Arun Faiz, a 25-year-old transgender male and Aruna Devi, a 24-year-old cisgender woman recently got married in a self-respect wedding ceremony on February 14, 2023, at the Gobichettipalayam Periyar Self-Respect Marriage Bureau in Tamil Nadu.
According to The News Minute, both Arun Faiz and Aruna Devi, who adhere to Ramaswamy's principles, tied the knot in the absence of their families who were against their union. The duo contacted their lawyer and got married in his presence.
What Is A Self-Respect Wedding?
A self-respect wedding is a marriage which is performed without the use of a Brahmin priest. This was initiated as a part of the Self Respect Movement. This was started to create an equal marriage, devoid of casteism, traditional gender roles and societal expectations from marriage. A self-respecting marriage challenges the orthodox patriarchal and rigid views of marriage. It believes in a marriage born out of love and respect.
E.V. Ramaswamy started the Self-Respect Movement, sometimes referred to as the Dravidian Movement, in 1925. S. Ramanathan was the movement's founder, and it was he who encouraged E.V. Ramaswamy to launch it. Ramaswamy, sometimes called Periyar, was a social activist, politician, and philosophical thinker far ahead of his time. He was a big supporter of atheism and feminism. He also disagreed with the social construct of caste.
Tamil Nadu started the Self-Respect Movement to combat Brahmanism. The idea of equality for everyone drives the movement. It emphasises maintaining one's self-respect, which is everyone's right, regardless of gender or race, and it motivates individuals to do so in a caste-based society.
In an interview with TNM, Arun stated that their families were opposed to the idea of their marriage. However, deeply in love, the couple decided to disregard their families’ patriarchal views and still get married. “But our families opposed it. So, we contacted advocate BB Mohan, who reached out to Manidham Foundation to help us. The Foundation helped us get married,” said Arun. This marriage led to them being disowned by their respective families.
Featured image credit: The News Minute
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