Inter-caste couple flees village due to insecurity

(Hemanta KC)

Jajarkot, Jan 29: A Dalit man from Garkhakot-3 in Jajarkot district marrying a girl from the so-called higher caste from the same locality has been facing music for the social institution considered taboo.

Jyoti Shah eloped with Ganesh Chandara Sunar and tied the knot on October 26, 2015. Following their marriage, the couple has been banished from not only their house but also the village.

The couple thereafter have been ousted and living at district headquarters Khalanga with fear of being attacked for breaking the social convention.

Ganesh explained, “Both my spouse and I have been receiving threats from our family and villagers that if we get back to village for settlement. We have been living in awe since.”

Ganehs’s family is also bearing the brunt of social stigma of inter-caste marriage. His father Kamaro Chandara, sister Yamuna Chandara, brother Rajesh Chandara and sister-in-law Kalpana Chandara are also suffering the same fate as the newlywed inter-caste couple.

They have shifted to the district headquarters to save themselves from the potential attack from Jyoti’s natal family and social scorn from the villagers.

“I don’t give a fig about caste and class. Ganesh is my childhood love. I cannot live without Ganesh,” pledged Jyoti, ironically, whose marriage with Ganesh is not the maiden one.

Before this, she was forced into a marriage with the man from her community but from Surkhet district. Jyoti was not happy with the forced matrimonial alliance. She kept yearning for her puppy love.

The lovelorn girl returned to her natal home after few months of the marriage. Later, she ran off her home and discreetly got married with Ganesh.

The couple and Ganesh’s family have been appealing with the local administration, political parties and journalists to help create a situation where they can live life with dignity and of course, without fear for life.

The police have been providing protection to the ousted couple and their family since January 8, according to the District Police Office Chief DSP Dan Bahadur Malla.