Khaps log on to social media to expand base

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

Several prominent khap leaders have logged on to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, while others are learning how to use the social media. This endeavour, leaders say, is to expand khaps’ base among youths.
“The social media has an impact beyond imagination. Earlier, we had to call at least one prominent leader of every khap to spread the message of protest or function. Today, I just post an event on my Facebook page and send a message on my WhatsApp group. Thousands get the message within minutes,” said Nafe Singh Nain, president, Sarv Jat Khap Panchayat (SKJP).
“Facebook or WhatsApp ka to pata chal gaya, Ib main Twitter ke baare mein jaankaari ikathi kar raha hu kiyonki saare bade leader Twitter pe hai (I have got all the information about Facebook and WhatsApp. These days, I leaning how to use Twitter as all senior politicians use it),” said Nain.
He has 4,548 friends on Facebook. Each of his comment on the FB gets hundreds of “likes” and comments. Many “share” his comments.
Tek Ram Kandela, national convener of the Sarv Khap Panchayat (SKP), is an avid user of FB, WhatsApp and Twitter.
“Things are changing fast. No doubt khaps have a strong base among middle-age and old people of Haryana. But we need to clarify our position to youths and it can be easily done through the social media. The younger generation does not listen to anyone, but the social media has a great influence on them,” Kandela said.
Like him, there are others leaders logged on to the social media. Santosh Dahiya, who has 5,699 followers on Twitter, is spreading awareness about the importance of girl child through the social media. Raghuvir Singh Nain, spokesman for the Jind Haryana Benain Khap, uses the social media to strengthen the khap’s base.
“Youths usually see khaps as restricting their freedom. With the use of social media, their perception will surely change,” a khap leader said.
And khaps are getting the desired results. Several youths said they kept themselves updated with the activities of khaps through the social media. They, though, never attend a rally or meeting of khaps.
“I have been tracking the FB posts of khaps for long. I have changed my point of view on khaps, as all are not bad. Khaps cannot be blamed for the wrongs of a few members,” said Amit, a local college student.
“Like me, all khap leaders believe in meeting members. With changing times, we must utilise the social media to spread our messages. Several khap leaders are leaning to use the FB, Twitter and other media tools,” said Sube Singh Sumain, spokesman, SJKP.