For centuries, the caste system remains as one of the inhuman, oppressive and violent mal-practices in South Asia including in Nepalese society. This mal-practice manifests in many ways and levels in communities, societies, cultures, politics, and economics. Sometimes it is very subtle and at other times it is extremely violent.
Nawaraj Biswakarma- 20 and Sushma Malla- 17, both from far-western Nepal, were in a love relationship. Nawaraj was from the so-called Dalit (untouchable) caste and Sushma was from the so-called high caste. They were planning to get married soon.
About two weeks ago, Sushma invited Nawaraj to her village. She also asked him to bring some friends. Nawaraj travelled to Sushma’s village with his friends to meet her, and probably get married. Once Nawaraj and his friends reached Sushma’s village, however, Sushma’s family, relatives, and so-called high caste neighbors began to verbally, physically, and violently attack them.
Nawaraj and his friends were stoned and badly beaten. The only reason was this so-called low-caste man wanted to marry a so-called high-caste woman. According to the media reports, the police watched the incident but did nothing to prevent the violent attack on this group of young men. They could have saved their lives, but the next day the six of them, including Nawaraj, were found dead, floating in the nearby Veri River.
The postmortem report said the boys did not die because of drowning in the river, but were beaten to death and probably thrown into the river afterwards. This recent devastating case has brought the caste system to the surface again in Nepalese society. The government formed a committee to investigate the case, but the public doubts whether the government and police will report honestly on the case or carry out justice for the families of Nawaraj and his friends!
This is Shanta Ghar (Peaceful Home), where twenty-four girls from various caste, ethnicity and religion are living together in harmony, Photo by Subhash