Sarumarani Rural Municipality honoring inter-caste couples. Photo: Republica
PYUTHAN, March 24: Caste-based discrimination is still widely prevalent in the remote areas of Nepal. The so-called 'high caste' people still refuse to consume anything touched by the Dalits. A large number of people in our society are discriminated, suppressed and ostracized by society for belonging to certain castes. They are regarded as 'impure' and 'untouchable'.
There are many instances when lovers have been separated from each other due to the difference in their castes. Those who dare to tie the nuptial knot by going against society and family end up living a miserable life.
However, Sarumarani Rural Municipality of Pyuthan has honored couples who challenged the traditional society by going for inter-caste marriages. On the occasion of the 54th International Caste-based and Racial Discrimination Elimination Day, the local unit felicitated 66 couples from six wards who had gone for inter-caste marriages.
Five years ago, when Sudip Sunar, 28, of Sarumarani-2 tied the knot with Bhagisara Rana, 23, of the same village, his family did not accept them nor did society. "My parents were furious. They asked me why I had to marry a girl from an upper caste as if there were no girls in our community," said Sunar, adding, "However, I managed to convince them after some time." Though they faced a lot of criticism and hatred in the beginning, things are turning good over the time.
Bhagisara says her friends mocked her for marrying a boy from a 'lower' caste but that did not make her question her decision once. These days, even her parents have accepted their son-in-law and they share a good term. "No person is superior or inferior on the basis of their caste," said Sudip, adding, "It's the attitude, perspective and talent of a person which makes them superior."
Bikram Sunar of Sarumarani-3 expressed his gratefulness towards the local unit for encouraging and accepting such couples. Ten years ago, Bikram got married to Kalpana Thapa of Bardiya. However, unlike other inter-caste couples, they did not have to face much hatred for going against the traditional stereotypes.
Hari Prasad Rijal, a lawmaker of Province 5, Dhan Bahadur Raymajhi, member of the second constitutional assembly, and Jhag Bahadur Bishwakarma, chairperson of Sarumarani, honored these couples amidst a function on Thursday. Dalit Utthan Samiti organized the program with the objective of discouraging 'untouchability' and caste-based discrimination. Many people in society are obliged to give up their relationships or marriage because of the pressure from society.