Tiding over family opposition, when Deepak Mehta and Kavita got married in October 2006, they thought their worries were over.
But bigger problems cropped up for the Jain couple. The community has refused to accept them as their castes are different.
Deepak belongs to the Golwale caste of the Jain community and Kavita is from the Bheesa caste.
“If the community does not accept us, we will be forced to commit suicide,” said Deepak (21) whose marriage to Kavita (21) has kicked up a storm.
The couple is struggling to earn a living after the Jain Panch Mahajan (a group of senior community members) opposed their marriage on grounds of caste.
“After our marriage, we have been banned from all community functions,” said Deepak. “We are suffering a loss in our business as no Jain dealers are ready to supply material to us.”
Deepak and Kavita used to live in the same building at CP Tank, Grant Road, and feel in love. After four years of courtship, they got married.
Initially, there was opposition from both the families. But they finally succumbed to the couple’s wishes. Now, the community is refusing to accept them.
“The Bheesa caste is considered to be an upper caste. Thus, a Bheesa boy can marry and Golwale girl but not vice versa. This is the reason the community is targeting us,” said Kavita.
Deepak has joined his father’s metal business. “We are being harassed in many ways and our entire family is suffering due to us. If things don’t improve, we will be left with no other option but to end our lives,” he said.
“There have been several other inter-caste marriages in the community but none of the couple were targeted in this a manner,” added Kavita.
In November 2006, Kavita approached National Commission for Women (NCW), which forwarded the matter to the commissioner of police.
Prominent community members are unaware of the couple’s harassment. Pukhraj Bhansali, vice-president of Sachori Patti Oswal Samaj, a Jain group, said: “We don’t know who is creating problems for the couple. We have no issues with the marriage. However, there could be a smaller section in the community which is creating problems.”