girl.”  When his mother rechecked with the father the answer was plain NO! The hero went and met his would be father in law (he was an astrologer) to ask for his permission. He got it immediately. I will briefly share about how our friend overcame all the obstacles. But I want to basically talk of human nature. The astrologer would be father in law was a very practical person. He said “since you two have decided to get married I will NOT see the kundali” Wow! This is the kind of support expected from ones parents.

But the father chose a different path. He went to Bangalore on the 8th of April; marriage was to take place in his absence on 11th April. He put in an application for maintaining status quo against his son. Morally it was not tenable but because he was very senior lawyer he managed to get the order on the 8th April. Look at the scheming. 9th was a Saturday and from 11th court had 2 months summer holiday. He got the order out at the closing time on 8th. Concept was that in two months of chaos, during court holiday, marriage will fizzle out!

Our friend had genes from his smart lawyer father. When he came to know about this, he got marriage certificate and registration dated 7th April! Status quo order was from 8th but marriage certificate and registration were dated 7th. He has not broken any law! Remained married to maintain the status quo! ! Probably this was the only case the father lost in his career; the father kept on fighting for 16 years.

Now my question to you friends is why did the father do all these things? Was it the pride or EGO? What did he gain by going all the way? Even today the family is a joint family with parents and sibling staying together. Married sister stays elsewhere. But there is a clear cut rule. If anyone visits our friend’s home, they will not be allowed to come back home. This rule is applicable to mother also.

Is it adamant nature? Can a human being not forget a small aberration, if this can be called an aberration, by one’s own child even after 20 years! What can be the reason? How this action or reaction be justified? Can this be justified in HIS court? Look at the family background. Father is eminent lawyer, siblings are well settled. Our friend works for a multinational company. Does education have no effect on such thought processes? We blame the Khap Panachyats but what will you say in this case? Ok the couple was at least not physically damaged. How this action is different? Why did the father keep on fighting for 16 years after the event?

Our friend said that many people suggested to him that he should have a counter case against the father but he said no way! What is the purpose of our arrival on the earth? I thought that humans would want to live a peaceful life, especially the educated people. But then again it comes to the definition of “educated” people. That you have a degree from college only indicates that you have taken education. It does not make you “educated”. The grandfather does not talk to the granddaughter also. This according to me is taking things really too far! I am just wondering how much the father must be suffering? Today he is 77 but status quo of cutting off the son and his family remains. Friends I feel that not even my enemy should be required to go through such a severe punishment. Only thing that comes mind after knowing this event, is the hope that in near future this episode will get over and the family will come together again. But hats off to my friend for remaining calm and composed under such duress.

5 thoughts on “One Man Khap Panchayat- My Ego!

  1. It’s not easy to stay calm and appear like that when you are bleeding internally. But such things are quite common. I can’t explain why. Looks like we behave differently with our own people versus when we work for a company or work with others. I have gone through such situation not as extreme as your hero and can understand what he feels internally. But then you look at life in reality, such things will happen – may be in different forms. That’s part of life.

  2. This is a generation gap. The responsibility to fill the gap can’t be one way. Though the sympathy, in this case goes to the son, and the blame to father, the fact is that both of them are equally responsible for the inconvenience being faced by every one in the family. Does it mean that father did not love his son, before the marriage of son ? I don’t think so.

    In a filmy style, knowing his father, son could have manipulated things by making his would be father-in-law bring a proposal of would be bride to our hero’s father, in stead of declaring his decision.

  3. It is happening everywhere, in every galli, chawl. You can fight in court against Khap , but cannot with ego of your parents.
    You have told this common story in your unique and inimitable way.
    I personally feel , your friend`s wife has a major role to play in this situation, like going to father in law house, stay there with her daughter against the antagonism of all in laws. Do all household things like cooking, looking after all family members. Love and affection towards the grand daughter may change the things.
    If not, father`s attitude may change when he is counting his last days. Let us hope.

  4. Yes it is Ego that gets better of us. And this Khap characteristic creeps in when the person like this ‘Father’ of your friend gives a dictate, a wedge of Ego gets lodged in relationship. Then the only way for a person like this ‘Father’ is either my ‘Way’ or No Way! Perhaps only explanation that is obvious is ‘Generation Gap’ or ‘Chosen Ostrich Posture’ or ‘Resistance to Change’ but these are all virtues of an Egotist!

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