Khap Panchayats among the Jats of North-West: A Socio-Historical Interpretation of Medieval Period

Birpal Singh Thenua

Abstract

Khap Panchayat is most thirsted area not only for social scientists but most disputed and controversial issue for media persons, social workers and political activists. Our Honorable Supreme Court has made some harsh and strict comments on these Khap Panchayats. Khap Panchayats may be wrong in their functioning and activities in present time but at the time of their origin and in medieval period they did perform a number of social, political, administrative and judiciary functions. They fought against invaders, provided external and internal security to the community. The volunteers of these Khap Panchayats participated in many wars and battles of national interest. These were the by-product of an egalitarian community and were based on the principles of democracy and their functioning was democratic. Most of the decisions were taken in open meetings of Khap Panchayats or Sarva Khap. There was a community democracy during the medieval period before the modern democracy, and this democracy worked for hundreds of year. 

Keywords

Khap, Khap Panchayat, Sarva Khap Panchayat, Clan, Thamba, Caste, Faank, Egalitarian, Democracy, Pargana, Sarkar, Zamidari, Jazia, Panchayat, Bhaichara, Gotra

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