Activist faces social boycott at dandiya event in Pimpri

Pranita Roy
Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Social activist Aishwarya Bhat-Tamaichikar (23) from the Kanjarbhat community was socially boycotted by her community and prevented from participating in a dandiya function at Pimpri on Monday night. Bhat visited a pandal at Bhatnagar in Pimpri to play dandiya and celebrate Navratri with the residents of the area.

Pune: Social activist Aishwarya Bhat-Tamaichikar (23) from the Kanjarbhat community was socially boycotted by her community and prevented from participating in a dandiya function at Pimpri on Monday night. Bhat visited a pandal at Bhatnagar in Pimpri to play dandiya and celebrate Navratri with the residents of the area. However, immediately after she started playing dandiya the organisers stopped playing the music. The organisers conveyed the message to her to leave the function through her mother, stated Bhat. 

“It was only 10 to 15 minutes after I started playing dandiya with other residents, when the organisers halted the dandiya dance. Slowly, those who were playing around me left the centrestage and my mother came and said, let’s leave. After insisting that she reveal the reason, she said they will not play if I stay there,” said Bhat.

She said the reason for facing the boycott was she had broken the age-old tradition. “I refused to leave and stood there for 15 minutes,” she said. 

“Then they announced there will be no dandiya dance tonight, but DJ music will be played for only boys to dance. Yet I stood there for 15 minutes more and when I prepared to leave, they started the music for dandiya dance,” said Bhat.

In May, when Bhat married  Vivek Tamaichikar of Thane, the couple refused to follow the regressive practice of ‘Kaumari Pariksha’ under which the girl has to prove her virginity on the first night after her marriage, which is prevalent in different communities. This had caused a ‘cultural shock’ to the people of Kanjarbhat community. 

After which the couple joined the social media campaign ‘Stop the V test’ which was started by youngsters of the community to stop the unjust tradition. They had also opposed another practice wherein the elders of the community or panchayat members demand money to approve a marriage from families of the bride and groom before marriage.

Bhat lodged a complaint with Pimpri police station on Tuesday. The police have booked eight Kanjarbhat community members who had organised the dandiya event and were named by Aishwarya as responsible for “ostracising her” during the dandiya event.

Among those booked are Bhupendra Tamaichikar, Akshay Tamaichikar, Akshay Machhre, Vishal Tamaichikar, Akshay Bhat, Dhiraj Tamaichikar, Vikas Malke and Akash Rathod. All are residents of Bhatnagar, Pimpri.
 

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