!!!......Wherever the word "Haryana" is used on this website, it is meant for modern Haryana, Delhi, Western U.P., Uttrakhand and Northern Rajsthan in collectivity. After the first independence revolution of India in 1857 this region was divided into four parts and keeping Delhi separately rest were merged into neighboring states by British rulers for their political and business purposes........!!!
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Honorary Highness - "Gathwala Khap"
Khap belongings of Nidana Village

Khap Affiliation of the Village:

Similar to any other village of KhapLand (used by media for Haryana and neighboring states), Nidana also has Khap affiliations. Gathwala Khap is village’s biggest social shrine and also the biggest Khap of India. Khap shrine was established by our esteemed forefather Late Dada Chaudhary Ghasi Ram Ji Malik in village “Ulhana” of Sonipat district. Khap history is full of several bravery and social eradication sagas. Since the era of the great Jat king Maharaja Harshvardhna (the Khaps were engaged in winning many prides and battles with him) till date Khaps enjoy the due respect and honor from her descendents and so from my village. Gathwala Khap represents nearly 1 million people inhabiting across and beyond the borders of Meerut-Saharanpur-Shamli-Aligarh-Ghaziabad in UP, Karnal-Kaithal-Panipat-Sonipat-Rohtak-Jind-Hissar in Haryana, and different districts of Dilli, Punjab and Rajsthan.

Gathwala khap and demolition of Kalanour Riyasat: During the period of Mughals around 1880, there was a rule imposed on all Hindu and Sikh castes by the then rulers of Kalanour Riyasat (present day situated on Rohtak-Bhiwani road under Rohtak district) that every bride of Hindus and Shikhs should first perform a “Koula Poojan” at Kalanour before going to dwell with her in-laws. It infuriated the Gathwala Khap, consequently Khap consulted the issue with other sister Khaps, and decided to attack & demolish the Kalanour Riyasat. The attack was so fierce that the Riyasat was razed to dust and society was freed from their demonism and fear. It is believed that what Sikhs were doing in north-western Punjab by attacking at midnights those days, Khaps were doing same in their stronghold in broad daylight. Because of such glorious histories, deeds and dedication to social welfare, Khap descendants from Nidana are proud of and adore their Khap. And that is why village honors the decisions of Khap (which are always in betterment, unison, safety and welfare of society) with utmost dedication.

Nidana Protection Force (Pahalwan Dasta - village level unit of Khaap Army Soldiers): In old ages there were many dacoits and "Dhaads", who used to loot the villages like us. Us because we are known as "Gaibh" means one who live at one place and earns by hardwork. So to protect the village' interest and property, our village boasted of having its own protection force i.e. Pahalwan Dasta, which was directly related to Gathwala Khap as well and was counted as a village level unit of Khaap Army Soldiers. This protection force was majorly constituted of Kabeerpanthi and Jat community of village and worked under the guidance of Jats (majorly) mutually with Kabirpanthies.

The earnings for Kabirpanthies were fixed with each household, which was given in terms of "Ghee", "Milk", "Clothes" and other necessary stuff and aids. Most importantly it was the job of each house owner to assure that their share should be given on regular bases. They were welcomed like heroes each time after returning as winners from battlefield. But now as time has changed so it has also become the part of history but at one time it has been among the most applauding prestige of village.

This "Dasta" was directly linked with our traditional social engineering body "Khap" for whom "Dasta" was by default available for any cause of social security and welfare. So in this way they used to serve two purposes, one protecting own village and second to serve the society on call from "Khap". And this is how Khaps used to maintain their armies at village levels.

The main deeds of Gathwala Khap:
  1. It settles the inter-villages social disputes of her descend.

  2. It settles high risk disputes of either of descendent village (which could become a danger to existence and brotherhood of village) on call. Recent example was seen during the Jat reservation movement held between 19th February to 12th March 2012, where Khaps were called to mediate between movement’s activists and Haryana government. Khaps put the concern to problems arising to other society people due to unexpectedly becoming longer agitation. Though initially they also faced oppose from already infuriated community but finally settled the matter.

