Nevermind horses, SC youth goes with elephant in Guj
Amid the rising cases of violence against the Scheduled Caste (SC) community in Gujarat for riding horses in marriage processions, a 23-year-old SC youth in the city rode an elephant, even as he held a portrait of B R Ambedkar in his wedding procession to reach his bride’s home.
Vishal Makwana, 23, a resident of Surendranagar, took an elephant on rent for two hours after reaching Ahmedabad and rode it to reach his bride Rinku’s home in Behrampura, where the marriage was performed. He paid Rs15,000 for the elephant.
One of his uncles and SC rights activist Kirit Rathod said, “We were thinking of doing something different to send a message when there are so many cases of Dalits facing road blockade and attacks for riding horse are being reported in the state.”
Vishal’s father, Ramesh Makwana, is a police inspector with the Gujarat Police and is currently posted in Vapi district in south Gujarat.
Incidents of boycott
Last week, in the Lhor village of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district, an SC community had faced a social boycott by an upper caste community for riding a horse at a marriage function.
This was followed by another marriage procession blockade by members of the upper-caste in the Khambisar village of Modasa taluka of Aravalli district.
A clash had erupted between the two communities, leading to incidents of violence.
Another incident was reported at Sitvada village in Aravalli district, where the wedding procession of a Dalit groom had to be provided police protection after members of the OBC Thakor community opposed it.
In another incident, an SC youth, who works as a police constable, had to seek police protection to take out wedding procession.
On May 18, SC organisations are holding a meeting in Sanand, Ahmedabad district where they are going to decide to start a movement against such discrimination.
Independent MLA and SC leader Jignesh Mevani is also going to be part of the meeting. He said the Vijay Rupani-led government in the state is “castiest”.
The state government, on the other hand, issued a statement that “riding horses during the wedding is the right of the SC community and that right will always be with them”.
The government claimed that the offenders have been booked and steps are being taken to prevent occurrences.
Courtesy: Deccan Herald