The Republic of India is the largest democracy on the planet and rightfully proud of her place on the world stage. Already proving to be an economic powerhouse, those who want to see their nation progress into the 21st century are too often seeing their fellow citizens and government revert back to its ancient and technically illegal caste system.
To Western eyes, India’s millennia-old caste system is not only seen as archaic but also very often brutish, if not simply barbaric. Case in point; as reported by the American Thinker news portal, The Australian news service, both on Aug. 29, 2015, and also Scotland’s The Daily Record on Aug. 30, 2015, depending on one’s outlook, the town of Baghpat is 30 miles and 3,000 years from the national capital of New Delhi.
As reported, an unelected Baghpat town council has found Ravi Kumar guilty of falling in love and eloping with a yet to be publicly identified local woman. The problem for Davi and his beloved is that he’s a Dalit, she’s a Jat.
With the Jats recognized as constituting a legitimate caste, Ravi committed a major crime, albeit illegal, by making both social and physical contact with her. As punishment, the town council ordered that “Meenakshi Kuwari, 23, and her 15-year-old sister, have been forced to flee their home after villagers ordered that they should be stripped naked and paraded with their faces blackened before being raped to atone for their brother’s crime.”
Not done yet, villagers also reportedly ransacked the family home, resulting in the family’s father and both sisters fleeing “to Delhi and appealed to India’s Supreme Court for protection if they return to the village.” According to Summit Kumar, another brother to the sisters, he told “human rights campaigners that he fears for their lives if they return. Local police offer little protection and have reportedly denied that the rape punishment was handed down as the village closed ranks against the family.”
According to India’s often confusing caste system, the Dalits, also known as the Untouchables, are considered so lowly they’re tossed out of the system altogether. The vast majority of the nation’s Untouchables live in abject poverty, working the filthiest of jobs, such as cleaning feces from outhouses with their bare hands. It’s common for barbers to refuse to cut the hair of a Dalit, cafe owners to refuse to serve them, and even the rare Dalit child allowed to attend school is usually kept at the strictest of arm’s distance from all other teachers, staff and children for fear that may touch them, even accidentally.
Reporter Hugh Tomlinson of The Australian noted that in “2011, India’s Supreme Court has denounced such judgments by village councils as “kangaroo courts” and ruled them illegal. Enforcement remains difficult, however, without support from local police.” Tomlinson also cited that human rights activists are also “deeply concerned” about the woman who eloped with Ravi. It’s widely believed that the woman is now in hiding and believed to be carrying his child.