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Family Radio (Family Stations Inc.), based in Oakland, California, is a non-commercial, 24-hour, listener-supported, Christian radio religious broadcasting network in the United States, founded in 1959 by Harold Camping. The network consists mainly of FM radio stations with non-commercial licenses (and a few commercial licenses used as non-commercial) and relays, with some AM stations and two television stations, plus WYFR shortwave in Okeechobee, Florida. The network produces programming in more than 40 languages.[1] [2]

Contents

Programming

Family Radio's music programming consists mainly of early American hymnals and avoids other genres generally, including Contemporary Christian Music and southern gospel.

One of Family Radio's most enduring broadcasts is a call-in program called "Open Forum" in which Camping responds to callers' questions and comments as they relate to the Bible. "Family Bible Reading Fellowship", "Family Bible Study", "Sunday Preaching", "Beyond Intelligent Design", "Christian Home", and "Family Radio World Wide" are examples of other programming offered[3].

Support

Family Radio relies solely on listener-supported funding and donations, and is unaffiliated with any other religious denomination[4]. Outside programming broadcast over the Family Radio network is aired free of charge and Family Radio does not sell programming time to ministries. Unlike other non-commercial stations, Family Radio stations do not get a percentage of donations coming from ministries in Family Radio listening areas. Few outside ministry programs are aired over Family Radio presently.

Family Radio had net assets of approximately $122 million in 2007 [5].

Politics

Family Radio does not discuss politics directly, campaign for political candidates, or endorse candidates or issues. Family Radio attempts to distance itself from political social issues—one reason the "Focus on the Family" program was removed in the early 1980s. Nevertheless, Family Radio has presented programs that may have political and social ramifications, such as those that advocate creationism [6].

History

Family Radio (aka Family Stations Inc.) began obtaining FM broadcasting licenses on commercial frequencies early in FM's history, and by 2006, was ranked 19th among top broadcast companies in number of radio stations owned [7]. Presently, Family Radio's affiliates in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and San Francisco are on prime commercial frequencies and the licenses of these stations alone may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if sold today.

In 1958, a Family Radio founder,Harold Camping, joined with other individuals of Christian Reformed, Bible Baptist, and Conservative Christian Presbyterian to purchase an FM radio station in San Francisco, California, KEAR, then at 97.3 MHz, to broadcast traditional Christian Gospel to the conservative Protestant community and minister to the general public. With the primary purpose of broadcasting doctrines of Christianity reflective of the teachings of the Holy Bible, Family Radio remained independent, never merging with any particular church organization or church denominations [8]

Through the 1960s, as a ministry, both non-profit organization and non-commercial, Family Radio acquired 6 additional FM stations and 7 other AM stations under guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [9]. The flagship station for the network of both full-power and low-power translator stations is KEAR in San Francisco (now at 610 kHz, since 2005 at 106.9 MHz).Due to FCC rules regarding translator stations, the legal primary station for the translators was changed to KEAR-FM in Sacramento, after the former primary FM station in San Francisco was sold to CBS Radio[10].

With the sale of KEAR-FM to CBS Radio in 2005, broadcasts from San Francisco moved to an AM radio frequency[11]. Family Radio continues to own other large market FM commercial band stations, including WFME 94.7 MHz Newark, NJ in the New York City radio market.

Many program productions broadcast throughout the Family Radio station network were produced in the Oakland, California facilities. The production process involved pre-recording two weeks of broadcast programming on reel-to-reel tapes to be distributed to each Local Family Radio station. Free broadcast time was provided by Family Radio to national fundamentalist and evangelical ministries -- outside ministries' programs were sent in cassette and reel-to-reel tape formats to respective Family Radio stations for local broadcast. Each local Family Radio station had local board operators providing local news, announcements, local traffic reports via phone call-in, and weather reports broadcast during morning and afternoon weekdays. Outside ministry programs included "Focus on the Family" (which was pulled in 1985), "Freedom Under Fire", "Unshackled", "Back to the Bible", "Family News in Focus", and Beyond intelligent design. Local Family Radio stations broadcast church services from local community fundamentalism churches, and a remainder of Family Radio's broadcast time was allocated to traditional Christian music.

By the late 1980s, programming was delivered via satellite, local news was taken off the stations in favor of a various national news from a Christian news source, and presently, all but a few local announcements are produced at their Oakland, California facilities [2].

