After 6-Month Wait, Dalit Man Takes Out 'Baraat' Through Thakur-Dominated Village in UP
Sanjay Jatav, a Dalit, was able to take out his wedding procession through Kasganj village in UP after police ring- fenced his buggy.
The district administration had refused permission at first for taking out his wedding procession from Nizampur village after objection from people of the Thakur community, but Jatav refused to back down.
Lucknow: After a struggle of almost six months, Sanjay Jatav, a Dalit groom who wanted to take out his wedding procession (baraat) from the village which houses upper caste people, finally succeeded on Sunday.
The grand-wedding procession of Sanjay Jatav, hailing from Basai village in Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh, reached Nizampur village for him to be able to marry his dream girl Sheetal Kumari. It was the first such wedding procession by a Dalit in about 80 years in this village.
Standing by to make it happen were at least 10 police inspectors, 22 sub-inspectors, 35 head constables, 100 constables and a platoon of the state provincial armed constabulary. The procession included around 30 cars which were escorted by a police vehicle.
Dressed in a shiny blue suit, the colour which has been associated with Dalit movement, Jatav said, “We are living in the 21st century, but some people think that Dalits should not have dignity. I am the first to take a ‘baraat’ out in this village. It is only because of Babasaheb and his Constitution that it has been possible.”
The district administration had refused permission at first for taking out his wedding procession from Nizampur village after objection from people of the Thakur community, but Jatav refused to back down, appealing to the district magistrate, the superintendent of police, the Allahabad high court and even the chief minister’s office.
Speaking to media on the occasion, District Magistrate, Kasganj, RP Singh said, “We have made tight security arrangements and even if someone wants to create trouble, it wouldn’t be possible for them to do that.”
Dalits form around a fifth of Uttar Pradesh’ population and Jatavs are the largest Dalit group. The Thakurs make up 70 per cent of Nizampur's population while the Dalits account for only 10 per cent and live on the periphery of the village.
There have been several incidents this year of Dalit grooms being beaten up for riding horses and taking out grand processions.