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Millennium Post

Majoritarianism to rescue, Khap is in

It is painful to see Delhi’s AAPrising dwindle to a mock show of ugly majoritarianism. First it was the midnight raid led by the unlawful law minister Somnath Bharti. Now it is the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal himself who has come out in defence of the utterly regressive Khap panchayats in the name of their serving a ‘cultural purpose.’ This toast to tradition, coming from Kejriwal, is a huge let down, since it is exactly at this point that his confrontational politics of street-fighting fizzles away into a thick viscous fluid of majoritarian mob anarchy. While the post-ideological all-inclusive appeal of the AAP was a breath of fresh air for many who were tired of both Congress’ welfare gimmickry and BJP’s Hindutva shenanigans, and many an editorial as well as column has been devoted to the celebrate the political coming-of-age of the aam aadmi (including in the pages of this newspaper), the latest declaration by Kejriwal in favour of the socioculturally uber-conservative Khap panchayats is really the pits. Not only is it a blatant attempt to woo the heartlands in Haryana where AAP is trying to make inroads, it is also a slap in the face of millions of urban and woman supporters of AAP, who have been betrayed by Kejriwal’s adherence to this outdated, and extremely misogynist, system.

Khaps in India have sanctioned honour killings, perpetuated the worst forms of caste and class-based prejudices, have reinstated segregation on the basis of sex and gender, have batted for sexual violence in the name of protecting women’s honour and chastity, and have practically been responsible for keeping alive the medieval mindset right within the beating heart of a 21st century India. Somnath Bharti’s politics of raid governance and Kejriwal’s selective outrage against corruption but not against sociopolitical discrimination now ring hollow. We cannot allow AAP to become a party of rowdy vigilantism.
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