Music broadcast by Family Radio in the 1960s and 1970s was typical of religious stations, commercial and non-commercial. Some commercial stations played Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) for a few hours a week, but in the 1980s, as commercial and some non-commercial Christian stations evolved to Contemporary formats, Family Radio remained with traditional music formats such as choir hymns, various Gospel singing groups, vocalists of the 1950s, and softer urban contemporary gospel songs. In the 1990s, Family Radio included some lighter contemporary Christian artists but abandoned this direction by 2002.

Family Radio's text publications, and their telephone call-in program, "Open Forum," have continued to be based on the text of the authorized King James Bible[12][13]. Prerecorded Bible readings broadcast over satellite, shortwave, radio frequencies and the internet are generally based on the Modern King James Bible[14].

Teachings and beliefs

Central to Family Radio's and Camping's teaching is the belief that the Bible is the Word of God and completely true. However, he emphasizes, this does not mean that each sentence in the Bible is to be understood only literally. Rather, the meaning of individual Biblical passages needs to be interpreted in the light of two factors. The first is the context of the Bible as a whole. The second is its spiritual meaning: in Camping's words, "the Bible is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning." In Camping's latest publication,"We are Almost There!"[15], he states that certain Biblical passages point unquestionably to May 21, 2011 as the date of "Rapture", and October 21, 2011 as the end of the world.

Since leaving the Reformed Church in 1988, Camping has taught doctrines that may conflict with doctrines of the Reformed Church and other church denominations. The principles of Biblical hermeneutics upon which Camping frames his present teachings are:

  1. The Bible alone is the Word of God.
  2. Every Biblical passage must be interpreted in the light of the Bible as a whole.
  3. The Bible normally conveys multiple levels of meaning or significance.[16]
  4. Numerology cannot be applied to numbers in the Bible when following the Biblical rules—some individuals have attempted to apply the concept to Camping's research.

Examples of how Camping's teachings vary from past conventional doctrines are:

  • Departing from Calvinist doctrine, Camping teaches relative free will of humanity, and that humans are not totally depraved. However, he subscribes to the idea that salvation is unmerited, cannot be achieved by good works or prayer, and is a pure act of God's grace, and that those to be saved were chosen "before the foundation of the world".
  • Departing from doctrines stating no one can know the time of Christ's second coming, he teaches that the exact times of the Rapture and the End of the World are to be revealed sometime towards the end of time: (Daniel 12:9-13) prophecy.
  • Camping teaches that the "Church age" is over, that Satan now rules in all churches, and that no person remaining in a church at the time of the Rapture can be saved. He distinguishes his ministry from a "church", saying that Family Radio does not have a "membership" or hold "authority".
  • Camping now teaches that "hell" is synonymous with "death" and the "grave", and that there is no everlasting torment.

Stations

Satellite

Eutelsat Hotbird 6 - 13 degrees east, Transponder # 89, Vertical LNB polarization; Satellite frequency: 12.597 GHz

  • Family Radio Europe (English): channel 8222
  • Family Radio International 1: channel 8233
  • Family Radio International 2: Channel 8234

Astra 2B - 28.2° east, Transponder # 36, Vertical LNB polarization, Satellite frequency: 12.4024 GHz

