Caste outfit to ‘teach’ against inter-caste marriages in schools - The New Indian Express

Caste outfit to ‘teach’ against inter-caste marriages in schools

Published: 15th October 2012 08:52 AM

Last Updated: 15th October 2012 08:52 AM

At a time when framers of academic curriculum are seeking to reinforce lessons on the need for a casteless society, a little known outfit Kongu Vellala Goundergal Peravai (KVGP) has resolved to ensure that children unlearned poet Bharathiar’s famous verses ‘Jaathigal Illai Adi Paapa’ (there is no caste, oh child).

The outfit, which claims to represent a section of the backward Kongu Vellala Gounder community – one of the dominant castes in the western districts of Tamil Nadu, at its meeting on Sunday here, adopted a resolution to campaign in schools and colleges against inter-caste marriages.

“We will go from school to school and college to college to raise awareness against marrying someone belonging to another caste.

At the end of the campaign next year, we will organise an anti inter-caste marriage conference in Tirupur,” the Kongu Vellala Goundergal Peravai president R Manikandan said. The campaign will be conducted in Karur, Namakkal, Erode, Dindigul, Salem and Krishnagiri districts.

Members of the Peravai who attended the meeting also took a pledge against inter-caste marriages.

The pledge was taken even as cadres of another fringe group Dravidar Viduthalai Iyakkam protested the Kongu Vellala Goundergal Peravai’s narrow minded approach to the caste issue.

Manikandan claimed that inter-caste marriages were diluting the Kongu community’s individuality and identity.

“The Government must stop providing financial assistance for inter-caste marriage couples,” he demanded.

In a strange argument, he said inter-caste marriages as well as granting equal rights to women in sharing family property were affecting the “life style” of the Kongu Vellala Gounder people.

“To protect our community from such dilution, a separate law must be enacted. Besides, women of the community must be mandated to forsake their right to property.

We will also spread awareness on the richness of our lifestyle and tradition including our hospitality,” he added.

Claiming that the Kongu Vellala Gounders constituted a vote bank of 2.5 crore, he urged the Government to ban inter-caste marriages.

Meanwhile, police arrested 19 Dravidar Viduthalai Iyakkam cadres who tried to disrupt the  meeting.  The outfit’s Coimbatore secretary C Vijayan demanded that Kongu Vellala Goundergal Peravai should be banned for fostering enmity between communities. The detained cadres were later released in the evening.

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