To a post celebrating the end of khap panchayats -
Aparna Krishnan The State is the greatest violator and oppressor. I can only rejoice the day the State withers away and small communities come into their own strength and independence. Gram Swaraj. But that day they will be in charge of their own policies and production and justice also. So its all rather nuanced, and can only be understood by those rooted in the communities, and not by outsiders.
Every place may have a differnt storyline. Our village holds madhyasthams with elders of the village chairing. Over twenty years I have only seen two cases of unfair judgements. Overall is it fair and empathetic and intelligent. People clearly prefer the madhyasthams, to going to police and courts. In the local, many local realities are understood and addressed. I suspect adivasi local panchayats would be even more egalitarian and fair. Yes, the horrendous jugdements one hears of in media need to be done away with. But interestingly I asked a Jat friend if the khap panchayats were really that violative in her part of the country, and she said that there were more meaningful addressels than violative ones.
The media and the intelligensia consider villages backward and stupid, and therefore the worst may be getting reported with glee has been my suspiscion. In that case, the worst need to be dealt with a iron hand on a case by case basis.
There is sometimes tension between them, because the latter usually comprises of the old land owners and the former may have some Johnny come lately types elected, but the latter are not banned.