  • Family Radio Europe (English) : SID 9558

Full-powered stations

Callsign MHz City of license Additional Information
WBFR 89.5 FM Birmingham, AL WBFR FCC
KPHF 88.3 FM Phoenix, AZ KPHF FCC
KFRB 91.3 FM Bakersfield, CA KFRB FCC
KHAP 89.1 FM Chico, CA KHAP FCC
KECR 910 AM El Cajon, CA KECR FCC
KFNO 90.3 FM Fresno, CA KFNO FCC
KEFR 89.9 FM Le Grand, CA KEFR FCC
KFRN 1280 AM Long Beach, California KFRN FCC
KEAR 610 AM San Francisco, CA KEAR FCC
KEAR-FM 88.1 FM; Sacramento, CA KEAR-FM FCC
KEBR 1210 AM; Rocklin, CA KEBR FCC
KEAR 610 AM; San Francisco KEAR FCC
KFRS 89.9 FM; Soledad, CA KFRS FCC
KPRA 89.5 FM; Ukiah, CA KPRA FCC
WCTF 1170 AM; Vernon, CT WCTF FCC
WMFL 88.5 FM; Florida City, FL WMFL FCC
WJFR 88.7 FM; Jacksonville, FL WJFR FCC
WYFR shortwave; Okeechobee, FL WYFR FCC
WWFR 91.7 FM; Okeechobee, FL WWFR FCC
WFTI-FM 91.7 FM; St. Petersburg, FL WFTI-FM FCC
WFRP 88.7 FM Americus, GA WFRP FCC
Callsign MHz City of license Additional Information
WFRC 90.5 FM Columbus, GA WFRC FCC
WJCH 91.9 FM Joliet, IL WJCH FCC
KDFR 91.3 FM Des Moines, IA KDFR FCC
KYFR 920 AM Shenandoah, IA KYFR FCC
KPOR 90.7 FM Emporia, KS KPOR FCC
WFSI 107.9 FM Annapolis, MD WFSI FCC
WBGR 860 AM Baltimore, MD WBGR FCC
WBMD 750 AM Baltimore, MD WBMD FCC
WOFR 89.5 FM Schoolcraft, MI WOFR FCC
KFRD 88.3 FM Butte, MT KFRD FCC
KBFR 91.7 FM Bismarck, ND KBFR FCC
WKDN 106.9 FM Camden, NJ WKDN FCC
WFME 94.7 FM Newark, NJ WFME FCC
WFBF 89.9 FM Buffalo, NY WFBF FCC
WFRH 91.7 FM Kingston, NY WFRH FCC
WFRS 88.9 FM Smithtown, NY WFRS FCC
WFRW 88.1 FM Webster, NY WFRW FCC
WFSO 88.3 FM Olivebridge, NY WFSO FCC
WCUE 1150 AM Cuyahoga Falls, OH WCUE FCC
WOTL 90.3 FM Toledo, OH WOTL FCC
WYTN 91.7 FM Youngstown, OH WYTN FCC
Callsign MHz City of license Additional Information
WUFR 91.1 FM Bedford, PA WUFR FCC
WEFR 88.1 FM Erie, PA WEFR FCC
WFRJ 88.9 FM Johnstown, PA WFRJ FCC
WXFR 88.3 FM State College, PA WXFR FCC
WFCH 88.5 FM Charleston, SC WFCH FCC
KQFR 89.9 FM Rapid City, SD KQFR FCC
KTXB 89.7 FM Beaumont, TX KTXB FCC
KUFR 91.7 FM Salt Lake City, UT KUFR FCC
KARR 1460 AM Kirkland, WA KARR FCC
KJVH 89.5 FM Longview, WA KJVH FCC
WMWK 88.1 FM Milwaukee, WI WMWK FCC

Family Radio can be heard in English from the following local international stations:

  • Moscow, Russia, Center 1503 kHz AM
    • 11 pm to 12:30 am, and 8 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Istanbul, Turkey, Radio Joy FM 89.6 mHz
    • 5 am to 8 am, and 8 pm to 11 pm
  • Southern Africa, Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho, 1197 kHz
    • 6 pm to 9 pm, and 10 pm to 1 am

Translators

In addition to its full-powered stations, Family Radio is relayed by an additional 54 low-powered translators:

