On June 5, a 21-year old pregnant Muslim woman was burnt to death in Karnataka’s Vijayapura district for marrying a dalit man. Honour killing in India is always ignored by the social activist and politicians. A 2016 report published by Al Jazeera states that India witnessed a huge spike in honour killing in 2015, reported killings over family shame surged from 28 in 2014 to 251 in 2015, which is an almost 800% rise. There are still many cases that go unreported.
Inter-caste and-religion marriages in India are considered as defying the communal customs. India is in state of toxic polarity which is derived by casteism and communalism. The recent incidents in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh and Una, Gujarat show that there is a gap in the society and India is yet to bridge the millennium-long divide. The country which is based on supremacist culture, muslims and dalits are considered as untouchables among majority ‘upper’ castes. Saharanpur caste-based riots are part of this supremacy and untouchables divide.
Cultural dexterity is something India needs at most. Friendship and relation across the groups have been shown to reduce prejudice, anxiety and enhance engagement in the future. A research published on Academia.edu states that inter group communication can reduce prejudice while strengthening the ties between the groups.
For instance, California (the Silicon Valley of the World) was a white gridlocked area for some time now. In 1994, the Republican Governor, Pete Wilson, had accused undocumented immigrants for the California’s troubles. Mr. Wilson was re-elected by a landslide and around the same time, California passed its three-strikes law to curb on crime and on “illegal aliens” from public schools.
But, California changed because those in government and also the public, stood up to welcome the people from different parts of the world. Over a 20-year period, the transformation occóured in California and the famous city now has a mixed population that combines people from across the globe. A article by the New York Times reveals that in 2011, one in four newly married couple there was interacial. Though the city is far from perfect, California is now focusing on other social issues such as drug addiction and on building educational system strong than ever. California’s progress is the live example of how a multiracial city can achieve the new heights.
India which has a diverse culture, honour killing and casteism is because of lost honour. In India, the urgency for massive transformation of attitude towards minorities and dalits is evident. The country can achieve more than what it has now through inter community relationships. Inter-caste and inter-religion relations motivated by love can be the greatest hope for cultural understanding across the castes and communities.
India can learn from California on how to strengthen ties with people from different groups and communities. Through intimacy across caste lines, a growing class of majority Hindu population can come to value and empathize with dalits and minorities. In all three cases mentioned in this article: a muslim woman killed for marrying a dalit, Saharanpur and Una riots, inter-caste and inter-community understanding can help the society to curb on such issues to a larger extent.