While hearing a case of inter-caste marriage in which the bride’s side of the family were opposed to the marriage, Justice N Anand Venkatesh of Madras High Courtobserved that only intercaste marriages could uproot “the evil of caste system”.

“These are days where the younger generation is slowly moving out of the ill-effects of the caste system and that is the reason for a lot of intercaste marriages that are happening in the society. These changes must be accepted by the elders and this change is, in fact, good for the society in rooting out the caste system,” he added, Bar And Benchreported.

The couple that got married about a month back had first approached the police after the girl’s family started harassing them. When the police failed to provide them protection, they had to move the High Court to seek justice. Advocate M Radhakrishnan, who appeared for the couple, said in an earlier case, the court had already highlighted that strict action must be taken against the persons who threaten people for entering into inter-caste marriages. He also argued that the petitioners are consenting adults due to which their future cannot be dictated any longer by the opposing family.

“It is an admitted fact that the petitioners herein are major and they have every right to decide their life and they cannot be threatened or harassed by the parents or the family members… As held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the respondent police ought to have taken immediate action on the complaint given by the petitioners seeking for police protection,” Justice Venkatesh held.

HC has directed the police to warn the opposing family against interfering with the married life of the couple. If the warning fails, the court has ordered the police to provide necessary protection to the newly married couple and the husband’s parents. The couple is residing with the man’s parents.

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“It is an admitted fact that the petitioners herein are major and they have every right to decide their life and they cannot be threatened or harassed by the parents or the family members… As held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the respondent police ought to have taken immediate action on the complaint given by the petitioners seeking for police protection”

“… there shall be a direction to the 3rdrespondent to immediately call the parents of the 1st petitioner and their relatives for an inquiry and instruct them not to interfere with the married life of the petitioners. If in spite of the advice, any threat is exerted, immediate action shall be taken against them and if necessary police protection shall be granted for the petitioners and the parents of the 2nd petitioner.”

Intercaste marriage is still considered a big taboo in Indian society. Last year in March, a resident of Koyilandy district at Kozhikode stabbed his own daughterin the stomach just a few hours before she was going to get married in an inter-caste marriage. 22-year old Athira belongs to Thiyya community and had been in love with a man who belonged to SC community. Athira Rajan Palathingal, who was working at a dialysis center of Manjeri Medical College, was set to marry an army man on March 23. Cases of honour killing are quite a norm in our society where an intercaste marriage becomes important and a matter of family honour than the well-being of one’s child.

Picture credit: Alamy

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