Callsign MHz City of license Additional Information
W205AP 88.9 Pascagoula, MS FCC
K227AH 93.3 River Pines, CA FCC
K204CL 88.7 Smith River, CA FCC
K209CE 89.7 San Luis Obispo, CA FCC
K272DU 102.3 Black Eagle, MT FCC
K217CD 91.3 Great Falls, MT FCC
K220EI 91.9 Ogden, UT FCC
K259AN 99.7 Billings, MT FCC
K290AG 105.9 Stockton, CA FCC
K268AH 101.5 Palm Springs, CA FCC
W203AT 88.5 Albany, GA FCC
K217BJ 91.3 Banning, CA FCC
K206BF 89.1 Fort Dodge, IA FCC
W206AH 89.1 Eau Claire, WI FCC
K206BI 89.1 Carson City, NV FCC
W220BD 91.9 Roanoke, VA FCC
W215AF 90.9 Muncy, PA FCC
K223AL 92.5 South Lake Tahoe, CA FCC
K216CJ 91.1 Galveston, TX FCC
K219CK 91.7 Coos Bay, OR FCC
K214CQ 90.7 Grand Island, NE FCC
K209BQ 89.7 Amana, IA FCC
K219BX 91.7 El Paso, TX FCC
K254AK 98.7 Reno, NV FCC
W203AL 88.5 Duluth, MN FCC
K205CA 88.9 Ottumwa, IA FCC
K213BZ 90.5 Richvale, CA FCC
K214CA 90.7 Grand Junction, CO FCC
W220AN 91.9 La Grange, GA FCC
K201CQ 88.1 Prescott, AZ FCC
Callsign MHz City of license Additional Information
K214BO 90.7 Ashland, OR FCC
K202BY 88.3 Enid, OK FCC
K206DU 89.1 Lafayette, LA FCC
W207AG 89.3 Freeland, PA FCC
K220EY 91.9 Porterville, CA FCC
K205CI 88.9 Phoenix, AZ FCC
W212AG 90.3 Berwick, PA FCC
K219CA 91.7 Casper, WY FCC
K203BE 88.5 Roseburg, OR FCC
K220GM 91.9 Placitas, NM FCC
W209BC 89.7 Wakelee, MI FCC
K213CH 90.5 Ridgecrest, CA FCC
K219AO 91.7 Fairmont, CA FCC
K203EP 88.5 Shepherd, MT FCC
W207AX 89.3 Burlington, VT FCC
K203CI 88.5 Cave Junction, OR FCC
W212AP 90.3 Notasulga, AL FCC
K238AC 95.5 Salida, CA FCC
K241AJ 96.1 Palmdale, CA FCC
W280CV 103.9 Scranton, PA FCC
W208AF 89.5 Nanticoke, PA FCC
K261BF 100.1 Black Butte, OR FCC
K202CG 88.3 Jonesboro, AR FCC
K236AA 95.1 Cedar Rapids, IA FCC
W204AC 88.7 Emmaus, PA FCC
W207AE 89.3 Reading, PA FCC

Television

See also

References

  1. ^ Family Radio Worldwide. Family Radio. 21 January 2008 <http://www.familyradio.com/>
  2. ^ a b Family Stations, Inc., Goliath Business Knowledge on Demand, http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/product-compint-0001274570-page.html 
  3. ^ Family Radio broadcast programs, Family Stations, Inc., http://209.10.202.163/english/connect/broadcast/zone_sched/ 
  4. ^ Family Radio General Information, Family Stations, Inc., http://www.familyradio.com/english/admin/ 
  5. ^ Family Radio profile, Ministry Watchers., http://www.ministrywatch.com/profile/family-stations.aspx 
  6. ^ Family Radio Monday/Friday Program Schedule, Family Stations, Inc., http://www.familyradio.com/english/connect/broadcast/zone_sched/cst.html 
  7. ^ State of the News Media 2006., Journalism.org, http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/2006/printable_radio_ownership.asp? 
  8. ^ Who or What is Family Radio?, Family Stations, Inc., http://www.familyradio.com/english/connect/bio/haroldcamping_bio.html 
  9. ^ Multiple Ownership;Radio Broadcast Stations, Small Business Administration, http://www.sba.gov/advo/laws/comments/dfcc02_0313.txt, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  10. ^ Infinity Broadcasting, CBS RADIO pressroom, http://www.cbsradio.com/press_center/releases/pressrelease124011-04-18-2005.html, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  11. ^ Family Stations, KEAR 610 AM, Radiotime your guide to radio, http://radiotime.com/station/s_44534/Family_Radio_Network_610.aspx, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  12. ^ "Family Stations text Bible". FamilyStations, Inc.. http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/frame/. 
  13. ^ Harold Camping. "Open forum/text, authorized King James". FamilyStations, Inc.. http://forms.familyradio.org/dbqf/forum_100207j.html. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  14. ^ "Family Stations audio Bible". Family Stations, Inc.. http://www.familyradio.com/english/connect/audio_archive/fbrf/. 
  15. ^ [http://www.sba.gov/advo/laws/comments/dfcc02_0313.txt ...Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in Local Markets], Small Business Administration, http://www.sba.gov/advo/laws/comments/dfcc02_0313.txt, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  16. ^ Harold Camping. "First Principles of Bible Study". Family Stations, Inc. http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/study/study_contents.html. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 

External links


The Khap(Hindi:खाप, IAST: khāpa) and Sarv Khap (सर्व खाप) was a system of social administration and organization in the republics of Northwestern Indian states such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since ancient times. Khap is a term for a social - political grouping and used in a geographical sense. Other parallel terms are Pal, Ganasangha, Janapada or republic.

