“As associations and individuals, we should be working constantly to prevent honour killings and ensure that people who marry outside their castes should not be under threat,” said P. Suganthi, Tamil Nadu general secretary of the All Indian Democratic Woman’s Association (AIDWA).

Addressing a discussion on ‘Honour Killings’ organised by Evidence, a Madurai-based NGO, Ms.Suganthi said honour killings could not be dismissed as murders since the problem was a more complex one.

“Perceptions that honour killings were more prevalent in the north Indian have begun to change. For the last 10 years, the State has been grappling with numerous instances of caste-based honour killings,” she said.

A. Kathir, Executive Director, Evidence, in his introduction, said honour killing was a problem that the world was struggling with along with its alarming increase.

“In Tamil Nadu, however, the killings stem from caste-based issues in most cases,” he said.

Refering to the Dharmapuri violence and her interactions with many children who had lost their houses in it, Ms.Suganthi said they had been scarred by the ensuing events.

“Young minds will be affected from what they have been exposed to and this affects the thinking of a generation,” she explained.

Ms.Suganthi appealed for the need to increase the financial assistance given to couples after an inter-caste marriage.

“The government should ensure that employment opportunities and schooling for their children are easily accessible to them,” she said.

Journalist and activist Kavinmalar dwelled on the issue of honour killing on a global scale and spoke on inter-caste marriages and the problems they brought to the couples.

P. Ramajeyam, professor at Bharathidasan University, was also present at the discussion which was attended by representatives from various NGOs and associations working on problems related to caste-based issues from Madurai, Tirunelveli, Dindugul and Kanyakumari.

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