HYDERABAD: The back-to-back incidents of attacks on couples marrying outside their caste has put light on ‘vengeful fathers’ riding high on pride and power, say experts. The brutality and ‘organised execution’ witnessed in both these murders is a new syndrome that is different from the past, says EFLU professor K Satyanarayana.
Earlier, they merely thought of ‘transgressors’ as a bane on their family, now it’s a matter of pride for the entire community, he says. “These vengeful fathers are running high on caste pride and have immense power and capitalistic clout. They now invoke the community pride instead of family pride. They treat their daughter’s transgressions as towards the entire community, not just their family,” he says.
Satyanarayana also blamed the ruling TRS government for encouraging caste-based groups to flourish in the State. Suneetha Rani, an expert on Dalit issues, says such brutal lynching and murder was earlier common only in North India. “On one side the issue highlights that caste identities are becoming stronger while on the other, it indicates that more youngsters are transgressing the caste boundaries,” says Suneetha.
Both the instances, activists say, seem as if the fathers want to make a statement. It’s like they want to tell other fathers to take action on their children who are not abiding by their rules. “Maruthi Rao wanted to make a statement. Otherwise, why would they chose such a public location to kill Pranay? Why would the video be made to go viral. It is as if they want to send a message to Dalit youngsters, that they could face similar fate if they transgressed the caste boundaries,” says professor Sujatha Surepally.
So, what is police doing to manage such situations?
“We do get cases where couples occasionally come and tell us that their parents are stalking and threatening them. These cases are not handled by She Teams but we forward them to respective police stations,” says IG for women’s safety Swati Lakra.