Bali, Rajasthan – November 24, 2023
In a shocking incident that unfolded on March 15, 2022, Jitendra Meghwal, a Dalit resident of Barwa village in Rajasthan’s Pali district, was brutally stabbed, allegedly for aspiring to a lifestyle akin to the upper castes. The deep-rooted prejudice came to the forefront as casteist slurs, often accompanied by the question, “Why do you have a moustache?” echoed in the chilling backdrop of the crime.
March 15, 2022: A Tragic Day in Barwa
Jitendra Meghwal’s life was tragically cut short, leaving the Dalit community in Barwa village grappling with the harsh realities of caste-based violence. The mere presence of a moustache, according to the family, became the catalyst for a heinous act that exposed the prevailing deep-seated prejudices in the region.
Post-Tragedy: Harrowing Choices for the Meghwal Family
In the aftermath of the gruesome incident, the Meghwal family faced an agonizing dilemma — to endure the torment inflicted by upper-caste individuals, supporters of the accused, or to abandon the very village they had called home. The atmosphere in Barwa was poisoned with fear, forcing the family to make the heartbreaking decision to leave, driven by the haunting memories of Jitendra’s brutal fate.
Ongoing Torment: Accused’s Supporters Mock Grieving Family
Jitendra’s brother, speaking to Dalit Desk, shared the family’s torment, revealing how the accused’s supporters brazenly mocked them. The atmosphere remained charged with fear, making it impossible for the Meghwals to find solace in their own home. The looming specter of potential violence hung over them, compelling the family to embark on a painful departure from the place that held their shared history.
Political Apathy Amidst Elections
Amidst this tragedy, the Meghwal family found themselves abandoned by the political sphere. In the midst of a crucial election season, no political party extended a helping hand or offered comfort. Even Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who failed to visit in the aftermath of the incident, made no effort to reach out during this critical time.
Present Day: Unfulfilled Promises and Lingering Fear
As the nation witnesses the unfolding tragedy in Barwa, the Meghwal family continues to grapple with a profound sense of abandonment. Jitendra’s mother, still immersed in grief and fear, laments the unfulfilled promises made by the government at the time of her son’s tragic demise. The assurances, aimed at quelling tensions, have proven hollow in the face of ongoing hardship, leaving the Meghwal family without the support they desperately need.
Written by- Babita Gautam & Translated by- Dalit Desk Staff