“Being born a scheduled caste is the biggest curse for me”. The last words of Pappu Singh Darnal, a 46 year old school teacher in Darjeeling were found written on a page of 2002 diary.
He committed suicide by hanging himself. He was working as a Municipal School teacher so did not have any financial problems as such. But he had other problems, he had to face the jeering and derogatory comments of two of his acquaintances. One Jiwan Thapa used to regularly insult him for being a scheduled caste and this he used to do on the behest of one Bimal Rai, both belonging to the so called upper caste.
As per Darnal they were jealous of his success and popularity and they would insult him to gain cheap publicity, always scorning and mentally torturing him. He also asked a very pertinent question that in this modern age why do scheduled caste have to bear such torture.
But even after suffering so much he had full faith in the legal system of the country and was sure that justice will prevail and those two will be taught a lesson.
It seems that Jiwan Thapa is handicapped and uses crutches to walk. On 13th October while Darnal was returning from an exhibition Jiwan again commented on his caste, when Darnal protested Vimal hit him on his head with his metal crutch. Darnal had to be hospitalised. But Vimal and Jiwan did not stop even after that, they continued to insult Darnal so much so that poor Darnal was unable to bear it and finally gave up the fight by committing suicide. Both the culprits have been arrested and charged with abatement to suicide.
Isn’t it ironic that even after being the world’s fastest developing country India still has to struggle with caste discrimination. Such incidents show that instead of walking into 21st century we are rushing back into medieval times when such crimes were prevalent and accepted as a part of society norms.