When people read about Dharmapuri in the future, they may get a picture of caste oppression, violence over inter-caste marriages and Naxal movements, but in reality, people of the district are peace-loving.
Take, for example, Koothapadi Agraharam, a village in Pennagaram taluk, about 35 kilometres from Dharmapuri. A majority of families in the village have stories of love marriages. While media focused on the Nayakkankottai vandalism in connection with an inter-caste marriage on November 7, in the same month, one such marriage was held in this village with the support of the families of both the bride and groom. Jambu, a caste Hindu of Koothapadi Agraharam married Usha, a Dalit girl on November 18, 11 days after the Nayakkankottai violence.
Jambu and Usha were in love for two years and when they informed their families of their intention to get married, they faced severe opposition. However, since the couple remained firm in their decision, there parents decided to wait for three months, hoping that they would change their mind. But when they remained determined even after three months, the families supported them and the marriage was held at the Kaveriamman temple in Hogenakkal.
Another love story in the village is that of a Dalit boy and caste HIndu girl. V Dhamodharan of Koothapadi Agraharam married M Sengodi of Chinnapallathur. Sengodi’s father opposed their marriage, forcing the couple to elope. Their families, however, later accepted them and they are living happily.
Speaking to Express, Dhamodharan said, “In my village almost every home witness a love marriage and till date but there has been no problem. Sometimes parents oppose but in the end, they accept.”
On the reason behind such clashes, he said, “Here the people don’t have any problem; it’s politics that is the cause of problems. Love and marriage are between two families, if we mix politics with it, surely the outcome will not be good.”
“Almost all villages like Kallipatti, Kallipuram, Pallathur, around the Pennagaram taluk witness at least five inter-caste marriage every year and the couples are happy. They may be a few exceptions, but that is not the opinion of the majority,” he insisted.