  3. It ensures justice for the victims of traditions and vices of society like dowry, unwanted money power use, discrimination against women etc.

  4. Khap leads and motivate its people to abstain from unnecessary show off during marriage ceremonies, Mrityu Bhoj (Kaaj) etc. even dictates its people to abstain from such social evils.

  5. It promotes events and investments by which social unison and welfare gets benefitted.

Never saw Gathwala Khap:
announcing capital punishment for any kind of issues brought to it for settlement.

Are love marriages allowed in Nidana: Though it is totally a matter of individual choice and depends on mutual understanding of lovers and their families and relatives however when comes to social acceptance of love marriages, yes! Love marriages are allowed in Nidana, if lovers adhere to social norms of village, which are also the recommendations of our Khap. These social norms are:

Internal social norms on marriage for Nidana are:
  1. To maintain the peace and brotherhood in the village intact system alive, every girl of village is respected as Sister by all the youngsters and daughter by all the elders irrespective of cast, varna and religion so marriage with in village is not allowed.

  2. In olden days, the village being at the forefront of attacks of foreign invaders from west and to fight with them it was necessary for villagers to have close brotherly ties with neighboring villages. So this fostered the brotherhood between neighboring villages under which all the inhabitants of neighboring villages are considered as brothers so marriages between immediate neighbor villages are not allowed even if gotra, caste and religions are different. These villages for Nidana are Dhigana, BhairoKheda, Ludana, Lalit Kheda, Chabri, Kharak Ramji, Sindhvi Kheda, Nidani, Padana, Shamlo and Ramkali etc. Though now as we are an independent country and situations are changing but still the villagers follow this rule.

  3. No marriage within Gotra of parents {Self (father’s), mother’s and grandmother’s if alive} throughout world. This rule is followed by almost all the Hindus of northern India barring few casts (Thanks for correcting if find any contradiction).

External social norm on marriage for Nidana are:
  1. Socially the marriages, out of caste or religion are allowed but again depend on the acceptance level of corresponding families and relatives.

NOTE: The measurements written above refer to the village major beliefs practiced in real and are mentioned here just to present the village cultural beliefs and norms. So it is suggested that if one decides for love marriage or loving someone by staying out of marriage then please decide so in consultation with your family, and could be affective relatives. Please don’t make this article or website a reference for any such purpose.

Expansion of Gathwala Khap to Uttar Pradesh:

One of my friend Ajay Malik of Laank village in U.P. describe the period of 1750-1760 A.D. as the expansion of Gathwala Khap into U.P. He says that एक मलिक गोत्री जाट लड़का, घर से नाराज हो कर सोनीपत के एक गाँव से आज के लिस्सद गाँव, जिला मुजफ्फरनगर चला गया और इस गाँव के एक जाट जमींदार के ही यहाँ नौकरी करने लगा| जब उस जमींदार को पता लगा की यह लड़का भी जाट है तो उसने अपनी इकलौती लड़की इस लड़के से साथ ब्याह दी| उस जमाने में यहाँ भादी जाति के लोग रहते थे| उन्होंने इस लड़के तो जमीन के लालच में मार दिया| तो फिर वो विधवा लड़की हरियाणा में गठ्वाला खाप के दादा के पास आई और सब कुछ बताया तो दादा ने लड़की (गठ्वाला खाप की बहु) की मदद हेतु खाप के पहलवानों और अन्य लोगों को भेजा और मामला देखने को कहा|

खाप के पुरोधाओं ने वहाँ जा के मामले का संज्ञान लिया तो पूरी बात धक्कासाही के तहत समझ आई और उसके प्रतिकार में उस पूरी जाति ने अपनी उडदंता दिखाई और "चोरी और उसपे सीना जोरी" की कहावत के जैसे जिद्द पे अड़ गए|

