It would be difficult to say Which aspect of Nepal is best known to the world. A country full of antiquities, home of the mystery, Or Birthplace of ‘Light of Asia‘ who attained enlightenment and had a sense of awakening to build a peaceful, harmonious society.
But Beneath it’s Mask of beauty. Nepal hides its dark shadow and lives of the most wounded, isolated group of people which the nation constantly tries to ignore their discriminatory suffering. A disentangling story of family and their racial struggle, disowned, repressed, and rejected constantly by caste-based society.
Shockingly, Only a few are presented to the readers.
So, today through this blog it’s just my try to present you unknown Nepal, along with its separated account of people who are still facing several forms of caste-discrimination.
Let’s begin with How the caste system works in Nepal?
Nepal retains its centuries-old caste system. A caste system that divides teachers and intellectuals mainly by Brahmins. Then came the warriors and rulers, as Kshatriyas. The third slot went to the Vaishyas or the traders. And At the bottom, are the Shudras, who did all the menace jobs. Whose ‘outcast’ members are called Dalits.
Our rural communities have long been arranged based on castes. The system bestowed many privileges on the upper castes which very few manipulate in dominating the lower castes people. However, despite being abolished by law, the caste system,
including untouchability, is still practiced in the Nepali society. While society makes Dalits not only impure but also physically “untouchable”.
Coming to this day, Dalit still practices traditional occupations such as blacksmith work, tailoring, goldsmith work, musical instrument playing, human waste disposal, etc. Which results in their lowest annual per capita income. And at the top of that being born and raised with social uncertainties, reduced access to resources, they easily get trap in poverty as compared to being born in other caste families.
The discriminated people under this system, suffer from restrictions on the use of public amenities, deprivation of economic opportunities, and general neglect by the state and society. Because of poverty, Dalits have often been the easy targets of the privileged one crime scenes.
Amongst hundreds of cases of discrimination. Soti’s Incident which passed off recently again lightens up the caste-discrimination problems in remote areas.
The incident follows when Nawaraj BK, aged 21 from the Jajarkot District went to the Soti village in Rukum District to marry a 17-year-old girl, with the company of his 18 other friends. Upon arriving in the village, they were allegedly attacked and beaten up to death, and mercilessly kicked-off from an altitude of 4,000 meters down to Bheri River where 6 of them were found dead and others escaped.
According to some villagers, the group was attacked because of the boy caste. Navaraj BK was a “lower caste” man trying to marry an “upper caste” girl to whom he had been in a relationship with for three years.
Well, It’s not the only isolated case. In a similar case, disturbing reports is also emerging. When a 12-year-old Dalit girl was killed in a separate attack in the village of Devdaha, in the Rupandehi district in southern Nepal. She is said to have been forcibly married to her alleged rapist from a dominant caste. Then after that girl’s body was reportedly left hanging from a tree.
Moreover, Dalits discrimination can be seen in a variety of socio-cultural settings, particularly in those areas where they have to be in close physical contact with ‘upper caste’ people or touch the water and food items: a funeral or birth rites, wedding ceremonies, community feasts or cultural programs, community meetings and training, non-formal educational classes and income-generating activities.
Following the incident of Navaraj B.K, the protest against discrimination has triggered outrage in every part of Nepal. The High Commissioner is called for an independent investigation into the attacks, underscoring that the victims and their families have the right to justice, truth.
Hence, Now it’s time that we answer the cry and injustice of our very own separated 3.6 million people. Those citizens of the sovereign nation mustn’t cut out of the account. It’s everyone’s responsibility to represent our nation not only by the history of the past relics but also by the reforms of the present difficulties.
If anywhere my words have failed. I believe this song and its lyrics will do justice. And I hope you don’t brand me an anti-national for sharing Hindi song during the border disputes between two countries. If some lyrics and songs share inspirational words and inspire some peoples Why not! I adhere to the same belief.
Lyrics English translation
this star, that star, every star,
look at whichever, it looks beautiful.
when they are all together in the night,
the entire sky glitters.
shining stars, two stars,
nine stars, a hundred stars,
all of them shining, each one of them a spark.
if you have seen the rainbow,
tell me how many colors are there in it?
as such they are seven,
but how closely attached they are.
had they been alone,
there would be no rainbow.
if we don’t come together,
to fight injustice,
there would be no public.
then don’t ask
why the weak has lost.
when drops come together,
a river is made.
all those drops only are a sea,
what else is a sea.
understand this riddle,
that if there is one drop alone,
one drop is like nothing.
similarly (it’d be against us) if we leave others,
if we turn away from all.
be careful that we don’t remain all alone,
why don’t we come together and (like drops) make a stream…
when a farmer picks up his plough,
the earth grows gold,
when a cowherd nurses a cow,
he makes rivers of milk.
when a blacksmith moulds iron,
every tool gets moulded,
and when a potter picks up clay,
it turns into a pot.
they are all forms of hardwork,
of a wish to do something,
nobody has a grudge against another.
we all have the same dreams,
if you think it through, everyone here is our own,
no one here is alien to the other.
it’s a simple thing, understand this, my friend.