Telangana honour killings: How love wins in the face of casteism

Even as the State was jolted by two gruesome attacks on inter-caste couples in September, the same month saw at least 10 inter-caste registered marriages in Hyderabad's oldest Arya Samaj temple alone.

Published: 01st October 2018 05:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2018 08:28 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even as the State was jolted by two gruesome attacks on inter-caste couples in September, the same month saw at least 10 inter-caste registered marriages in the city’s oldest Arya Samaj temple alone.

If the numbers sound low, the convenor of the oldest Arya Samaj temple explains that it is due to the season of Pitrapaksham, which is considered inauspicious for weddings in the Hindu religion.

“Yearly we get around 1500-2000 weddings in Koti Arya Samaj alone. September, however, is one phase when we have the least weddings,” informed Ramchander Raju who has convened inter-caste weddings for more than 25 years.

Arya Samaj is an offshoot of Hinduism which came out of a reform movement, rejecting certain facets of its parent-religion like caste and idol worship, and believing in only one God. It was founded by Dayanand Saraswati in 1875 and marriages performed under it have legal validity and are registered under the Hindu Marriage Act.

“It is the instant certificate and legal validity of the same at a registrars office that makes Arya Samaj the easiest way to marry someone. All that the Samaj officials ask for is an ID card and birth certificate for age proof,” informed Parameshwari C, an advocate who performs counselling for couples coming to the Arya Samaj in Sanath Nagar.

Some Samaj officials also insist on income certificates to see if the couple would be able to sustain themselves after the step. “Most people just leave homes and come in the heat of the moment.

We then ask them, if they are sure about this, if they have thought it through. Only when we are sure that they have weighed all the odds do we aid them. It is, after all, a step that can and will alter their lives,” adds Pandit at Secunderabad Arya Samaj which saw around two weddings since the gruesome killing of Miryalguda.

The head office of the congregations in the city, also located in Koti, saw 8 weddings and one unsuccessful one where the parents of the bride forcibly took her away.

“From my experience, I have seen that no matter how much violence occurs, people will continue to get married. We sometimes have to call the police but even then what can parents do if their children are adults and consenting?” said Pandit Priyadutta Shastri.

Members of the congregation say that of late, the disenchantment with caste system has been soaring high causing the number of Arya Samaj congregations as well as the number of temples to increase.

At present, there are 17 active Arya Samaj temples in Hyderabad which has people coming in from Sirisailam, Mahboobnagar and Narayanpet to solemnize weddings, while earlier, there was just one in Koti.

India Matters


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