UP dalit groom wants to ride horse, police fulfills wish, draw up map for baraat

UP dalit groom wants to ride horse, police fulfills wish, draw up map for baraat
Representational image: dalit groom

UP dalit groom wants to ride horse, police fulfills wish, draw up map for baraat

LUCKNOW: A dalit groom from Kasganj has to approach Allahabad High Court to take his baraat after the bride family said that they are not allowed to take baraat out in the Thakur dominated village. The district administration has given permission to the groom, but has drawn a map directing a Dalit youth to take his “baraat” on a longer and circuitous route when he goes to marry later this month. The administration has drawn up a map for him and submitted it to the Allahabad HC.

Map for Dalit groom baraat
Map for Dalit groom baraat

Sanjay Kumar, a Dalit from Hathras, and Sheetal from Nizampur village in Kasganj district are to tie knot on April 20. A report prepared on March 21 by the Kasganj Police and administration has directed the groom to use an 800-metre long route to reach the girl’s residence.

The groom’s family had objected to the Nizampur village community’s decision that the marriage should take place at an open ground about 80m from the girls’ home, saying it would not give ample opportunity and space for wedding revelry including dance and horse-riding rituals.

The groom, Sanjay, insisted that he would take out the marriage procession from the perimeter of the village up to the girl’s residence, while passing by the houses of the upper caste community. “I have resolved to move on a particular route. The administration must help me as I am a citizen of India,” he said.

He also approached the Allahabad HC, seeking protection on his marriage day. Kumar alleged that he wanted to take out his baraat by riding on a horse but people belonging to a higher caste were opposing this. He approached the HC with a request to intervene so that he could fulfill his cherished wish of riding on a horse on way to the bride’s house, the petition added.

The UP police has feared clash if baraat passes through upper caste community. Therefore, it has drawn a map which will prevent any rivalry between the two communities.

Owning a horse is seen as a symbol of power and wealth in many parts of India.

“My first priority is to maintain peace. No baraat in Nizampur village by a Dalit or Jatav community has ever entered into Thakur community area. How can I allow the Dalit wedding guests to move in front of the upper caste homes if that leads to problem? There have been recent incidents as well,” said Shanti Devi, sarpanch, Nizampur.

Police maintain that village rituals will be given precedence over Kumar’s request. Kasganj administration had called 10 representatives from both communities on March 21 and asked them to submit a bond with the assurance of maintaining harmony.

The old and orthodox rituals must vanish and the security personnel must ensure that everyone, irrelevant to caste and religion gets equal rights.