Tamil Nadu

Activist Kausalya marries ‘parai’ player in Coimbatore

The couple vow to fight to put an end to caste-based discrimination

Kausalya, 21, who took to activism after her husband Shankar’s gruesome honour killing in Udumalpet in March 2016, married a folk artiste, a parai drum player, here on Sunday.

Her marriage to V. Sakthi, 27, a Vellalore resident and visual communication graduate, who runs a parai band called Nimirvu, took place at the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam in the presence of TPDK Secretary Ku. Ramakrishnan, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi’s Deputy general secretary Vanniarasu and a few leaders of other like-minded outfits.

Coping with loss

Mr. Ramakrishnan said the couple exchanged garlands to the accompaniment of ‘parai', a percussion instrument.

After taking the pledge solemnising the wedding, the couple played the instrument.

They then garlanded a Periyar’s statue. The two approached Mr. Ramakrishnan a week before the wedding seeking help. He said the arrangements were made within a short time.

Ms. Kausalya, who learnt to play parai from Mr. Sakthi to overcome the trauma of having lost her husband Shankar, met him frequently at various programmes organised to create awareness on caste-based violence.

“Mr. Sakthi also taught how to play ‘parai’ to children who came under the care of the Shankar Samooga Needhi Arakkatalai.

Constant interaction turned into friendship, and then into love when he expressed his feelings for me,” said Ms. Kausalya.

Travel companion

“I accepted it because I was sure that he would be a good travel companion in the path that I have chosen — opposing caste-based violence and pushing for a stringent law against honour killings.”

Mr. Sakthi said he said proposed to Ms. Kausalya because he liked her as a person. “During my interactions, she came across as a warm person with a childish nature.”

Ms. Kausalya then informed Shankar's parents. “When I told them of my decision to marry Mr. Sakthi, they were only supportive. In fact, Shankar’s father Velusamy was very encouraging,” Ms. Kausalya said. Shankar's family attended the wedding.

Mr. Sakthi's parents too were supportive. His father had just asked them to be safe. On her plans for the future, Ms. Kausalya said she would continue to fight to end caste-based violence and work towards creating awareness among people on the evils of caste-based discrimination. Mr. Sakthi concurred: “We will continue to walk our path while complementing each other.”

Ms. Kausalya took to activism after her parents, along with a few others, murdered her husband Shankar on March 13, 2016 as they were opposed to the inter-caste marriage.

A Tirupur trial court sentenced to death Kausalya’s father Chinnasamy and four others in the case.

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The article had wrongly stated that Kausalya's mother was sentenced to death

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:27:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/activist-kausalya-marries-parai-player-in-coimbatore/article25705917.ece

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