Dalit girl stopped using Bi-Cycle in Orisa, India.
29 Aug 2005
Global council of Indian Christians (GCIC) express deep contempt and shock on the attempts of Radical Hindus to stop Dalit girls using cycle in the state of Orissa, the soul state of India.
We demand security for Mamata Nayak the Dalit girl and to impose punitive fine for the radicals trying to 'Talibanise' the remote village with " home grown swadeshi Terror"
''It is a case of oppression on Dalits and if it happens in a village on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar the capital of Orissa, what can you say of other places,
Mamata Nayak only fault was that she rode her bicycle to college through a village to attend college.
Mamata Nayak, who wants to be a teacher, was reprimanded by upper caste radical Hindus in the villagers for daring to ride on the village road. The predicament of the girl reflects in her statement as follows
"I for sometime thought I will stop going to college though it meant my dream of becoming a teacher will lay in tatters", the 15-year-old girl said.
Mamata, belonging to Narasinghapur village under Khandagiri police station, is the first girl from her caste in the village to be a matriculate and had taken admission in a college, seven km away. But as she cycled her way to college, passing through the nearby Nanput village, local residents objected.
The villagers convened a meeting where the matter was discussed and Mamata's father Ghanashyam Nayak and other family members were warned against allowing the girl to ride through their village.
The disheartened girl stopped going to college for a couple of days. Then encouraged by others, she resumed. However, when she reaches Nanput she walks with her bicycle through the village and rides it after crossing it.
She has no option but to go take the route at least during the monsoon. ''I cycled to college everyday as it is not possible to walk seven kms to reach it ... I think there should be a separate road to our village,'' Mamata said.
Individual freedoms ought to be central to the idea of governance. The right to faith, justice, food, education, employment, and of course to own property and do business has to be part of a holistic idea of governance. Economic indices need not necessarily reflect the state of these rights in a polity. A state can bean economic powerhouse but fail its citizens. Orissa is a prime example of such an anomaly. If development does not encompass all sections of the society, it will result in the disruption of social peace. The politics of exclusion will widen this divide. It will further not just the discontent in a society but also erode institutions.
Global council of Indian Christians(GCIC) urges the Fedral Government to take cognizance of the grave injustice shown to the Dalit girl and provide security and restore dignity to the Dalit community by serious confidence building measures