For some reasons the political unit of Khap was defined as a group of 84 villages.[citation needed] This unit of measure is found as far back as the Saka migrations/invasions circa 70 BCE into the Indian subcontinent. The concept of Khap is ancient; written references are found as far back as Rig Vedic times ca. 2500 BCE.[citation needed]

Contents

Historical background

The Indian social fabric was organized around the village unit, from time immemorial, as making shifted from nomadic to settled agricultural practices. Throughout the last few millennium the society of the Indian sub continent, was organized in various forms, tribal, village, monarchical or republican the mode of governing was that of a council of five, which in time was called a Panchayat. We find that the republican form of society existed from the most ancient times known to us.[citation needed] In various times the society coalesced around monarchical forms, but the republican societies did not die out, but maintained their existence with remarkable resilience. We find references to the republican sources in our ancient literature, some of the most ancient as being the Rig Veda. The dating of this work in now generally accepted to be in the circa 2500 BCE period. The forms of governing society are that of the `Sabha’(Hindi: सभा) or `samiti’ (Hindi: समिति) i.e. gathering/assembly. The Sabhapati, the president of the Sabha was elected.[1] · [2]

The term `Rajan, Rajanaya' has been taken to denote a monarchical system. A closer look shows the term was used at that time for the householder, the head of the household, and he would participate in the Sabha or assembly. In later times this took on a monarchical connotation, as Raja, Maharaja, a term familiar to most of us.

In the texts of Pāṇini and later Buddhist texts we find references to 16 republics or Great Republics Janapadas, or Mahajanpadas' and the reference are to the period circa 600 BCE (conventional dating). We find references to names of republics like Mall, Licchavi, Sakya, Yaudheya, Agreya, and so on. We find Indian and Western sources referring to these republics e.g. in the invasion of Alexander (circa 325 BCE) where Alexander comes wars with the Malloi or Malli, Kshudrak, Paur, Puru, Kathi republics. We continue to find the republics referred to as the Yaudheyas, Malls etc are found dominating the Northern Indian landscape in what is now Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Sarv Khap (or all Khap) Panchayat (council) represented all the Khaps. The individual Khaps would elect leaders who would send delegates, who would represent the Khaps at the Sarv Khap level. It was a political organization, composed of all the clans, communities, and castes in the region. The republics of the Yaudheyas who dominated this region from 600BCE to 400 CE preceded it. They had there a similar system of governance, and their coins and seals are found in this whole region, Rohtak Haryana was one of the capitals and a major coin mint.[3]

After the fall of Kushan Empire northwest India was divided in to small republics. These small republics could not defend against invaders. So there were formed federations of republics knows as Ganasanghas. One such Ganasangha was on the banks of Sutlej River. Another Gansangha of Arjunayana was in the region between Agra and Bharatpur. Dr Budh Prakash says that the Yaudheyas are related with present Dahiya clan and Arjunayana Ganasanghas were the present Joon clans.[4]

Functioning of Khaps

The ancient kshatriyas have always organized themselves into clans or under Panchayat system; both typically Aryan. A clan was based on one large gotra (clan) or a number of closely related gotras under one elected leader whose word was law. Mutual quarrels of any intensity could be settled under his orders. In time of danger, the whole clan rallied under the banner of the leader.

The Panchayat system is territorial and highly democratic. Every village has its own Panchayat. Whenever there is a problem or dispute in the village, a gathering of the Panchayat is called for every member of the village has a right to attend, express his views and vote for or against a proposal. The maximum available people normally attend. There are no elected or nominated Panchayat officials. Nevertheless, some persons, by virtue of their wisdom and eloquence, are automatically accepted as Panches, (one of the five) and their views are heard and respected. While elders discuss a problem it is customary for younger people not to speak but sit and listen. All decisions are taken after open-hearing, full and voluntary expression of views and consensus vote. Even if one of the contending parties considers the Panchayat decision unfair it is accepted and complied with without question.

A number of villages grouped themselves into a Gohand. A number of Gohands formed a ‘Khap’ (covering an area equal to from a Tehsil to a District and a number of Khaps formed a 'Sarva Khap' embracing a full province or state. For example, there was a "Sarva Khap" each for Haryana and Malwa. At what level a Panchayat should gather depended upon the magnitude of the problem and the territory it involved.[5]

The right of attendance and expression was open to every one, whatever the level of the Panchayat. Generally, however, selected representatives of the villages attended Panchayats of the 'Gohand' and higher level. Leaders were elected and appointed at 'Khap' and 'Sarva Khap' level that maintained records of decisions and had the authority to call an assembly.

Negotiations with kings were done - at 'Sarva Khap' level. Chaudhry Kabul Singh of Village Shoram, District Muzaffarnagar, whose ancestors were leaders of the Sarva Khaap Panchayat, holds some copper plates and papers bearing records of important negotiations.[citation needed]

The Khap and its divisions

One of the terms used to denote the republic was the `Khap'. Others were Pal, Janapada, and Ganasangha etc. The Khap consisted a unit of 84 villages. The individual villages were governed by an elected Council, which was known as the Panchayat. A unit of seven villages was called a Thamba and 12 Thambas would form the unit of 84 Villages. We also find Khaps of 12 and 24 villages. Their elected leaders would determine which units would be represented at the Khap level. These Khaps are found to be spread all the way from Northwest India down to Madhya Pradesh, Malwa, Rajasthan, Sindh, Multan, Punjab, Haryana, and modern Uttar Pradesh.[6]

Sarv Khap of Haryana

This region from Western Uttar Pradesh through Agra, Mathura, to the Sutlej River in the Punjab was known as Haryana, dominated by Jats and it is of this region that we speak, when refer to the Sarv Khap of Haryana. The influence of the Sarv Khap extended to the Malwa province in Central India, Rajasthan and Sindh. With the ebb and flow of history, the boundaries also expanded and receded.

Criticism

Under the backdrop of political rumblings over the sanctity of the Institution of 'Sarva Khap Panchayat', the institution has been critiqued as one in dire need of 'reinterpretation & adaptation, to the extent its integrity and basic structure remains totally uncompromised'.[7]

In recent times, the Khap system has attracted criticism from groups, citing the stark prejudice that such groups allegedly hold against others. Women's Organisation AIDWA has shown concern in some cases where the Khaps are alleged to have initiated threats of murder and violence to innocent couples who marry outside of the circle.[8][9]These allegations however have not been proven by any evidence.

The role Sarv Khaps played in India

Some well known occasions, when armies and funds were marshaled under the aegis of Sarva Khaps, are:[5]

  • The Battle against attack of Timur in 1398 AD was led by Veer Jograj Singh Gujjar , the Gujjar land lord of Saharanpur (UP) and the Commander of Sarv Khap Army.
  • Battle of Multan against Huns in Vikram Samvat 564 (507 AD),
  • Battle of Taraori against Muhammad Ghori in 12th Century AD
  • The battle at the confluence of Hindan and Kali river against Ala ud din Khilji in the 13th century AD in protest against imposition of heavy taxes and interference in private affairs.

References

  1. ^ J.P. Sharma, Republics in Ancient India, 1968, Leiden
  2. ^ Steve Muhlberger, Democracy in Ancient India, Associate Professor of History, Nipissing University.
  3. ^ Bibliography, Yuadheyoun ka Ithihasa
  4. ^ Dr Natthan Singh, Jat-Itihas, (Jat History), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad, F-13, Dr Rajendra Prasad Colony, Tansen marg, Gwalior, M.P, India 474 002 2004
  5. ^ a b Ram Swarup Joon, History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967)
  6. ^ Dr. Bal Kishan Dabas, The Political and Social History of the Jats, 2001 Sanjay Prakashan, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7453-045-2 Meeting held under the chairmanship of Sant Shanta Nand, the account recorded by Ramdas, the Recorder ( Bhat) of the Panchayat Source: Shoram collection, Pothi No.1, P.7, quoted in note 33, of The Political and Social History of the Jats, Dr. Bal Kishan Dabas
  7. ^ Dr J. Rawat. "The Sarva Khap". http://www.servekhap.com. 
  8. ^ T.K. Rajalakshmi. "Caste terror". frontline Volume 21 - Issue 25, Dec. 04 - 17, 2004. http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2125/stories/20041217002304200.htm. 
  9. ^ Rohit Mullick & Neelam Raaj (9 September 2007). "Panchayats turn into kangaroo courts". The Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Sunday_Specials/Panchayats_turn_into_kangaroo_courts/rssarticleshow/2351247.cms. 

External links


The Khap (Hindi:खाप, IAST: khāpa) and Sarv Khap (सर्व खाप) was a system of social administration and organization in the republics of Northwestern Indian states such as Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh since ancient times. Khap is a term for a social - political grouping and used in a geographical sense. Other parallel terms are Pal, Ganasangha, Janapada or republic.

