A Dalit bridegroom has been warned not to dare enter the village, riding a horse. The musclemen of the village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, have issued the diktat to the youth just before his marriage.
The marriage procession (barat) will leave Sagar for Bamuri village but the bridegroom is scared as the upper castes in the village have threatened that he would not be allowed to enter the village riding a horse. In rural Madhya Pradesh, especially the backward Bundelkhand region, lower castes are traditionally not allowed to ride horse in their marriage.
The groom, Surendra, has threatened to commit suicide if he is not allowed to ride a horse. His uncle Vrindavan Ahirwar says that the entire family is in the state of fear because of repeated threats. Meanwhile, the police officials are keeping an eye on the development.
Surprisingly, the Village sarpanch Azad Yadav has said that the diktat was not issued due to the caste but because the by-lanes in the village were 'narrow and the horse couldn't enter them'. With the issue reaching top officials and Dalits angry over the firman, the senior officials are making an effort to put an end to the conflict and ensure that the marriage is solemnised without any dispute.
Niranjan Sharma, the In-charge of Bandri police station under whose jurisdiction falls the village, says that he has spoken to the Sarpanch in this regard. In the past Upper Castes especially Thakurs and to an extent Brahmins disallowed Dalits (Scheduled Castes) from riding horse or fetching water from their wells but lately OBCs (Other Backward Castes) like Yadavs are seen getting into such conflicts with Dalits more often than the Upper Castes.
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