पूरे हालात का ब्यौरा दादा को संदेशा दे हरियाणा भेजा गया| तो दादा ने आदेश दिया की शांति से हमारी बहु की जमीन पर से अपना कब्ज़ा हटा लें, वरना उनकी माएँ ऐसे रोयेंगी जैसे बिना बछड़े के गाय| लेकिन इतने पर भी वो जब नहीं माने तो फिर उन पर खाप का ऐसा हमला हुआ कि कुछ तो हमले में मारे गए और जो बाकी बचे वो वहाँ से अपना रैन-बसेरा उठा की कहीं और चले गए|

और ऐसे पड़ी आज के यू .पी। (उस वक्त के हरियाणा के ही यमुना-पार के हिस्से में) में गठ्वाला खाप के सबसे पुराने और बड़े गाँव लिसद की नींव| और आज के दिन मेरठ, शामली और मुजफ्फरनगर में मलिक गोत्री गठ्वाला खाप के 72 गाँव बसते हैं|

Chaudharship (Presidency) of Khap:

Current president of Gathwala Khap is his highness Dada Chaudhary Baljeet Singh Malik. He is called as "bade Dada of Khap". Khap’s seat is at “Ulhana” village in Sonipat district and head quarter building is “Malik Bhawan” at Gohana. A complete saga and lineage detail along with establishment and complete history of Khap will soon be made available.

Dada Chaudhary Harikishan Malik of village Lissad, Shamli, Muzffarnagar, U.P. is the "Chhote Dada of Gathwala Khap. Both work for the Khap in coalition.

Birth Anniversary Celebration of Rai Bahadur Dada Chaudhary Ghasi Ram Ji: Rai Bahadur Dada Ghasi Ram GATHWALA was 3rd DADA of Gathwala Khap. Khap has the tradition of celebrating his birth anniversary as an annual celebration.

He was known for his life standards & decisions. As usual Khap celebrated his highness’s death anniversary on last 19th February this year. Thou anniversary was celebrated in the presence of the biggest personalities of Gathwala Khap, who along with general public paid tribute to Dada Ji.
2nd from left Sh. Jitender Malik - Ex M.P. Sonipat, 3rd from left current president of Gathwala Khap Dada Baljeet Singh Ji (in white turban), 4th from left Sh. Dharmpal Malik Ex M.P. and minister, etreme right Sh. Kulbeer Malik, former minister and speaker Haryana Vidhan Sabha with the picture of Dada Ghasiram Ji in center.

Ghathwala Khap, Society, Law and mandating:

Gathwala Khap is socially governed: It has been seen in past that the committee of Gathwala Khap keeps the persons rotating or changing in case if someone found guilty of any decision or step taken against social interest or harmony of community. How this process really works is to be elaborated.

Honor Killings Dogma: The decisions of killing or exiling loving couples are mostly driven under the greed of personal benefits or revenges and are believed to be personal to families and associated family groups. For example: If you are five siblings and you are father of girls only or one or two sons; overall making it weaker in muscle power; then your brothers would intend to take-over your property and land (such are countable cases otherwise sibling brotherhood is the backbone of village social system). And if tomorrow either your son or daughter wishes to wed with their choice, it gives a scope to them to throw you out from your own property by manipulating false social norms. They gather some people of their choice and launch themselves as a self-style social Panchayat, announcing exile of your daughter or son for the hidden agendas of grabbing your property and land.

I believe that once you come to know that the real root-causes behind such misdeeds are few selfish people or groups you will realize that there is no involvement of Khap in such incidents. (I can at least vouch for Gathwala Khap). To sum up as overview, then it is all about “Sada rahi sain sada rahengi jhagde ki jad teen –Jar, Joru aur Jameen” i.e. from ages and for ages there were and will always be three reasons behind every dispute (sometimes behind some wars like “Trozen War” and many other local epics and sagas to name), these are money, woman and land (This proverb can be different for different societies but till date not only my village but throughout India it is male dominance so this proverb mentions “money-woman-land” else it could be “money-man-land” or just “money-land” in a society seen with equal social status for both sexes anywhere on earth?) Anyway useless to say that money, marriages and land were and are still counted as individual interests until or unless caught by above mentioned fraud groups. Thus “Khap” title can’t be pledged or referred on every here and there instantly launched or bubbled personal interest groups or so called self-styled Panchayats.

