Parvesh Kumar Sharma
SADARPUR (PATIALA): A minor issue of a dalit boy dialling a cellphone number by mistake has snowballed into a major row and resulted in 50 dalit families of Sadarpur village facing a social boycott.
The boycott started from August 16 - a day after India celebrated its 65th Independence Day - but cops are yet to take any action against the landlords, who have announced that any person violating this dictate will have to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000. On August 14, a dalit boy of the village happened to dial the number of an upper caste youth from the landlord community, and both had a heated arguments over it. Initially, the matter was sorted out by some village elders. But on August 15, youths from the landlord community attacked a group of dalit boys returning home from Gajju Majra village after attending an Independence Day function at a government school, and left them seriously injured.
"We got the injured boys admitted in Samana civil hospital and informed Pasiana police station. Angered by this, the upper caste members called a meeting at the local gurdwara the next day and announced a boycott of all dalits," said Amar Singh, who along with others met DSP Samana on Saturday to seek justice. Landlords have banned the entry of dalits in their fields and refused to sell them milk. Since, most Dalits don't have farmland, they are totally dependent on village landlords for animal fodder, too. "We are bringing milk from Channo village, which is around 3-4 km away, " said Dhanwant Singh. Some landlords confirmed the social boycott, but refused to say anything on record.
[Courtesy: TOI, August 19, 2012]