Khap panchayats are retrograde, can't be part of culture: FM

In a veiled attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his defence of khap panchayats, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today described them as retrograde organisations which cannot be part of India's culture.

"What is a khap panchayat? A khap panchayat is a retrograde organisation. It is not part of India's culture and I am appalled to see somebody say it's part of India's culture. How can it be part of India's culture?," he said while addressing students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) here.

His comments come against the backdrop of Kejriwal, who had in a recent interview, said he does not see the need for banning khap panchayats or unelected all-male village councils because they serve a "cultural purpose."

Attacking Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party (AAP) for defending khap panchayats, Chidambaram said, "(it's) rubbish. Must have the courage to stand up and say these retrograde practices are not part of India's culture...These are simply (organisations of) self serving individuals who propagate this poisonous culture".

"How can you tell a boy or a girl what you should wear and what you should not wear, who you should marry, who you should not marry.

"Each one knows what the rules of normal behaviour are and each one will adopt those rules of normal behaviour. I can't go and argue a case in a court wearing a swim suit. I know if I have to go to a court, I have to dress like a lawyer. But I can't go to a swimming pool wearing my lawyer's robe...

"I think people know what they are expected to do...Who is this khap panchayat to tell do this or do that," the Finance Minister said.

He further said likewise, there are many forces in the country which spread 'poison', sow seeds of distrust and differences and call this part of India's culture.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Trade policies must not ring fence specific industry sectors

    Within days of the government setting a floor price for import of steel products to thwart countries such as China from undercutting local mills, gove

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

TODAY'S COLUMNS

Arun Kumar Jain

Reframe mindset to achieve excellence

Niels Bohr, the famous quantum physicist on­ce said, “The opposite ...

Kuruvilla Pandikattu

More real than the reality

Virtual reality (VR), a te­chnology that offers an un­imaginably altered ...

Dharmendra Khandal

Urbanisation is costing us our wildlife

The road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari aims to ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture