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Property Distribution
NH Case Study - 3
Posterity and traditional property distribution system of Haryana
Research documents the Haryana's rural system for land and property distribution in practice since ages

Research Consists of three sections:

  1. Preface

  2. Conversation between me and public

  3. Three clauses of rural system for land and property distribution.

1) Preface:

Property distribution among posterity earned limelight in 2005 when judiciary of India brought out an act of equal property distribution among posterity of both genders. Before passing this bill, how much research was made on finding out what already existed on the name of property distribution in Indian communities can be another topic of debate.

How much benchmarking was made to make the new law easily penetrable and acceptable while respecting the gestures of family emotions could also be another point to debate. In one way this bill is really a good initiative to bring the real time gender-equality. But somewhere in the corner of mind, few questions jiggle around as:

Q1. Will it really bring the gender equality in society or will prove just an opposite to what is in existence? Did anybody researched out what already exists on the name of property distribution and how it exists?

Q2. Does the new law give right to husband to keep his property only on his name? Because when wife would be carrying property from her parent’s then husband should also be made free to keep property from his parents on his name only? Whereas the traditional law says that a wife is 50% stake holder in his husband’s property, is it also modified? If this situation prevails then isn't the husband going to settle only with 25% of total combined property of husband and wife because wife would be the owner of 75% (50% from her parent and 25% from of her husband)? Does this the new law say?

Q3. Will it resolve the dowry problem or just transform the definition of dowry? Tomorrow a new dowry system may abide by under which woman will demand to marry a man with at least of equal property or more like today, where most of us try to get an equally educated groom for our daughter and sister? In case if man/woman carries less property than his wife/ her husband, will a woman/man be ready to compensate it by merging the two’s to make it equal on both hands?

Q4. How this property spread over two different locations will further be handled? Consider the case of same couple. Will husband be going to settle down in wife’s hometown/village or have to travel more frequently like a “Khanabadosh” whole life between in laws and parents?

If one says that they can sell the property of one place if so then won't it increase bureaucratic and administrative hassles, resulting in opening of new ways of business for mediocre only? Because if me and my wife would be settling down for property of one of our two locations; on the other end my sister and her husband would also be busy in same means double documentation for public and double business-double profit for mediocre or bureaucrat?

Some of men and women, whom I interviewed expressed that one of us travel each time each side minimum a 100 Kms to the way to our in-laws? They asked that does the new law provide us extra finance for making more frequent rounds as a result of new law and hanging between taking care of property at two places. One person said that your aunt hails from Loharu in Bhiwani, will I and your aunt be spending our lives in travelling between Loharu and Sonipat like a "Khanabadosh" for whole life?

Or any such scheme is evolved, which will get you fixed this deal at the time of your marriage only? And if it is to be fixed at the time of marriage only, then how many couples would be ready to do it on spot? Read below more on this point.

Q5. In case of settling down of husband at in-laws, how the social norms for his/her children will be anticipated?

Q6. What kind of consensus was made among public to answer all such questions?

Q7. Isn’t there a more wide approach with which current social rituals and norms could also be served and gender equality will also be promoted? Or it has just designed to fragment both the rural and urban social fabric and culture?

Q8. Why it seems more bothering on our pockets and wastage of time in travelling? Won't it prove just a new source of money making for mediocre and machineries involved in it?

Q9. What measurements were taken while making this law to ensure its healthy insertion in society?

Q10. Is the law made for all kind of properties of just for land distrubution? All kind of property including Land, Plot, Houses, Shops, Factories, Industries, Malls, Villas, Bunglows, Salaries, Cash Savings etc.

Toiling through all these and many more similar questions in mind, I talked with many of villagers (my uncles, aunts and social colleagues) and asked them to tell me what was or is made or has been in practice in our social system on the name of land and property distribution among posterity.

2) Putting the conversation as if held between two persons i.e. me and one of my uncle:

Uncle (on my asking): First of all tell me, what would you do with this knowledge?

Me: Want to understand the system of parental property distribution in farming community if exists any. So that can made a reference to analyze the current laws and its both sided effects on society.

Uncle: Hmm! Topic is very sensational, be aware! You may raise many fingers on you if will write it in as it is form?

Me: Why so?

Uncle: Because what was defined by our ancestors on property distribution is not followed with utmost honesty and integrity today.