For some reasons the political unit of Khap was defined as a group of 84 villages. This unit of measure is found as far back as the Saka migrations/invasions circa 500 BCE into the Indian subcontinent. The concept of Khap is ancient; written references are found as far back as Rig Vedic times ca. 2500 BCE.

Contents

Historical back ground

The Indian social fabric was organized around the village unit, from time immemorial, as making shifted from nomadic to settled agricultural practices. Throughout the last few millennium the society of the Indian sub continent, was organized in various forms, tribal, village, monarchical or republican among the ancient Jats, as borne out by the ancient literature, Rig Veda etc, the mode of governing was that of a council of five, which in time was called a Panchayat. We find that the republican form of society existed from the most ancient times known to us. In various times the society coalesced around monarchical forms, but the republican societies did not die out, but maintained their existence with remarkable resilience. We find references to the republican sources in our ancient literature, some of the most ancient as being the Rig Veda. The dating of this work in now generally accepted to be in the circa 2500 BCE period. The forms of governing society are that of the `Sabha’(Hindi: सभा) or `samiti’ (Hindi: समिति) i.e. gathering/assembly. The Sabhapati, the president of the Sabha was elected. [1] · [2]

The term `Rajan, Rajanaya' has been taken to denote a monarchical system. A closer look shows the term was used at that time for the householder, the head of the household, and he would participate in the Sabha or assembly. In later times this took on a monarchical connotation, as Raja, Maharaja, a term familiar to most of us.

In the texts of Panini and later Buddhist texts we find references to 16 republics or Great Republics Janapadas, or Mahajanpadas' and the reference are to the period circa 600 BCE (conventional dating). We find references to names of republics like Mall, Licchavi, Sakya, Yaudheya, Agreya, and so on. We find Indian and Western sources referring to these republics e.g. in the invasion of Alexander (circa 325 BCE) where Alexander comes wars with the Malloi or Malli, Kshudrak, Paur, Puru, Kathi republics. We continue to find the republics referred to as the Yaudheyas, Malls etc are found dominating the Northern Indian landscape in what is now Punjab, Sindh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Sarv Khap (or all Khap) Panchayat (council) represented all the Khaps. The individual Khaps would elect leaders who would send delegates, who would represent the Khaps at the Sarv Khap level. It was a political organization, composed of all the clans, communities, and castes in the region. The republics of the Yaudheyas who dominated this region from 600BCE to 400 CE preceded it. They had there a similar system of governance, and their coins and seals are found in this whole region, Rohtak Haryana was one of the capitals and a major coin mint. [3]

After the fall of Kushan Empire northwest India was divided in to small republics. These small republics could not defend against invaders. So there were formed federations of republics knows as Ganasanghas. One such Ganasangha was on the banks of Sutlej River. Another Gansangha of Arjunayana was in the region between Agra and Bharatpur. Dr Budh Prakash says that the Yaudheyas are related with present Dahiya clan and Arjunayana Ganasanghas were the present Joon clans. [4]

Functioning of Khaps

The ancient kshatriyas have always organized themselves into clans or under Panchayat system; both typically Aryan. A clan was based on one large gotra or a number of closely related gotras under one elected leader whose word was law. Mutual quarrels of any intensity could be settled under his orders. In time of danger, the whole clan rallied under the banner of the leader.

The Panchayat system is territorial and highly democratic. Every village has its own Panchayat. Whenever there is a problem or dispute in the village, a gathering of the Panchayat is called for every member of the village has a right to attend, express his views and vote for or against a proposal. The maximum available people normally attend. There are no elected or nominated Panchayat officials. Nevertheless, some persons, by virtue of their wisdom and eloquence, are automatically accepted as Panches, (one of the five) and their views are heard and respected. While elders discuss a problem it is customary for younger people not to speak but sit and listen. All decisions are taken after open-hearing, full and voluntary expression of views and consensus vote. Even if one of the contending parties considers the Panchayat decision unfair it is accepted and complied with without question.

A number of villages grouped themselves into a Gohand (corresponding to the present Thana area); a number of Gohands formed a ‘Khap’ (covering an area equal to from a Tehsil to a District and a number of Khaps formed a 'Sarva Khap' embracing a full province or state. For example, there was a “Sarva Khap” each for Haryana and Malwa. At what level a Panchayat should gather depended upon the magnitude of the problem and the territory it involved. [5]

The right of attendance and expression was open to every one, whatever the level of the Panchayat. Generally, however, selected - representatives of the villages attended Panchayats of the 'Gohand' and higher level. Leaders were elected and appointed at 'Khap' and 'Sarva Khap' level that maintained records of decisions and had the authority to call an assembly.

