RAIPUR: A father was forced to pay Rs 5000 as punitive fine and ostracise his son who married in a different caste in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh.
Pravin Banjara, a tribal in his late twenties married a woman of his choice from another caste in September last year. The community soon issued a diktat on imposing social isolation on his entire family for “maintaining discipline and warn those who transgress rituals and traditions".
“We were not allowed to attend any social occasions, interact with anyone and are debarred from buying daily essentials locally. We struggled for months. With no option remaining we had to disown our son publicly and paid Rs 5000 as penalty for winning the confidence of our community leaders”, said Ashok Banjara, the father.
Distressed Pravin, a resident of Pandripani, after facing the persistent mental harassment and humiliation, finally lodged a complaint with the Jashpur collector Mahadev Kavre seeking the intervention of the administration against the “inhuman practice”.
“We have received his complaint on social boycott and facing mental agony. It’s a case of inter-caste marriage. I have asked the Pandrapani sub-divisional magistrate to probe into the incident and submit the report”, Kavre said.
Rationalists cited that Pravin being an adult is well within his right to marry the woman.
“Such imposed exclusion from society or community on trivial reasons causes deeper and invisible pain. But sadly there is no effective law to combat the ever-increasing menace. Over 25,000 individuals or families are bearing the brunt of social boycott in Chhattisgarh alone”, Dr Dinesh Mishra, Raipur-based ophthalmologist and recipient of the union government’s national award for promoting scientific temper.
He cited the Chhattisgarh government had drafted specific regulation Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill 2016 but now it appears silent on that.
Officials told the New Indian Express that there are already provisions under the protection of civil rights act that can offer relief to the victims.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)