Me: Hmm. We need strong implementation methods.

Uncle: Like our constitutional law bodies!

Me: Oh!

Uncle: What Oh? Tell me what is the difference between the two?

Me: Two?

Uncle: Yes, between our social law bodies and constitutional law bodies?

Me: I think constitutionals are more effective and democratic?

Uncle: Democratic, only for riches? Have you ever compared the working theory of the two? Have a look here:

Comparative Analysis of Constitutional and Social Law Bodies (in public opinion)
Constitutional Judiciary
Social Bodies
Other than legal costs, bribery and under table money
Free of cost
Money and power speaks except few honest and dedicated judges and advocates who perform their job with utmost honesty.
Money and power speaks except few honest and straight forward platforms
Based fully on Indian Law of Constitution
Based on social belief system up to an extremity after that law of Indian Constitution prevails
Jail or Conviction depending on type of crime (punishment only for criminal)
Social boycotts and dishonor (greater chances that a mistake will not be repeated), (sometimes families are also seen suffering due to one's mistake)
Cases Pending
In millions per state or in thousands per district
Hardly Any
Justice delivery
May vary from case to case, many times in years
In public hearing on spot or in two or more consecutive meetings depending on case to case.

Me: It is a real eye opener for those who are supposed to be the flag bearer of transparent judiciary.

Uncle: Tell me now if partiality of poor and rich is to continue in constitutional bodies too. Above that extra load of money and power will still have to be borne by justice seeker then how will you define the reliability quotient?

Me: Our law enforcement bodies must act affirms on it. One question here, how do you say that the chances a criminal will not repeat the same mistake is minimal in social justice system?

Uncle: Psychological Impact dear! See if you are punished in a jail and asked to fulfill your conviction with in walls, who from your friends and social colleagues see your sufferings except your family? Whereas when it is asked the person to fulfill it publically everyone sees him/her and chances that they feel real sorry are increased.

Me: But there are many unconstitutional practices are also seen on name of social justice? Like the whole famliy seen suffering because of one person's crime or fault...what do you say on it?

Uncle: Yes, it should not be there. Our constitutional law is more affective here. Our law punishes only the criminal not the whole family. And same should be practiced in social justice too if any to exist.

Me: What are the criteria of selecting judges in such meetings? Are they permanent or what?

Uncle: No, They are not permanent. They are chosen in public on spot. Experts of various domains of social systems are invited in meeting and a panel of five persons is settled to decide, which is normally made by taking experts of both sides if case is of two different social segments. And if it is a family matter then local social body takes its charge and decides on consensual basis.

Me: Can anyone be denied by public from not being in justice panel?

Uncle: Yes of course. Did you remember that panchayat in which yours Dada Paalle, denied inclusion of Dada Dariya Singh in justice panel, in which he himself was one of the sides of case?

Me: Yes, I remember it very well.

Uncle: Anyway let's continue, First of all I should tell you that under the dark light of bifurcation of joint families, generation by generation squeezing land holdings, transforming social preferences and due to sudden increase in meanness of human nature, all have led them to wrong assumptions. So what I am going to illustrate is abstruse to what it would to be in continuation. Anyway let’s understand what was set by our ancestors in this regard.

But before proceeding let me alarm you that the society and religion you are born in is a male-dominant phobia, which is the biggest stigma of this society. And no one of our priest, clerics, socialist or philanthropist took any remarkable stand or fight against it, neither rural nor urban. Till date we worship the male-dominant Granths, Mythological Characters and thus the male dominant mind-sets by births and learning.

Me: Means male dominancy is across regions, religions and castes in India?

Uncle (and others sitting with him): In all senses. Let’s move to study the clauses set up for property distribution among posterity of farming community.

Me: Only of farming community?

Uncle: I think that’s what you start with?

Me: Yeah right, but after listening to your views on male dominancy, going curious to know of other community and castes patterns in this regard?

Uncle: Doesn’t matter, whether it is rural or urban, all societies are sailing in the same boat. We never heard of any businessman, tradesman, shopkeeper, urban land and property owner distributing its property equally to its posterity. You will come to see the same happening throughout India.
Me: Ok. So when these clauses were formed for farming community?

Uncle: I can say about our village that these rules are set by our ancestors even before the era of establishment of our village. We carry them from our parental village and it is believed that they got it from our respective social bodies like Khap Panchayats. But to be sure shot it is a matter of further investigation.

