Threatened by villagers and living in constant fear, the 20 Langa Manganiyar families from Jaisalmer’s Danta village, who were forced to flee, have vowed never to return to their native village.The Manganiyar families had faced social exclusion after they filed a police complaint against a temple priest and his two accomplices for murdering a fellow folk artist. On September 27, Ahmad Khan, 48, of the Langa Manganiyar community was allegedly killed by village priest Ramesh Suthar. The reason being, his underperformance disabled the apotheosis of the priest into the divine.
Post the incident, Santa and Banta are chit-chatting over crisp samosas and jalebis at a tea stall of Danta.
Santa: What is this intolerance shor all about? If they don’t want to come back, are we dying to have them back here in ‘our’ village?
Banta: Exactly, they do not even belong here. It’s our village that they have unjustly occupied for so many years. Not just that, their art, as they call it, is not even their own, they sing ‘our’ culture songs.
Santa: Bilkul! First those refugee Rohingyas and now these Manganiyars. Do you think this is Pakistan’s plan to jeopardize our intolerance that we have built up over the years?
Banta: I bet it is them behind all of this. The poor priest just wanted to invite maata rani to his body, which is his right by caste. Yagnas and prayer songs are age-old tactics to please gods and goddesses. It has always worked. Hasn’t Arjun done the same to please Shiva or Draupad to get his heart’s desire from Agni?
Santa: Yes and these low-class singers has always supported brahmins and kshatriyas to fulfill their destiny of hosting the divine. It is only now that their brains are getting corrupted. Intolerance is not GST that they would blame it for all their miseries.
Banta: Can’t agree more. Intolerance is our birth-right. How do they expect us to believe that maata rani denied Suthar of the honor, it was only Ahmad who was at fault and the goddess doomed him for his deed.
Santa: But the only good thing about this incidence is that we have got another golden feather to beautify our nest of intolerance. We should at least now have posters saying “Intolerant India” at Rajpath and other important places.
Banta: Good idea. Also, we should have one of these cringe-singers to come up with “The Intolerance Song” Who knows if maata rani likes cringe more than folk?
Whom should we mourn? Dead humans or dead humanity?