Inter-caste, inter-linguistic, inter-religious and inter racial marriages are to be welcome for greater national harmony. Despite the government providing incentives for inter caste marriages and several leaders talking and batting for the same it is still a distant reality.
Dishonor killings, popularly called honour killings have been on the increase with several caste outfits gaining political mileage.
It is in this context that the observations of Justice Anand Venkatesh about the importance of inter caste marriages when he says: “ In fact many thinkers believe that intercaste marriage is the only panacea to root out the evil of caste system. These are days where the younger generation is slowly moving out of the ill-effects of caste system and that is the reason for a lot of intercaste marriages that are happening in the society. These changes must be accepted by the elders and this change is in fact good for the society in rooting out the caste system.”
Such a good sane pronouncement is being met with unnecessary hateful comments on social media. Even if the opinion is not accepted there are dignified ways to disagree. The judge’s personal preference of wearing holy ash or Kumkum are being questioned.
Religion is very personal. Exhibiting religious signs are one’s personal choices. That ought not to be a subject to criticize a dogma or secular ideology. Instead of appreciating an openly religious person subscribing to secular ideas, targeting him for the same is in very bad taste.
Periyar speaking about and promoting inter caste or inter religious marriages could be seen as an atheist supporting something against religion. But when an openly theist person supports such measures it must be more than welcome.
On a personal note I am a product of inter caste parents who married in the 1940s. I opted to marry a person who belonged to the caste of neither of my parents. Our son has married from yet another caste. Breaking caste barriers is also like grafting for better produces. We find harmony in diversity.
In a secular democratic country such as ours it is high time a popular movement is revived to promote and support inter caste, inter religious, inter racial and inter linguistic marriages apart from same sex or other queer combinations.
It is time for the youth to resolve to break caste, creed and other barriers and unite in matrimony to produce a progeny of harmony and peace with commitment to unite and not fight against narrow artificial barriers. All hate politics can be fought only if such inter caste / inter-racial/inter-religious / inter-linguistic /inter-sex choices of the youth are promoted and protected.
Let us celebrate and promote diversity to conquer hate politics.
— The writer is a senior advocate, Madras High Court