Me: Ok.


3) So here you go; you can put questions on each clause, where feel necessary.

Me: Sure!


Clause1: Until the marriage of posterity, both genders are equally inherited in parental property.

Me: But what about new bride? I heard that they got property named on them only after their husband is died?

Uncle: It is automatically transferred to the widow of corresponding person.

Me: Why it is not made distributed at the time of their marriage?

Uncle: Because it is believed that newly married bride may opt for early and unexpected separation from husband.

Me: Hmmm, is it same for a “Ghar-jamai”?

Uncle: Yes of course, no ghar-jamai gets the property on his name until his wife is living. And it’s the bitter truth of society that the relations which begin at canopy of fire altar, also proclaimed to be the holiest are lived under such threats in real. Ultimately it depends on the mutual understanding of the couple but very rare dare to do so. Most of them do it the way mentioned above. You know that is why it is called as "Sasur ke ghar jamaai kutta!"

Me: Yes, It happens in foreign in similar way, if you being a foreigner marry with opposite sex, you need to pass minimum time period before getting legal citizenship of that country and rights in property of your spouse. Even for same nationals pattern is similar that they don't divide property on equal basis so easily.

Uncle: This is also going to continue as a challenge even with law introduced newly.

Me: Hmmm, next?


Clause 2: When male youth gets married:

2.1 If he prefers to stay with parents: Property will continue on parents name and after demise of both of parents, it will ride in equal proportion among total number of sons.

2.2 If he prefers to stay separated: Parent’s property will be partitioned in "one plus to number of total male youths". One equal part will stay with parents until they die and rest of parts among male youths. After the demise of both parents, their share will be fragmented into equal number of male posterity until or unless mentioned by the parents.

Clause 3: When a female youth gets married.

3.1 If girl has brothers: To avoid all kind of hassles and puzzles of living a life like a “Khanabadosh”, the girl’s right in property is transferred with that of husband’ property on equal share. And her brother’s property is shared by her sister-in-law by default in same pattern. Though she would be having rights in parental property too, which usually is care taken by her brothers and it is all upon her wish if she wishes to spare her part in parental property or believes in her siblings.

Me: But it’s not necessary that her husband may have the equal property to what she could get from her parent’s side?

Uncle: True! In the same sense as other side of coin. It’s also not necessary that your wife would carry the property equal to or greater than what you already possess. And that is why this saying came into spirit that "Marriage relations should always be held between families of equal stature both property-wise as well as social reputation-wise."

Me: But she carries the “Dowry”?

Uncle: Dowry is the present day name, in ancient times it was a gift system and was never considered such an important gradient for marriage especially in farming and warrior classes like us. It was never like today where it has become like a business of selling boys and girls on the name of marriage and dowry. According to true social norms, one can't compel the other for dowry. And to control this in our system, respective Khaps were introduced which even in the current era, hear to such cases and suggests best possible justice to victims.

Me: What is next in this clause?


3.2 If girl/s is/are the only posterity:

3.2.1: Girl side can opt for a "Ghar Jamai" and she is the owner of all property. In this case she would stay at parental home and her posterity will be called as “Dhaani ki aulad” and they are advised to accept the gotra of her mother so that the village' original gotra system would not be diluted and remain intact. We have two such family clans in our village, who are “Dhani ki aulaad”.

3.2.2: Girl may settle down at her in-laws home. But who so ever from her posterity will return to take charge of her parental home, would have to adopt her gotra. So in this way village's gotra will remain intact. This clause is the holiest and greatest among all, because it is ruled with village gotra, whether it is inherited male or female. Whether the bride comes or the jamai comes, their gotra's are left behind with their parents.

Me: hmm, interesting!

Uncle (on continuing):

3.3 If girl opts to stay unmarried for life-long: She should be given equal proportion in parental property against her siblings.

3.4 If girl becomes a widow: In this case her husband’s property will be transferred on her name, following the clause 1.

3.5 If her in-laws refuse to spare her husband’s property on her name: Her brothers, cousins and siblings are countable to get her husband’s share by taking the helps of social bodies like Khap and other Panchayats.

