Representative Image
Representative Image

Alleged Upper Caste Group Ransacks CPI(M) Office Over Their Support for an Intercaste Marriage, 13 Detained

Madan Kumar (28) and Udhaya Dakshayini (23) married on June 13 against her family's wishes. Seeking protection, they went to CPI(M) Tirunelveli DC. Her relatives then attacked the party office.

New Delhi- The atmosphere at the CPI (M) office on Reddiyarpatti Road, Tirunelveli turned volatile, culminating in violence. This was ignited by the inter-caste marriage of 23-year-old Udaya Dakshayini from Perumalpuram in Palayamkottai, belonging to an upper-caste community, and 28-year-old Madan Kumar from a Scheduled Caste community.

Their elopement and subsequent marriage, facilitated by CPI (M) functionaries, became a flashpoint for deep-seated societal tensions.

The couple had sought sanctuary and support from the CPI (M) to solemnize their union, anticipating resistance from Dakshayini's family due to caste differences.

Their wedding, held in the CPI (M) office on 13th June, symbolized a small victory for love and equality over the rigid caste barriers that persist in many parts of India.

However, this was short-lived. Dakshayini's family, distraught over her sudden disappearance, filed a missing person complaint with the Perumalpuram police station.

Learning that their daughter had been married and might be hiding at the CPI (M) office, they descended upon the premises.

Dakshayini's family and some members of her community, fraught with anxiety and rage, confronted the CPI (M) functionaries. The confrontation escalated into a heated argument, culminating in the smashing of the office's glass partition amidst the turmoil.

Image of the vandalism
Image of the vandalismX

The Mooknayak talked to Bhaskaran, who is a member at the CPI(M) office of Tirunelveli who alleged that “Over 25 of Dakshayini's family members allegedly barged into the district committee office and damaged several things, including furniture, and assaulted two party workers when they tried to stop the vandalism.”

Even though police did act in the situation, but according to Bhaskaran, the action was late.

The party member stated that it highlighted a broader issue in Tamil Nadu where inter-caste couples often face delayed police response.

“This delay in protective measures has led to numerous attacks and even murders of inter-caste couples over the years,” he continued “Although the Tamil Nadu High Court's Madurai Bench has directed government efforts to ensure the safety of such couples, these measures have proven inadequate.”

The Perumalpuram police till now has arrested 13 individuals involved in the incident, including 'Pandal' Raja, the State youth wing organizing secretary of Vellalar Munnetra Kazhagam, and five women.

While the women were granted bail, the other detainees were remanded in judicial custody. Authorities continue to search for additional suspects linked to the fracas.

The Mooknayak also tried to reach out to Perumalpuram police station but was not able to do so.

On being asked if the couple is safe now, the Communist party member responded by saying, "The CPI(M) informed the police and the revenue department about the danger. The district collector, revenue DRO, and police visited yesterday. The couple is safe for now, but protection is still necessary."

Image of the vandalism
Image of the vandalismX

According to Bhaskaran, Tamil Nadu has a long history of anti-caste and social reform movements spanning over a hundred years. However, in recent times, the rise of Hindutva and other right-wing political trends has seen an increase in caste-based activism.

This dichotomy is evident in the state's social and political landscape, where the push for inter-caste marriages faces strong opposition from caste groups.

CPI(M) strongly denounced the attacks by condemning the mob attack at the office and urged the government of Tamil Nadu to initiate strong action against the culprits and extend protection to the couple.

‘Not an Isolated Incident’:

The severity of caste-based violence in Tamil Nadu is put under the spotlight by several alarming incidents in recent years.

For instance, in 2023, an 11th-grade Scheduled Caste (SC) student was brutally attacked in the Nanganeri area. Additionally, another 17-year-old SC student was allegedly beaten during a group clash in Kazhugumalai, Thoothukudi, further illustrating the prevalence of caste-based aggression in educational settings.

The tragic murder of a Dalit boy in Chennai, who had married a girl from a backward community, exemplifies the deadly consequences of inter-caste relationships. This young couple's marriage, intended to bridge social divides, instead triggered fatal retaliation, reflecting deep-seated caste prejudices.

According to Bhaskaran, Tirunelveli district has been particularly affected, with approximately 240 murders reported over the past four years, around 60 of which were directly related to caste issues.

These statistics reveal the entrenched nature of caste-based violence in the region, emphasizing the urgent need for effective intervention and protection for vulnerable communities.

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