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Symbolic rite in memory of Hathras gangrape victim performed by women in 1,000 villages

By Our Representative 
About 30,000 people participated in over 1,000 villages of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka in the Prerna Sabha (sacred get together), organised on October 14, to give respects to the Hathras teenage girl, who was gangraped on September 14. The died a fortnight later in a Delhi hospital. 
The programme, which marked the day on which top Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, October 14, 1956, was held a symbolic protest against the refusal of the authorities to allow the girl’s family members a respectable funeral. As she was cremated past midnight without even permitting her mother to apply “haldi-tilak” (turmeric mark) to her body, a religious rite, Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan announced the programme of “haldi-tilak” ceremony on October 10.
In an email alert to Counterview, Macwan said, on October 14, when the ceremony was held in 1,000-odd villages, “women participated in a greater number, and so did the children.” Stating that “personally, it was very inspiring”, Macwan declared, in another programme, the haldi (turmeric) collected from all these villages will now be handed over to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh to be immersed in Ganga, since the state did not respect religious/cultural rites of the Dalit victim.
Macwan announced, haldi collected from all the villages will be handed over to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh to be immersed in Ganga
Founder of the Gujarat Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, Macwan said, “Our own expenditure for the poster-banner, especially designed for the occasion, was maximum Rs 62 per village and nil in other villages, as many people painted it on the wall. The programme was important for us all personally as well as collectively, as we see how this was able to connect to many faces who have never been seen in public programmes.”
He added, “We were able to reach the last person, and it was the symbol of haldi, a language of the common people, that made it possible. While applying haldi some women broke down because bringing haldi from home and applying it to the face of the girl, the victim of sexual abuse, even though representational, brings out ones own personal memories. The programme continued in many villages till last night.”

Comments

Unknown said…
Thanks for the story. This whole event and it’s aftermath have been sickening.

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