3.6 If widow girl refuses to stay with her in-laws and wish to settle down at her parents abode: We have such examples too like your two aunts in our family, whom you know, they refused to remarry with younger brothers of their husbands and they got settled in their parent's village. We also have 2 such girls in our village, who are living in village after becoming widows.

3.7 Widow Marriage: If your brother dies then it’s your duty to accept her as your wife by performing “Latta Odhaai” ritual. And this the rule, which we farming communities are boast of being early adopter.

3.7.1. If she has no children from her ex-husband (your brother): Then yours and hers property from her ex-husband (your brother) will be added to your mutual children equally.

3.7.2. If she carries children from her ex-husband (your brother): It will totally be the wish of woman how she would like to distribute her property from her ex-husband. She may keep it only for her ex-husband children. Yours and hers only child will share your only property but nothing from the share of your dead brother’s posterity share for your children from that woman. If she wishes then you both may decide mutually.

Clause 4: In the case of divorce/separation:

Uncle: After divorce, girl comes back to her parents.

Me: And what about property from her last husband?

Uncle: पुराने खाप समाज में यदि तलाक हो जाते थे तो बेटी बाप के घर वापिस आ जाती थी, लेकिन उसके गुजारे-भत्ते के लिए पति को मुवावजे के रूप में 9 मण अनाज सालाना व् एक समाजिक पंचायत द्वारा निर्धारित न्यूनतम आर्थिक राशी तब तक देनी होती थी जब तक या तो वह लड़की दूसरा विवाह ना कर ले या फिर वह जब तक जीवित रहती| और अगर यदि तलाकसुदा जोड़े की औलादें होती तो औलाद किसके साथ रहेगी यह औलाद के बालिग़ होने पर औलाद की इच्छा पर छोड़ा जाता था और तब तक अगर औलाद माँ के पास रहती तो पिता को उस औलाद के लालन-पालन का खर्च भी वहन करना होता था| पति पर यह नियम तब तक लागू रहता था जब तक पत्नी स्व-इच्छा से पति को इन जिम्मेदारियों से मुक्त नहीं कर देती थी| तलाक होने की परिस्थिति में लड़की-पक्ष द्वारा दिए गए दहेज़ को पति पक्ष को वापिस करना होता था और कई विशेष अवस्थाओं जैसे कि अगर तलाक के वक्त जोड़ा बे-औलादा यानी उनकी कोई संतान नहीं है और ब्याह को 1-2 वर्ष ही हुए हैं तो ब्याह के खर्चे का पूरा या आंशिक हिस्से का खर्च भी लड़की पंचायत द्वारा पति से मांग सकती थी| तलाक के मामले में यही खाप के कानून होते थे|

You would perhaps be the first person in village, who will be known for documenting these clauses for village.

Me: I think you left the case of inter-caste and love marriages?

Uncle: It is advised to follow the same pattern for any kind of marriage, whether arranged, love, remarriage or inter-caste. Hope you remember that one marriage in our village is inter-caste, where a Jat got married to a Balmiki girl, who is your grand-aunt in relation and now is the owner of full property after her husband’s demise.

Me: Hmm!

Uncle: But some exceptions like your mother are also seen in society. Your grandfather returned the 70 acre land from her parents saying that I don’t need any property but just the bride. Otherwise you siblings would have 70 acres more.

Me: My grandfather didn’t believe in dowry system. Any other example, you would like to give?

Uncle gave me three more examples of such ladies in village, who were carrying the property from their parental side. But one's neither son nor grand sons were ready to go and settle down in her parental village.

Uncle: Now we are left with the point of male-dominancy. To change this, we need to change our whole not only the social but religious system too.

Me: We shall discuss it in second part. Thank you for the wonderful knowledge. I was going dumb till the moment on this topic. But now I feel happy on having a very well documented record of system of parental property distribution among farming and warrior classes like us. Though it is more of male dominant reflection but clause 3 consists of many sub-sections in favor of woman too. I believe that if it is followed with full honesty, no one would fight over land and property.

Their anger on so called NGOs and Human Right Bodies: They were upset with the lopsided approach of these bodies on name of so called Human Rights. Everyone seen taking rurals on this issue, no one heard talking same for urban property distribution. Is it because they all live there and they don't want to touch their neighbourhood? Means "Bhagat Singh sabko chahiyen, par ho padoshi ke ghar mein". No one asks the urbans that have they distributed their properties like Shops, Factories, Malls, Industries, Salary and Cash savings among their women on equal proportion?

