‘Caste’ing evil: Inter-caste couple killed 4 years after marriage in K’taka

They were stoned to death and leave behind two children who are now orphaned
Police in Gadag district are investigating the matter (Representative Image) 

The evil nature of man came to light last week when an incident from Karanataka’s Gadag district was reported. A couple was stoned to death, allegedly by the family members of the girl over their inter-caste marriage, something that the girl’s family had disapproved right from the beginning, reported Times Now.

The victims, Ramesh Madar and GangammaLamani got married a little over four years ago and were parents to two children. Gangamma belonged to the Lamani community while Ramesh belonged to the Dalit community.

The couple, who worked as labourers, had left their native village Lakkalakatti and moved to Shivamogga. They were asked never to return by the village elders, but they visited the village on November 6. Spotting them on a road, some people from the Lambani community attacked the couple and later stoned them to death, the police said.

“Our investigations are on. There’s a progress in the case, which we cannot disclose at this point,” said a police officer at the Gajendragad police station. The police have not come up with a clear picture. Ruling out honour killing, they say that the death was a result of personal enmity between Ramesh and Ravi, Gangamma’s brother.

This is just another case in the long list of such disgusting crimes fuelled by communal disharmony. In September this year, a 20-year-old Dalit youth from Bhadesa area of Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh was set ablaze by the relatives of a girl whom he was in a relationship with.

In the same month, a 19-year-old tribal woman from Madhya Pradesh was allegedly beaten up and paraded half-naked by the members of her own community for being in love with a man from another tribe.

In June, a pregnant 21-year-old woman was shot dead, allegedly by her teenage brothers in Indore for marrying outside her caste.

How the government is helping

The veins of the caste system are immensely wide-spread and deep-rooted in our society. But there have been attempts to slowly educate and create awareness regarding acceptance of inter-caste marriages, so that innocent lives are not lost in the name of caste.

According to the reports by India Human Development Survey (IHDS), at present only 5% marriage are of inter-caste/religion nature – which suggests there is an urgent need of promoting such marriages through incentives.

In June 2019, the Madras High Court in a judgement endorsed inter-caste marriages saying that it is the only panacea to root out the evil of the caste system.

While extending incentives to couples entering in an inter-caste marriage, Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole had said that inter-caste marriages were the most effective ways to break the shackles of caste hierarchy. Maharashtra offers incentives of Rs. 2.5 lakh to inter-caste couples who wed at mass marriage ceremonies organised by the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Samata Pratishthan (DBASP).

The Odisha government doubled its incentive amount from ₹50,000 to ₹1 lakh, which will be given to couples irrespective of their economic status. Between 2010 and 2016, 4100 couples who married outside their caste received these cash incentives. The couples can use the money to purchase land or household things.

The Bihar and Haryana governments pay Rs. 1 lakh to people who marry outside the caste. In Himachal Pradesh, the incentive was enhanced from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 75,000.

In Karnataka, inter-caste couples can get Rs. 3 lakh if the wife is from a Scheduled Caste community and Rs. 2 lakh if the husband is.

However, though the schemes are in place, not all is rosy for couples in such marriages. Firstly, not many are aware about such incentives being offered by the government. Secondly, owing to bureaucracy and red-tapism, couples who do apply for the benefits have to end up waiting for a couple of years, till the time-limit to avail said benefits expire and they’re left in the lurch.

Thus, incentives and mere protection from assaulters are not enough to eradicate this evil caste system. The government may have measures in place, but the implementation of these measures, dissemination of their benefits and continued education against such barbaric acts is of utmost importance to secure and encourage the future of couples in such a union.


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