Negotiations with kings were done - at 'Sarva Khap' level. Chaudhry Kabul Singh of Village Shoram, District Muzaffarnagar, whose ancestors were leaders of the Sarva Khaap Panchayat, holds some copper plates and papers bearing records of important negotiations.

The Khap and its divisions

One of the terms used to denote the republic was the `Khap'. Others were Pal, Janapada, and Ganasangha etc. The Khap consisted a unit of 84 villages. The individual villages were governed by an elected Council, which was known as the Panchayat. A unit of seven villages was called a Thamba and 12 Thambas would form the unit of 84 Villages. We also find Khaps of 12 and 24 villages. Their elected leaders would determine which units would be represented at the Khap level. These Khaps are found to be spread all the way from Northwest India down to Madhya Pradesh, Malwa, Rajasthan, Sindh, Multan, Punjab, Haryana, and modern Uttar Pradesh. [6]

Sarv Khap of Haryana

This region from Western Uttar Pradesh through Agra, Mathura, to the Sutlej River in the Punjab was known as Haryana, dominated by Jats, and it is of this region that we speak, when refer to the Sarv Khap of Haryana. The influence of the Sarv Khap extended to the Malwa province in Central India, Rajasthan and Sindh. With the ebb and flow of history, the boundaries also expanded and receded.

Criticism and Controversies of the Khap System

Under the backdrop of political rumblings over the sanctity of the Institution of 'Sarva Khap Panchayat' (widely criticized for its 'controversial' fatwas), the institution is in the dire need of 'reinterpretation & adaptation, to the extent its integrity and basic structure remains totally uncompromised'. [7]


Emerging since medieval times, the Khap system is much need of legal reform. In recent times, the Khap system has attracted criticism from groups, citing the stark prejudice that such groups hold against others. The intolerance and anti locution that follows the hate campaign against another group of perhaps lower caste position, lower financial position, as well as sexist attitudes have led to calls for reform min some tragic cases. Women's Organisation AIDWA has showed concern in some cases where the Khaps have initiated even threats of murder and violence to innocent couples who marry outside of the circle..[8][9]

The Role Sarv Khaps Played in India

Some well known occasions, when armies and funds were marshaled under the aegis of Sarva Khaps, are: [5]

  • Battle of Multan against Huns in Vikram Samvat 564 (507 AD),
  • Battle of Taraori against Muhammad Ghori in 12th Century AD
  • The battle at the confluence of Hindan and Kali river against Ala ud din Khilji in the 13th Century AD in protest against imposition of heavy taxes and interference in private affairs.
  • The Battle against attack of Timur in 1398 AD by the Haryana Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat and Saurabh (Muzaffarnagar) Sarv Khap Panchayat. [4]

References

  1. J.P. Sharma, Republics in Ancient India, 1968, Leiden
  2. Steve Muhlberger, Democracy in Ancient India, Associate Professor of History, Nipissing University.
  3. Bibliography, Yuadheyoun ka Ithihasa
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dr Natthan Singh, Jat-Itihas, (Jat History), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad, F-13, Dr Rajendra Prasad Colony, Tansen marg, Gwalior, M.P, India 474 002 2004
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ram Swarup Joon, History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967)
  6. Dr. Bal Kishan Dabas, The Political and Social History of the Jats, 2001 Sanjay Prakashan, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7453-045-2 Meeting held under the chairmanship of Sant Shanta Nand, the account recorded by Ramdas, the Recorder ( Bhat) of the Panchayat Source: Shoram collection, Pothi No.1, P.7, quoted in note 33, of ` The Political and Social History of the Jats, Dr. Bal Kishan Dabas
  7. Dr J. Rawat. "The Sarva Khap". http://www.servekhap.com. 
  8. T.K. Rajalakshmi. "Caste terror". Frontline Volume 21 - Issue 25, Dec. 04 - 17, 2004. http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2125/stories/20041217002304200.htm. 
  9. Rohit Mullick & Neelam Raaj (9 September 2007). "Panchayats turn into kangaroo courts". The Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Sunday_Specials/Panchayats_turn_into_kangaroo_courts/rssarticleshow/2351247.cms. 

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