UP: After long fight, Dalit couple gets permission to take ‘baraat’ through upper-caste streets
The district administration, however, said no political party members can participate, no weapons can be displayed, and no alcohol will be allowed.
After months-long standoff with authorities, a Dalit groom in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj district has finally got permission to take his wedding procession through streets where mainly upper-caste Thakurs live, NDTV reported on Monday.
The district administration, which earlier refused to let Sanjay Kumar take a route through the village, decided to give him permission on Sunday, but on certain conditions.
In a meeting, senior officials of the administration and the police mediated a compromise between the Thakurs and the families of the bride and groom, The Times of India reported. They decided that Kumar could take his “baraat” through areas with Thakur houses, provided no “political persons” participated in the procession, no weapons were on display and no alcohol was allowed.
“I am very happy this has happened,” Kumar said after authorities gave him the permission. “This is a victory of all of us fighting for equality.”
The bride and groom’s families have awaited permission for their “baraat” procession for several months. They said they had approached authorities for permission for the procession in October, soon after the wedding was fixed, as they expected the opposition. Kumar had even approached the Allahabad High Court, which told him that only the local police could help him.
The bride, Sheetal’s, family home is on the outskirts of Nizamabad village, as are the homes of four other Jatav families – the caste to which the bride and groom belong. Usually, Jatav grooms stop their wedding processions at a ground outside the village and then walk to the bride’s house without crossing any Thakur areas.
Earlier, both the Thakurs and the district authorities had objected to the procession saying they could not “change parampara [tradition]”. Kumar had objected to this saying the “Constitution says we are all equal”.