A 17 year old Dalit girl, in Diwan-Tola hamlet of Patthardewa village in Kushinagar district was alone in her hut, doing cooking. Cooking was the only thing she was supposed to do. Dhiraj Yadav, his brothers Arvind and Dinesh, and their father Ram Pravesh Yadav- bragged in, dragged her out, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. Of course, why not? They took AP Singh’s statement of ‘burning a woman’, way too seriously.
“They didn’t like that I was pursuing my education because they were failing in school every year. A few months ago, Dhiraj somehow got a photograph of me and tried to blackmail me. A major altercation broke out between our families on the issue,” She was quoted as saying to the police in the community health centre.
The victim had 70 percent burn injuries when she was admitted.
“Dhiraj fought with me in the field. He was angry because I had reacted against his plan to blackmail my sister. Later, he went to his father and said I had beaten him. Since we belong to the dhobi community, a low caste, they decided to punish me and my family,” said the victim’s brother said.K. Tripathi, the Station House Officer of Ramkola said, “It is a case of assault and battery. We have registered cases against the accused persons and a manhunt is on to arrest them. The condition of the victim is critical.”
This case not only show disturbing facts about the caste prejudices prevalent in India, but also shows how a woman in a society who tries to study and wants to get educated will be burnt alive. First, it is a curse to be born a woman. Second, if you are born one, you should remain confined to your household chores. Third, if at all you belong to the family of Dalits, you will be further marginalised. Fourth, if you plan to study and turn out to be intelligent, you will be the worst kind of a ‘witch’.
The people should stop misinterpreting the scriptures and read it carefully. The Bhagvad Gita states in the fourth chapter:
catur-varnyam maya srstam
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam
catuh-varnyam — the four divisions of human society; maya — by Me; srstam — created; guna — of quality; karma — and work; vibhagasah — in terms of division; tasya — of that; kartaram — the father; api — although; mam — Me; viddhi — you may know; akartaram — as the nondoer; avyayam — unchangeable.
“According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non doer, being unchangeable.”
This clearly states that caste is on the basis of guna (qualification) and karma (work) and not on the basis of birth. So, why do we discriminate? Everyone has the right to climb the social ladder and make a place for himself/herself.
People should think about this and not burn anyone just because they want to study and belong to a lower caste or to the “other” category. Does a woman’s education come after a man’s? Dalit girl set on fire for pursuing Education. This is a Shame!