9.22.2005

Y'Know, Being a Gay Atheist in America Isn't So Bad After All...

Low-Caste Man Chained Up for Two Years

[Reuters] NEW DELHI - A low-caste Hindu man in India has been chained to the verandah of his house for more than two years after fellow villagers declared him insane, The Times of India newspaper reported Tuesday.

Upendra Naik, 32, was declared mentally unsound in July 2003 after villagers said he stole a trident from a temple in their village. They also said he was violent and often hit residents.

"I am an innocent person," Naik, a Dalit - as Hinduism's lowest "untouchable" caste is now known - was quoted as saying. "But some unscrupulous villagers have chained my legs."

Naik's wife, after failing to get him freed, has moved back to her parents' house, and Naik's father now brings him meals in the verandah, which is regularly drenched by monsoon rains.

Authorities said they had tried to take Naik to a hospital for a check-up but were stopped by villagers.

Villagers in India often dish out their own brand of justice, even if it goes against the country's secular and liberal constitution, and Dalits are often the victims.

In May, a government school in impoverished Bihar state stopped serving lunch to its students because Dalit women were cooking the desserts before two Yadavs, a cow-herd caste, objected.



Husband Throws Out Rape Victim

[Time of India] PADHYAR VILLAGE: The punishment for rape in Bihar’s Banka district, it seems, is entirely borne by the victim.

A raped woman was publicly made to lick the spit of her husband when she told him of the crime committed on her.

The woman’s husband Mohammad Farooq of Rahmandih village pronounced talaq three times [the Muslim term for "divorce"] the moment she confided in him that she was raped by one Mohammad Ajaz on August 28.

The Muslim clergies of both the villages concurred with Farooq’s decision.

"My husband made me publicly lick his spit, but that too didn’t evoke any mercy," the victim told TOI.

The rapist, meanwhile, was let off by the clergy with a fine of Rs 15,000 after he refused to marry the victim.

"A paltry sum of Rs 15,000 for ruining my dignity and my married life," she rued.

The police said they were unaware of the incident.

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