Operation Samanta: Dalit groom takes out wedding procession, rides mare in Rajasthan village
This comes more than three decades after Bairwa's uncle was thrashed in the same village by upper caste men as he belonged to the Scheduled Caste community and dared to ride a horse.
Published: 09th February 2022 08:49 PM | Last Updated: 09th February 2022 08:49 PM | A+A A-
KOTA: Riding a mare amid a shower of flower petals, 24-year-old Dalit groom Manoj Bairwa on Wednesday took out his wedding procession through the narrow lanes of Neem Ka Kheda village here breaking the social taboo under which Dalit grooms are not allowed to ride a horse (female) to their wedding ceremony.
This comes more than three decades after Bairwa's uncle was thrashed in the same village by upper caste men as he belonged to the Scheduled Caste community and dared to ride a horse on his wedding day.
The wedding was held under 'Operation Samanta' (equality) launched in the district a fortnight ago with an aim to instil confidence among the Dalit community and end evil practices in upper caste-dominated villages like not allowing Dalit grooms to ride a horse on their wedding, officials said.
So far, 15 wedding ceremonies have been held in the district under the initiative and the step has been welcomed by the upper caste community, they said.
Bairwa, a daily wage labourer, said he was elated to be riding a horse and was touched by villagers -- whose houses fell along the wedding procession, greeting him with garlands and sweets.
'I am very happy and excited to see my wedding procession going through the village and people welcoming me with garlands, coconuts and sweets at their doorsteps," Bairwa said.
"Getting so much affection and love from all sections has erased the horrific incident involving my uncle that happened here 32 years ago when upper caste men had thrashed him," he added.
Bairwa will tie the nuptial knot with his bride Karina in Dalelpura village of the district on Thursday evening.
According to Bundi Superintendent of Police Jai Yadav, one of the reasons for the success of the initiative is that influential villagers have been made stakeholders along with local government officials and public representatives in 'Samanta committee' in identified villages.
"The committee carries out awareness camps, wherein the villagers are explained the constitution rights of every citizen and the need to uproot orthodox practices," Yadav told PTI.
"As a result of Operation Samanta, people from all sections are supporting Dalits taking out wedding processions and the groom riding a horse," he said.
Samanta committees have created harmonious environment among the people in villages and no police force or police presence is now required for a Dalit groom to take out his wedding procession in the village, Yadav added.
Yadav, along with upper district and sessions judge and secretary of legal literacy cell Sunil Kumar Yadav, Bundi district head Chandrawati Kanwar and other district officials also reached the village on Wednesday to greet Bairwa.