90 pc of inter-caste marriage among Dalits fail: Study
KATHMANDU, Dec 8: While around 50 percent of young Dalits have chosen to marry outside their castes, more than 90 percent of the Dalit women in such marriages end up as victims, a study has shown.
According to the study, conducted by Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), graver problem is that 60 percent of Dalits have married before reaching 16, making legal remedy difficult.
“As per our study of 53 districts, such marriages have miserably failed as the society does not yet accept Dalits as equal to the ´higher castes´ and this has left many dalit women in serious trouble,” said Durga Shob, president of FEDO, at a program in the capital on Friday.
“First, boys and girls fall in love and tie the knot, but later the families of the upper caste disown the dalit member. Sadly, even the partners don´t defend each other in such cases,” she said.
According to Shob, majority of Dalit girls discarded by their in-laws are left with no citizenship or property. “Poverty, ignorance and now failed marriage; these are the common fate of most young Dalit women.”
Citing the study, Shob said that inter-caste marriage flourished over time, thanks to the social revolution that took place during the decade long conflict.
“The caste barrier seemed to weaken during the conflict. But the fight for injustice remained incomplete as people still treat Dalits as untouchables,” she said while admitting that despite presence of more than 300 dalit NGOs, things have not changed much for the community.
Speaking at the program, president of the women´s commission Sekh Chand Tara said that the Hindu society should disown religious scriptures like Manusmiriti which strongly supports untouchability.
“The greatest hurdle in the way of a just society is our religion. We should have the courage to discard the fallacies of our religion and embrace only what is good,” she said.
On the other hand, the former parliamentarian blamed Dalit and human rights organizations for failing to address the grievances of the Dalit community.
“Violence against women is common in the country, but Dalit women are hit the hardest. It is sad that this is going on because the organizations who claim to fight for them have failed them,” she said.
The commentary is one-sided. The writer expects the society to accept poverty, ignorance and social backwardedness as virtues which is impracticable. You will not try to uplift the SCs and STs in terms of knowledge and economic power, but will expect others to shoulder the responsibility. Instead of deceiving the boys of upper classes, the SC girls should give birth to and nurture their sons to grow empowered, and not try to steal the wealth of others, with the help of law.