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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Indian Love Story That Is Changing The Indian Society

When Tilakam, one of India's high sicial castes, married the love of her life in a simple ceremony 12 years ago, she feared outrage from relatives and odtracism. Tilakam's husband Kathir ia a Dilat-once kinown as untouchables- who are at the bottom of Indian deeply entrenched caste system and are are shunned by large section of society. Their marriage is a rare in a country where discremination, violence and even deaths are known punishments for breaking strict social rules such as marrying in a lower caste. But what is even more unusual is that fact that their story has a happy ending. "We have not faced any trouble as my fatjer was really an opn-minded person" He took te courage to face our relative resistance." says Tilakam who only wanted to give her first name. " We have been veery happy" she tells AFP from her home in souther city of Madirai. India law prevents discremination against inter-caste marriage, but, in reality many remain resistant to such unions, in the country where despite social change and rapid moderinisation, tradition still holds sawy. So called "honour killing" in which couples are shot, stabbed, lynched or poisones sare still carried out. Just two months ago police found the charred remains of Sasikala,21-old high-casre-woman, who had secretely marries a Dalit, in in a temple in southern state of Tamil Nado, outraging her parents. Dalits and other down-trodden groups perform menial, dirty and orher dangerous jobs as part of eriditary system in place for generations. "If an upper-caste man marries a low-caste Dalit woman, he is considered to 'up-lifted her'" Kathir says. But it is a different story when upper-caste woman marries a Dalit man" he says. There are no quick fixes to these centuries old problems, says researcher Goli, but "increasing urbanization, education and employment of women 'can' pave the way for inter-caste marriages. Sutapa, a 39-year researcher and her husband met and fell in love at a University in Bombai where they both were pursueing doctorate. They married though both are from different casts, neither of tem is Dalit and they speake different languags.

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