Deepender Deswal, TNN | Apr 20, 2013,
While an inter-caste marriage triggered an attack on dalits at Pabnama village in Kaithal district, a young dalit was brutally murdered for opposing his sister’s relationship with an upper caste youth in a Bhiwani village. In Rohtak, an upper caste girl student of Maharshi Dayanand University and her dalit friend of the same university committed suicide after their families opposed their relationship.
According to D R Chaudhary, the founder of Haryana Parivartan Manch, an NGO, the problem lies with the upper castes. “The caste bias is prevalent across social, political and administrative systems in Haryana. A girl from upper caste marrying into a low caste is strictlytaboo, while it is accepted if the boy is from upper caste,” said Chaudhary.
“This is especially common among Jats and Rod ahirs. These communities have muscle power, political power and are land owners. They can approve of their men having relations with dalit women, but go mad if a dalit man has a relationship with their women,” Chaudhary added.
According to him, absence of a powerful social reform movement against caste system in India, especially in Haryana, has been mainly responsible for this deep-rooted problem. “The new generation seems quite liberal in mixing up with cross communities but the elders still reign supreme in families when it comes to taking a decision about marriages,” he said.
Sube Singh Samain, a Haryana khap leader, said although khaps have decided to keep away from inter-caste marriage rows, young couples tying the nuptial knot need to have the approval of their families. “The opinion of families matters a lot. If they are against a relationship, then these couples should understand it and heed by the advice of their parents. Problems begin only when they don’t (go with the family’s wishes),” said Samain.
One week’s toll
April 14: Dalit boy Surya Kant marries upper caste girl Meena at Panbama village of Kaithal district, triggering an upper-caste backlash. While the couple managed to flee the village, lower caste villagers bear the brunt
April 16: Jaimal Kumar, a dalit, brutally murdered by an upper caste youth of Devsar village in Bhiwani district, for objecting to the advances made by the accused, from the upper caste, towards his sister
April 17: An upper caste girl student of MA economics in Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, commits suicide after her family disapproved of her plans to marry a dalit youth. Her boyfriend commits suicide a day later
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