A dalit family from Baran district took out a wedding procession here with the groom sitting on a buggy, and his relatives riding horses, camels and an elephant – a sight that draws attention in Rajasthan, which has reported attacks on dalits for riding mares during marriages.
In Bhilwara and some parts of Alwar and Jaipur, Dalit grooms have been assaulted for riding mares during weddings.
Groom Rajkumar Dandoriya (24) of Kevda village rode a horse-drawn vehicle, instead of a mare, before the procession rolled out in Nayapura area of Kota on Saturday night. His grandfather Sultan Lal (70) sat on the elephant and senior male members of the family rode 11 camels and five horses.
Young wedding guests danced to the tune of disc jockey (DJ) playing pre-recorded music. Another music band and beats of Bhangara dhols (drums) added colours to the wedding procession that went to Om Valmiki’s residence in Nayapura area where the groom married Barkha Valmiki (23).
“There is no particular reason for the lavish procession; it was the wish of the family as Rajkumar is their only child,” said groom’s father Ghasilal Dandoriya.
About the line-up of the buggy, horses, camels and the elephants when dalits riding wedding mares have been attacked, he said, “It does not occur everywhere, so we have not thought about it.” Such incidents have not been reported in Kota.
Ghasilal, who runs a pest control business in Baran and owns farmland, said hiring the buggy, elephant, camels and horses cost him around ₹50,000.
“Dalit grooms riding wedding mares is now common in cities but such an elaborate wedding procession is rare,” said Dalit priest Nathulal who solemnised the marriage.
“Such wedding procession was organised because of the family’s enthusiasm. This procession by the Dalit community shows social change to a certain extent.”