A senior scientist of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has lodged a cheating complaint against her 60-year-old cook claiming that the cook has hurt her religious sentiments by concealing her real caste, said a report by The Daily News and Analysis. Bizarre as it may sound, this incident happened in Pune. The cook allegedly posed herself as a woman from the Brahmin community to get the job.
The complainant scientist, Dr. Medha Vinayak Khole works with IMD’s Pune office as the Deputy Director General at IMD. She has lodged the complaint against Nirmala Yadav who had been cooking at her home in Shivajinagar, on special occasions since 2016. She got the FIR lodged at Sinhagad road police station on Thursday. Police booked Nirmala Yadav, a resident of Samarth Complex, Raikar Mala, Wadhgaon Dhayari.
In her complaint, Khole stated that every year, their family performs the religious rituals of “Sowala” for which they require a female cook who is a Brahmin and a married woman whose husband is alive. In May 2016, a woman identifying herself as Nirmala Kulkarni allegedly approached Khole for this work.
Khole stated that she went to Nirmala’s house in Wadgaon Dhayari for inquiry. Since then Khole has been calling Nirmala to cook at her house during religious rituals. Nirmala reportedly has also cooked at Khole’s house during Ganesh festival last week. Khole family reportedly paid Nirmala, Rs 15,000-20,000 for her work, since 2016.
However, on Wednesday, a priest who performs Puja at Khole’s residence, told her that the cook was not from a Brahmin community. In her statement, Khole said, after getting the information from the priest, Khole went to Nirmala’s residence and asked her to reveal her real caste. The cook confessed that she was not from Brahmin community and that she is Nirmala Yadav, but Nirmala Khole. She also added that she was a widow and not a married woman as per Khole’s requirement.
According to a report by the Indian Express, this led to an argument between Khole and Nirmala. Khole also alleged that Nirmala abused and manhandled her. Khole approached the police station on Thursday and lodged a complaint against Nirmala, alleging that she had hurt their religious sentiments. Police said, they tried to convince Khole against registering such a complaint, but she was adamant.
Assistant police inspector Jyoti Gadkari, who is investigating the case told Indian Express, “An FIR has been lodged on basis of allegations made by the complainant. Further actions will be taken as per the outcome of the investigations.”
Nirmala was booked under Sections 419 (cheating by impersonation) 352 (punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on provocation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Logical Indian tried reaching out to the Sinhagad Road Police station, but they did not respond.
The Logical Indian take
The Logical Indian community condemns the action taken up by Medha Vinayak Khole. She is a scientist by profession and this hints at the quality education she has been exposed to. We often hear, expose to education broadens the horizons of one’s mind and makes him/her more tolerant and accommodative. In spite of having received a good education, Medha Khole has discriminated against Nirmala Yadav on the basis of her caste and marital status. Such casteist discrimination reflects the narrow mentality which many of us harbour. Cheating, certainly is wrong. But what we also need to understand that Medha, someone who had exposure to quality education is promoting discrimination. The fact that she put up post seeking a Brahmin cook, is equally wrong. In spite of having access to education, her mindset has remained narrow.
Where on the one hand we want to prove to ourselves and the world that we live in is progressive in thought, our actions betray this idea. Such actions taken up by people like Medha Vinayak Khole prove that casteism is deep-rooted within our society. Casteism is one social vice that needs to be eradicated at the soonest.