That the Madras High Court has allowed Divya of Dharmapuri to go with her mother as per ‘her’ wish (June 7) raises more questions than answers. Following her marriage to I. Ilavarasan, a Dalit, last year, people of three Dalit colonies of Naikkankottai village of the district were subjected to untold misery. A mob razed over 260 houses to the ground. The issue was exploited by vested interests to rally people around disturbing identity politics. What a shameful spectacle in a State that produced the likes of Subramania Bharati and E.V.R. Periyar!
The young woman is justified in feeling traumatised by her father’s suicide. But she has failed to appreciate the pain of the Dalit families that lost their homes and valuables in the violence that followed her marriage. In view of the fact that she is confused with the turn of events in her life, the learned judges could have provided her professional counselling rather than sending her with her mother. What she needs is neutral advice, not the company of casteist elements.
There is more in Divya’s act of joining her mother than meets the eye. If the young woman’s body language caught on camera is anything to go by, it is clear that she has been coerced into leaving her husband and joining her mother whom she left to marry a year ago.
Divya’s decision marks the success of the casteist forces and the failure of social justice. It is apparent that she has been under tremendous pressure to sacrifice her love and marriage for the sake of a caste-obsessed society. Guardianship in marriage was repealed in 1978 but parents continue to impose their choices on their children.