There are various issues surrounding same Gotra Marriages in Haryana. For quite long time, Khap Gotra panchayats,which are different from the traditional khaps which were for a geographical area and women and dalit inclusive, in Haryana have been defying the spirit of Indian constitution and had been disrespecting it on various issues around same Gotra Marriages in Haryana. The traditional Khap panchayats would recruit thousands of women in their military . The dalits and other caste people would be their senapati’s. The Sarv Khap (or all Khap) Panchayat (council) represented all the Khaps. The individual Khaps would elect leaders who would send delegates, who would represent the Khaps at the Sarv Khap level. It was a political organization, composed of all the clans, communities, and castes in the region. The republics of the Yaudheyas who dominated this region from 600BCE to 400 CE preceded it. They had there a similar system of governance, and their coins and seals are found in this whole region, Rohtak Haryana was one of the capitals and a major coin mint.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khap
The self styled gotra panchayats have been playing havoc in Haryana. The recent happenings and news items are further testimony to these unfortunate incidents. This is very painful and hurting that the civic society is not in a position to counter these ‘Fatwas’ and heinous crimes in society of Haryana. First thing which is preached by these so called panchayats is that we should respect out ‘Parampara’ and villages of Haryana cannot be made America. As far was our Parampara in concerned, Raja Nal Damyanti Kissa is very famous here in Haryana. A swayambar was organized where Damyanti was free to choose her husband. She chose Raja Nal , why the girls of Haryana are not allowed to exercise this choice now ? In our Kabilas, there used to be group youth marriages in older times. In many of the Kabilas, the mother dominated family parampara was there but who broke that Parampara? Similarly in our parampara Heer/Ranjha, Soni-Mahiwal and so many other love stories are very popular.
In other words ‘love’ has been part and parcel of our parampara. Satyavan- Savitri Kissa is also there where Savitri fought with yamdoot (freedom of woman). Why in today’s life the love of inter case marriages, love of marriage between Kadian boy and Gehlaut girl and love of same gotra is being hanged under the name of Parampara in Haryana ? As far as question of American culture is there, there are many good points in that. But where is the need of bringing degeneration of that culture here. We already have degenerated culture in our villages where innocent girls are being exploited by their family members, their neighbour, their village people. But these so called panchayats never came against this domestic violence against women in Haryana villages. Rather they blame the womenfolk for this degenerative culture and come to the rescue of offenders in such cases. These Panchayats never came against Selective Female Foeticide.
Every house in Rural Haryana daru has made enteries may be one or more persons may not be taking alcohol in that house. But these khap Panchayats have never had a campaign against “Daru”. Peasants are doing suicides because of economic On the other hand, our own culture of Haryana is very rich in various paramparas regarding marriages in various native Haryanvi communities where lot of flexibility is present when love marriage issue arises between boy and girl of the same castes and same gotras or intercaste marriage.
There is Baniya community in Haryana which has deep cultural roots here. Similarly Brahmins are there which are very strong part and parcel of Haryanvi culture. In both of these communities there is great flexibility in marriage rituals. Let us go into a bit detail of the same. Suppose in Baniya community, if the boy and girl are from the same gotra say both are singla and they want to marry. They are not encouraged to marry by both the families in first instance. But if the boy and girl persist and insist for the marriage, then there is flexibility in this community. The girl will adopt the gotra of mother and the boy and girl marriage will be solemnized. There is no tradition or parampara of ‘fatwas’ for killing of these couples. I know many of my colleagues in this community where such marriages have taken place. Similarly in Brahmins, the ‘parampara’ had been to give space to such marriages where boy and girl are from the same gotra more or less in the same way as the Baniyas.
The same phenomenon without any reservation has been since long amongst the Punjabi community. The marriages with first cousin or second cousin are very common. The people of this section of our society are big ‘Thekedars’ of our ‘Hindu Sanskriti’ and ‘Hindu Parampars’ .Haryanvi culture and paramparas are part of this. I cannot quote any study showing increased congenital abnormalities in this community amongst first cousin couples. Empirically also with an experience of 25 years in surgical practice, I can say that there does not seem to be much difference in first cousin couples of this communities regarding congenital deformities.
In Muslim NRI’s in America and other countries, there are studies regarding congenital abnormalities in first cousin marriage couples which reveal that about 2.6% more congenital abnormalities are there. Many of the scientists have said that on basis of this data, first cousin marriages should not be discouraged. In our village context, if at all the marriage in same gotra in same village takes place, it would be practically in 3rd or 4th Peedhi or even more distant peedhi (Marriage in same gotra from other village would have difference of even much more peedhis). Hence, we may say that chances of congenital abnormalities would be even less than first couple marriage abnormalities in muslims (2.6%). Moreover, there is no scientific study regarding congenital defects in these marriages of this type of couples because there are hardly any marriages of this nature which escape the brutal eyes of rural communities and are alive. Hence to comment either way to call the opposition of Gotra marriages having a scientific bases or other way round is a non scientific approach.
There are many villages in Haryana, where majority gotra is not left for marriages. SAMCHANA village is a glaring example of this category of villages where more than 15 Jat gotras exist and the girls from any of these gotras from other villages are allowed marriages in Samchana amongst other gotra. For instance, the majority gotra in samchana is ABC and it is permissible to arrange a marriage of ABC girl from other village with boy of existing gotras in samchana like XYZ and MNO. Is it a village which has been implanted from American culture? Another such example is village Guga Heri in which lot of Dalal families are there. From Mandhothi (a Dalal village) many girls are married in Guga Heri in other gotra families. In Dharana case, there was a news-item – “Shilpa should we call you Beti or Bahu? ”. I would request Dharana village people to go to Guga Heri or visit Samchana and try to find a solution for this gravely disheartening situation. I call all logically thinking intellectuals of Haryana to collect data of such villages and let the Dharana people know about it. Then the issue of Dharana case raised in name of our Parampara becomes ridiculous and irrelevant within the premises of Khap Panchayats, even not to take reference of other civic society parameters. There will not be any explanation if still these so called panchayats say that no Dharana village paramparas are special villages specific and they have nothing to do with other villages of Haryana.
Similarly there are villages in Haryana like Chautala village where marriages are socialized in the same villages. Late Ch. Devi Lal belonged to this chautala village. Then why these Khap panchayats did not issue a FATWA against his village? Chautala is not a single village to name, there are many villages in that area. Moreover one more thing can be inferred here is that these so called panchayats are selective in their targets. High ups and people with strong base, these panchayats hardly target. The fact is that these so called Khap panchayats are doing immoral, antisocial, anti constitutional, and criminal work which should be strongly condemned by the civic society of Haryana and the different institutions of political, social, administrative and legal area should take serios cognizance of this heinous crime.
The people at large and youth in particular will have to come to defend these marriages and oppose khap panchayat FATWA sooner or later. R.S.Dahiya