And I was perplexed on hearing it. I was stunned like being slapped. Was not expecting it from them but damn shit, its die-hard truth and lopsided face of these so called NGOs and Human Right bodies.

They further added that good or bad, at least we have had something from ancient times in our system; what the urbanites have? They are more educated, more elegant, expected to be more prone to Indian law but of what use? Wahi "Dhaak ke teen paat, choutha hone ko na jaane ko".

Note: In order to keep the privacy of people, number of persons is mentioned only wherever exemplary notations were necessary. The name of real person is listed with us.

Disclaimer: Writer stays neutral on the facts and theories came under mentioning of this article and believe fully in law of India. This study elaborates on what is/has been in practice at ground roots, when it comes to law and inherited property distribution system. It is totally a work of field research so has put as it is to readers. Individuals may like and are free to test it against their sets.

Jai Dada Nagar Kheda Bada Bir

Author: P. K. Malik

First Revision: 19/10/2012

Publisher: NHReL

  • NH Advisory Board

Topic Box
Total studies, articles and items published or made under this (e-Choupal) section in three languages i.e. English, Hindi and Haryanvi are as follows:


हिंदी में लेख:
    1. वंचित किसान
    2. बेबस दुल्हन
    3. हरियाणा दिशा और दशा
    4. आर्य समाज के बाद
    5. विकृत आधुनिकता
    6. बदनाम होता हरियाणा
    7. पशोपेश किसान
    8. 15 अगस्त पर
    9. जेंडर-इक्वलिटी
    10. बोलना ले सीख से आगे
    खाप स्मृति:
    1. खाप इतिहास
    2. हरयाणे के योद्धेय
    3. सर्वजातीय तंत्र खाप
    4. खाप सोशल इन्जिनीरिंग
    5. धारा 302 किसके खिलाफ?
    6. खापों की न्यायिक विरासत
    7. खाप बनाम मीडिया
    हरियाणा योद्धेय:
    1. हरयाणे के योद्धेय
    2. दादावीर गोकुला जी महाराज
    3. दादावीर भूरा जी - निंघाईया जी महाराज
    4. दादावीर शाहमल जी महाराज
    5. दादीराणी भागीरथी देवी
    6. दादीराणी शमाकौर जी
    7. दादीराणी रामप्यारी देवी
    8. दादीराणी बृजबाला भंवरकौर जी
    9. दादावीर जोगराज जी महाराज
    10. दादावीर जाटवान जी महाराज
    11. आनेवाले
    1. तालिबानी कौन?
    2. सुनिये चिदंबरम साहब
    3. प्रथम विश्वयुद्ध व् जाट

हरियाणवी में लेख:
  1. त्यजणा-संजोणा
  2. बलात्कार अर ख्यन्डदा समाज
  3. हरियाणवी चुटकुले

Articles in English:
    General Discussions:
    1. Farmer's Balancesheet
    2. Original Haryana
    3. Property Distribution
    4. Woman as Commodity
    5. Farmer & Civil Honor
    6. Gender Ratio
    7. Muzaffarnagar Riots
    1. Shakti Vahini vs. Khap
    2. Listen Akhtar Saheb

NH Case Studies:
  1. Farmer's Balancesheet
  2. Right to price of crope
  3. Property Distribution
  4. Gotra System
  5. Ethics Bridging
  6. Types of Social Panchayats
  7. खाप-खेत-कीट किसान पाठशाला
  8. Shakti Vahini vs. Khaps
  9. Marriage Anthropology
  10. Farmer & Civil Honor
NH Banners & Messages
“Say no to Dowry”
Eliminate this sex inequality!
Human purchases vegetables, cattle even all routine courses in hand to hand give and take deal then why this blunder mistake in marriages that only girl’s side will pay and that too in double costs in terms of daughter and dowry both? Lets stop this male dominance and female discrimination. - NH
“Adore the girl child”
Say no to female foeticide!
If you can’t bear the birth of a girl child in your family, you should not expect a bride for your son. Invaders are gone, lets bring  back our divine period of Vedic times for our females. - NH
“Lead the Change”
Keeping the system of discussion alive!
Moving with time and adapting the change is the only key to sustain civilizations. - NH
© Nidana Heights 2012-19