About of Domestic Violence and Untouchability

Our society has been modernized with education, urbanization, and technology. But the so-called civilization, modernized or progression have been challenged by some traditional opinions or narrow orthodoxy. Here, we will discuss about two other problems that badly deteriorate the condition of our society.

A. Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a violent or aggressive social behavior within the home. It involves disputes or abuses by one person against another in overt or subtle way. It includes any form of physical, mental, verbal, sexual or economic harm. Even the act of scolding or blackmailing other members falls under it.

In context of Nepal, women, children and domestic workers are the main victims of domestic violence. Many social values and norms have taught women to bear every humiliation. It is, perhaps, one of the prime reasons why women don’t come forward in case of domestic violence. Beating, battering, molestation, burnings and delivering a blow to women are common forms of abuse. Preference to a son leading to female feoticide and dowry demands resulting into dowry-related crimes are its examples. Because of the fear of losing honor, women become more helpless to violence. Similarly, children due to lack of courage, and domestic workers due to poverty cannot go against violence on them and bear them all as if they are in comfort.

Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence affects one’s thought, feelings, behaviors and actions. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are commonly observed among the victims. The tragic reality is that anytime a mother is abused by her partner, the children feel guilty and disturbed. A few adverse effects domestic violence would be:

  • Victims become violent in response to threats in school, home or other places.
  • Attempt suicide or make wrong decisions.
  • Loss of social prestige.
  • Poor family relations.
  • Encouraged less at work.
  • Poor social relation and skills.
  • Use drugs and abuse alcohol.
  • Develop eating disorder.
  • Develop anxiety, depression and other mental problems.
  • Enter into an abusive relationship later on.

Ways of Controlling Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence can be minimized or solved if people become responsible to each other. But a domestic violence survivor also needs to be aware. S/he needs to contract a local police or social organizations. S/he should make an appointment with a therapist who is specialized in domestic violence victims. The following are the prime ways to avoid domestic violence:

  • Create awareness against domestic violence.
  • Build up a good relation with couple or among family members.
  • Be civilized, respect others’ thought and treat each other well.
  • Avoid greediness for properties.
  • Make families decision through group discussion.
  • Create a ‘domestic violence safety plan’ with the help of victim assistance professional.
  • Consider your legal options i.e. police station or concerned authority to get justice.

B. Untouchability

Generally speaking, untouchability refers to the discrimination or prejudice done on to persons of the so-called low caste. Though it is a direct product of caste system associated with Hinduism in Nepal, there exist similar patterns in countries like Japan (e.g. Burakumin) and Rwanda (e.g. Huttu and Twa). But in a border sense, untouchability is a custom in which some people are treated as untouchables on the basis of religion, caste, job, gender, physical structure or being a member of low status social groups. It is an attitude expressed through actions, behaviors, norms and practices.

The so-called untouchables may go through the problems like humiliation, loot, arson, murder, rape, molestation, burning of houses and properties, and so on. Illiteracy, religious faith, underdevelopment, traditional beliefs and cultural systems are more responsible for the practice of untouchability.

The believers in untouchability do not allow their family members and relatives to marry outside their caste. There are strict rules about the kind of food and drink. They believe that a person’s position in this life is determined by his or her actions in previous lives. They also think that persons born in a Brahmin family must have performed good deeds and a Shudra must have conducted the sinful acts in their previous lives.

Effects of Untouchability and Discrimination

Untouchability and discrimination have several adverse effects. The main efforts of untouchability and discrimination are enumerated below:

  • There is feeling of inferiority in some who are forced to feel humiliation.
  • Opportunities that the so-called high caste and low caste get are unequal. So is the case with discriminator and discriminated in other cases than untouchability.
  • There always is lack of coordination, fraternity and cooperation in society due to these problems.
  • Society gets divided due to these problems.
  • There is distrust, conflict and disunity in society, too.

Measures on Solving Untouchability

As mentioned in the Muluki Ain (1910 BS), the practice of untouchability was a state crime. The constitutions promulgated till now have also declared untouchability punishable by law. The Muluki Ain (2074) has also kept it has a crime. Despite all efforts, our country has not been able to uproot the problem till now. Nevertheless, we can be more optimistic with the provision of the Dalit Commission in the Constitution of Nepal. Meanwhile, today’s children will not accept this shameful practice at any cost. Besides, the government and politicians must carry the following tasks related to the so-called untouchables:

  • Enforce all laws strictly that are formulated against discrimination and untouchability.
  • Implement the programmes prepared for uplifting their economic and social status.
  • Do not treat Dalit’s issues as political issues.
  • Educate and provide vocational training and jobs to the targeted groups.
  • Provide economic support to help them raise their economic status.
  •  Aware the mass through documentaries, theaters, songs, bhajans, talks, and discussions to create the feelings of brotherhood.
  • Develop and practices the provision of ‘positive discrimination’.

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