Days back report surfaced of boycotting Daltis in Lhor village because a groom from the Dalit community rode on horse in his marriage procession.
TDN World Desk: On May 8, a dalit groom took out a wedding procession riding on a horse. Followed by the event the Upper castes boycotts the Dalits living in the village of Lhor.
But the reason behind the social boycott was something different and deep rooted. According to The Indian Express, one of the main reason of the social boycott imposed upon the Dalits by the upper castes in the Lhor village was because the Dalits had stopped disposing animal carcasses.
However, then police took action against the move of social boycott by the upper castes. Police registered cases against five upper caste men including the village sarpanch.
Dalits in Lohr accused the upper castes of subjecting them to discrimination on the basis of their caste for which they stopped picking up animal carcasses. The also accused that they were not paid for the filthy “customary” service.
One Dalit villager, namely Mukesh Shrimali, told the Indian Express, “Our old generation used to lift the carcasses of animals and the tradition has continued for hundreds of years. We (the Dalits) were not getting any remuneration for it and the service was imposed on us as a custom for long. They think Dalits have to do it”.
“Nobody wants to do this job compulsorily, it is that filthy. At least 4-5 of us are doctors now; we have a professor, there is one head constable and a lawyer from the community in the village… our young generation is not ready to do this job. So, our leaders decided not to lift the carcasses of animals,” added he.
But the upper caste people like Vikram Thakur are not happy. Reason is obvious the social scenario in the village has changed.
Around six months ago, when a buffalo belonging to Vikram Thakor died, he had to drag the carcass to an uninhabited place on the outskirts of the village on his own.
“Dalits in the village stopped picking up carcasses two years ago,” said Vikram.
Some months back, when a dog died near his house he had to dispose it.
As the Dalits in the village couldn’t be forced to do the job of picking up animal carcasses, the upper caste men boycotted them socially to tame them. Although, the Thakur refused to admit the accusation that the issue is connected to the alleged boycott.
But this narrative seems to have a concrete ground. The talati-cum-mantri (revenue clerk) of Lhor, Varsha Thakor told the Express media, “During one meeting to strike a compromise (after five men were arrested for the social boycott), one of the major grudges of the non-Dalits was that the Dalits do not lift carcasses of their animals.”
On May 8, Lohr village in Mehsana district of North Gujrat shook up regarding the horse-ride of Dalit groom, Mehul in his marriage procession. The upper castes boycotted the Dalits objecting his ride.
Mehul’s grandfather Bhikhabhai Parmar (81) told Indian Express, “We used to do it (dispose carcasses) out of social compulsion and to avoid friction. I have lifted dead animals. When we did the work, the non-Dalits treated us with disgust”.