Dalit bride’s kin face ‘upper caste’ ire
JAIPUR: In July this year, a village in Pali district of Rajasthan saw a Dalit bride ride a mare for the first time ever as part of a ceremony before her marriage.
The procession circled the village amid police protection, following phone calls by upper caste people in which her family was threatened of dire consequences unless they dropped the idea.
“The callers threatened us saying that the cops will be there for only one day. But we didn’t bend and went ahead with the ceremony which was a first in our village,” said Kaluram Meghwal, the brother of the bride.
Three months later, large pieces of stones have been allegedly dumped in front of Meghwal’s house in Guda Durjan village by upper caste men, partially blocking the entrance. Meghwal alleges that this is a repercussion of his decision to make his sister ride the mare, ignoring the threats. “On September 26, several Rajput men dug a pit on the road in front of the entrance with a JCB machine. Following that stones were dumped inside it,” said Meghwal.
He added that upon confronting the men, he was abused with casteist slurs. His brother Ramesh Meghwal said a temple of Ramdev, a deity of the Meghwal community also falls near the place that has been blocked.
An FIR was lodged at the Khinwara police station by members of the Meghwal community in which 11 people have been named, all from the Rajput community, said the police.
“We had submitted the complaint at the police station on the very next day after the stones were dumped but the FIR wasn’t lodged till October 3 and we had to stage a dharna,” said Ramesh Meghwal. The police said none of the accused has been arrested so far. “No person has been arrested till now,” Gulab Singh, circle officer, Bali, and the investigating officer in the case told HT.
Activists have slammed the administration for inaction and have termed the incident as discriminatory.
“This incident is part of a pattern in which whenever people from the Dalit community try to defy the age-old discriminatory and feudal traditions, it doesn’t go down well with the society,” said activist Bhanwar Meghwanshi.
He added that the act of dumping stones and partially blocking the road is a reaction to the event of a Dalit bride riding mare.
Partially blocked entrance to the house of Kaluram Meghwal, the brother of the bride, in Pali.