Wearing a white sherwani and holding the deal with of a sheathed sword hanging down his proper aspect, 27-year-old Shriram Meghwal flashes a large grin, because the mare he’s perched on trots in direction of his wedding ceremony venue in Chadi village of Rajasthan’s Bundi district.

Meghwal is flanked by a bunch of policemen in khaki — a few of them holding lathis — because the procession goes previous brick homes and open drains, circling the village. Different police personnel are stationed throughout the venue protecting a eager eye on bystanders.

In between Bollywood chartbusters, the DJ lets out loud, melodious rendition of the slogan ‘Jai Bhim’. Girls dance and kids clap because the music blares out amidst flashing lights.

“I’m the primary Dalit groom to trip a mare by these roads. This may change the mentality that Dalit neeche hain, toh neeche hello rehne do (Dalits are downtrodden, allow them to stay downtrodden). That is one step in direction of equality,” Meghwal, a contractual worker with a gram panchayat, says.

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The marriage of Meghwal and his bride Dropadi on Monday was the primary ceremony held beneath an initiative of the Bundi police and district administration, titled ‘Operation Samanta (Operation Equality)’, to interrupt taboos enforced on Dalits, similar to not letting Scheduled Caste grooms trip a horse (largely a feminine) to their wedding ceremony ceremony.

With casteism entrenched within the state with its lengthy feudal historical past, Rajasthan steadily sees assaults on Dalit wedding ceremony processions over points such because the groom using a horse — seen by the higher castes as an act of assertion and defiance.

Just lately, the Rajasthan Police revealed that previously 10 years, that they had registered 76 circumstances over Dalit grooms being stopped from using a horse.

Bundi SP Jai Yadav instructed The Indian Categorical: “We surveyed Bundi district and recognized round 30 such villages the place Dalits have by no means received onto a horse as a part of wedding ceremony rites. In some locations, folks objected. We began ‘Operation Samanta’ and constituted Samanta committes in these villages with the sarpanch, police, gram rakshak and police mitras being members.”

These committees meet Dalit households to make them conscious of their rights. “If we discover there are individuals who can create issues for Dalit households who need to use a horse at a marriage, we take strict motion towards them,” stated Yadav, who was current at Meghwal’s wedding ceremony Monday together with the District Collector.

The SP stated that in Chadi, they obtained a optimistic response from folks of all communities.
Thanking the administration for its assist, Babulal Meghwal, the daddy of the bride, stated: “Earlier, due to concern, Dalit grooms wouldn’t trip a horse. However my son-in-law has modified this.”

Police officers stated round 60 personnel from three completely different police stations have been deployed for the marriage.

After finishing a full circle of the village as a part of the marriage procession, Meghwal headed to the stage, the place a big photograph of B R Ambedkar shaped the backdrop. Doing a high-five together with his mates who stood in entrance of the stage, he stated: “Now, there might be extra grooms from the Dalit neighborhood who will trip a horse to their wedding ceremony procession. Our society is altering.”

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