For once a politician is at the receiving end.
A Congress MLA from Chhattisgarh had to pay a fine of Rs 24,000 to the community he belongs to following his son’s inter-caste marriage.
Champa constituency MLA Motilal Dewangan’s son Dharesh (name changed) was physically challenged since he was seven months old. However, he was a good student and completed his Master in Business Administration (MBA) course from London. On his return to Delhi he took up a job in a private firm where he met Seema Gupta (name changed) and married her in December 2007.
“Initially I was surprised to learn about the marriage but then I thought my son had done nothing wrong as I had repeatedly failed to find the right match from my own community,” Dewangan said.
“I had decided to provide him with the best education so that he could be independent in life. My only concern was his prospects in life and marriage as he is physically challenged and walks with difficulty,” Dewangan added.
All hell broke loose when he shared the information of his son’s inter-caste marriage to members of his community. The MLA was severely criticised for his son’s actions by senior members of the Dewangan Samaj. Consequently, the community met and decided to impose a punitive fine of Rs 24, 000 on the Congress MLA.
Besides, the community has also declared that Dharesh would be shunned from all programmes organised by the community. Dewangan had nothing to do but to accept the verdict of the elders and paid the fine.“I have a daughter and a son to be married and I need to adhere to what our Samaj dictates in the interest of my family,” the Congress MLA said.
He expressed his helplessness, as he and his family could neither risk the future of his other children nor boycott their own samaj and live outside the community. He has expressed his willingness to part with Dharesh for marrying Seema.
The Congress leader’s political ambitions might also have contributed to his decision, as Chhattisgarh goes for elections this year. However, the MLA preferred to maintain silence on the issue.