BALASORE: The family of a tribal minister of Odisha was reportedly ostracised by their community members on Saturday for allowing their daughter to marry a Brahmin. Residents of three villagers in tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district also have been boycotted along with the minister’s family for supporting them.
Minister of State for ST and SC Development (Tribal Welfare), Sports and Youth Services Sudam Marandi, who belongs to Santhal tribe, had married off his daughter Sanjivani, a doctor, to Biju Janata Dal student leader Sunil Sarangi, a Brahmin, at a plush hotel in Bhubaneswar on January 31.
The ostracisation decision was taken by their community heads in a meeting at Bangriposi on Friday. The tribe heads said the inter-caste marriages are against the Santhal tradition. The Santhals are the third largest tribe of India, native to Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.
Marandi is a firebrand tribal leader in Odisha. He is a former Lok Sabha MP who joined the BJD in 2014 and was inducted into the ministry of Naveen Patnaik.
The chiefs of the community said the marriage flies in the face of Marandi’s own fiery reputation of opposing Santhalis marrying outside of the community. Then in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), he was known for his anti-diku (association with non-tribals). In those days, Marandi would instigate community chiefs to ostracise tribesmen marrying outside the caste.
Earlier, he had also opposed the marriage of former minister Chaitanya Prasad Majhi’s two daughters who had married to general caste people.