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Friday, October 27, 2006
Kajri was born in village Kadrava, from Bikaner district of Rajasthan. She was a simple but vibrant child and everyone in her village adored her. Her birth had brought good luck and happiness to the village. As she grew up into a vivacious and beautiful teenager, her troubles started.
The young roadside Romeos and Ranjhas in the village longed for and lusted after her. Things come to a boil when one of the ruffians, a modern day incarnation of Ravana, spreads the falsehood that he has had physical relationship with Kajri. This creates a stir in the sleepy village and Kajri's name and reputation is tarnished. The matter is finally brought before the village Panchayat which treats Kajri as the one in the wrong. Finally, the Panchayat, after much deliberation, puts the onus of proving her innocence on Kajri and suggests a way to do it.
Kajri has to take the 'Agni Pareeksha'. She has to walk through fire in nude in front of the Devi Mandir. If she is innocent, nothing will happen to her by the grace of Devi Maa. If she has sinned, she will be burnt to ashes. Even otherwise a woman of loose morals has no right to exist.
Before the Panchayat's bizarre edict could be executed, a city based NGO intervenes. It advises the Panchayat to desist from doing something that may subject them to criminal proceedings and go for a medical examination of Kajri instead to determine if she has sinned or not. Villagers agree and Kajri is taken for a medical examination to prove her innocence.
As Kajri is forced to seek the certificate of high moral standards from a doctor, she goes through a living hell.
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