Khap for its descendants and followers is like a shrine of Harminder Saahib to a Sikh, Har ki Poudi to a Hindu, Jeruslam to a Yahudi, Rome to a Christian and Makka-Madina to a Muslim; also and same time these comparisons doesn’t mean that Khap is a separate religion but a unique identity group within Hindu religion like any other social fellowship under Hinduism.

Self-Styled a two way understanding: It is very important to understand that when it comes to self-styled, it should be meant self-styled only rather for census, otherwise one’s such propagation could be seen in one way or the other as a try to put all kinds of religions, entities and social beliefs worldwide as self-styled and can be questioned for every this or that including the propagator’s own social belief and identity. Conclusively either stop pulling Khap name in every this and that matter and target those specific self-interest groups or tell me a society free from such evils. Most importantly no religion or social belief has global, national or even state level (especially when comes to India) recognition or approval, so if to talk socially then none is self-styled or otherwise all are self-styled.

Further for one who has little understanding and half-baked knowledge on types of social Panchayats, they should first know the real functionality and structure of each type of these panchayats. To know in detail on Panchayats and its types from perspective of Nidana please read on “Culture” section of the website.

NOTE: This information provided here was for the purpose of bringing the bright and glorious history and social role of Gathwala Khap, which may be different or partially in align with views of individuals. Ultimate mission was to highlight the good deeds of Gathwala Khap and it will continue until saturation.

A little about SarvKhap (the headkhap of all Khaps):

Some well known occasions, when armies and funds were marshaled under the aegis of Sarva Khaps, in Indian history are:
  • The battle against attack of Timur in 1398 AD was led by Jograj Singh, the land lord of Saharanpur (UP) and the Commander of Sarv Khap Army.

  • Battle of Taraori against Muhammad Gouri in 12th Century AD.

  • The battle at the confluence of Hindan and Kaali rivers against Ala ud din khilji in the 13th century AD in protest against imposition of heavy taxes and interference in private affairs.

  • Battle of Multan against Huns in Vikram Samvat 564 (507 AD).

  • In 1761 after the loss of third battle of Panipat, Sadashivrao Bhau (despite he initially denied fighting the same battle in alliance of Jats and Maratha armies) took shelter in Sanghi village under the abode of Khap. Also his wounded army soldiers were provided medical treatment and food open heartedly throughout Khapland, which established a great bond of brotherhood between two warrior classes of India. This brotherhood was built-up at the cost of spoiling the relations with Mughals.

  • Demolition of Kalanour riyasat in leadership of Gathwala Khap to save Hindu religion pride and prestige, you read about it in above lines too.

Positive social verdicts by Khap Panchayats in current arena: With more than 1200 years of existence itself is a testimony to Khap authoritativeness in society. Khaps have been the flag bearers of establishing modern education system in India, many time to time social reforms and farmer revolutions. Recent examples of few of such occasions can be read from this link:
  1. Dialogue with Khaps by organization Manushi of Smt. Madhu Kishwer

  2. अब ‘लाडो’ के संदेश से शुरू होगी पंचायतों की कार्रवाई

  3. Positive social verdicts by Khap Panchayats

  4. Khaps to follow women sabha on female feticide

  5. Khaps term female foeticide as murder - Historic day of 14th July 2012

  6. कन्या-भ्रूण हत्या के खिलाफ महिला-खाप महापंचायत, बीबीपुर-जींद:NGO और सरकारी तौर पर खुली हुई सामाजिक संस्थाएं जो काम पैसे, बिजनेस और रूतबे के लिए करती हैं वो खापों ने एक झटके में कर दिया| क्या कोई टी वी शो या प्रोग्राम वाला सामाजिक हित पे इतनी बड़ा जन-समर्थन जोड़ सन्देश दे सकता है?....शायद ही कोई...और कोई करेगा भी तो पहले पैसे मांगेगा...और यहाँ देखो हर कोई सिर्फ एक बुलावे मात्र पे दौड़ा चला आया....वाह री खापो और महिलाओं!....एक साथ आई तो धमाल मचा दिया....दुनिया के हर कोने में चर्चा है आपका| ये नगों और सामाजिक ट्रस्ट वाले तो भोचक्के रह गए होंगे....कि जिनको वो जिंदगी का ध्येय बना के चलते हैं....रोजगार के नाम पे समाज के ठेकेदार बनते हैं जब खापें और महिलायें मिलके मैदान में आई तो सब धरे के धरे रह गए...इसे कहते हैं सौ सुनार की एक लुहार की| Haribhoomi Coverage

  7. Does India Still Need Khap Panchayats?

Satymev Jayate episode on Honor Killing:

Aamir must have round-tabled one religious or social representative from and/or at least all major religions and their respective social groups:
  1. Amir Khan should avoid such critical questions of authoritativeness because in Indian constitution no religious or social entity, body or group is authorized officially or legally.

    No religious bodies like Temple, Mosque, Gurudwara, Church etc bear nationwide or even state level official approval. Similarly no social bodies like Akaal-Takht, Fatwa’s delivering bodies from Muslims, any Hindu cloister, Church monastery, Khaps, or any other equivalent entity is approved by Indian constitution. All these are society’s own-defined and believed systems. So Amir asking this question appeared going out of common understanding.

    If he would have remained on line of discussing the prime issue of Honor Killing would have made better sense and could spread message of pure discussion rather like in this case it reflected the feel of targetting one particular group.

    If he had to do so then he must have round-tabled one religious or social representative from and at least all above mentioned religions and their respective social groups, which could have given a better sense to this episode. But seems and it is seen as if Amir himself fears of his own religious or social bodies asking them such blunt question of authoritativeness.

  2. By presenting the example of England, Khap wanted to put a reference that when we follow them in day to day life and fashion, then why not we follow them in their system of law formation for us. All of us know that laws of England are referenced on their local customs and values so similar thing can be borne in India too. But before Khaps could complete their part, Aamir Khan jumped on to another question. Here no body even cared to put a quench and this gave the feeling that show was not fairly judice. It happened knowingly or unknowingly but it happened as Khap representative didn't even get the time to put their part completely.

Analytics: Nidana Heights is against any kind of killing including honor killing and appreciate Amir' show but he should have avoided such straight questions to Khaps, especially when we all know the answer to such question would have been no; even if was asked from any other such entity. So it doesn't make any sense to us. The focus should have remained to topic. Asking the Khaps on what steps, modifications and/or measurements they have been taking or will take further to avoid or get rid of their society from this stigma, would have avoided this particular targetting feel.

Important points to be discussed:
  1. This episode clears one thing that Khaps need good debaters with better argument intellect. For this Khaps require to talk directly with their community and representatives.

  2. Khap representatives should also understand the strictness of their responsibility and should keep in sense that except Indian law and their own society, they are in no way liable to respond to/on/from any such platform or program. Even then if they want to respond then should prepare themselves before any such event and also make it assured that their points will be clearly listened from end to end.

Note: More and more points will be added with time. Alongside we request you also to help us in enriching this knowledge with your experience and knowledge.

Jai Dada Nagar Kheda Bada Bir

Author: P. K. Malik

First Edition: 19/04/2012

Publisher: NHReL

  • NH Advisory Board

  • History Books

  • General Jat History

  • Karnal Gazetteer, 1892

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