On Sunday, honour killing survivor and anti-caste activist Kausalya Shankar tied the knot to Sakthi, a Parai (oldest form of drums in India) artist at the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam head office in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. In March 2016, Kausalya had lost her husband, Shankar belonging to a Dalit caste, in Udumalpet after the couple was attacked by three men on the orders of Kausalya’s father, who belongs to the socially dominant Thevar community.
She got married to Sankar going against the wishes of her parents. They were married for eight months before the fateful night of the murder. Kausalya’s parents tried a lot and even moved to court to separate the couple. But, nothing was fruitful. Then they hatched a plan to murder them.
“Self-respect marriage ceremony”
Kausalya who turned to activism after her husband’s death said that doors to their house (Sakthi and her) would always remain open for the inter-caste couples, who marry each other for love, reports The News Minute. “Periyarist, Ambedkarist and Marxist people working for the welfare of the society can always come to our house to work for the people,” they both vowed.
Both the groom and bride, who were dressed in black shirt and pant got married in the presence of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam founder Kolathur Mani, general secretary K Ramakrishnan, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi deputy general secretary Vanniyarasu and Dalit activist Evidence Kathir. Shankar’s family, with whom Kausalya was staying post the 2016 incident, were also present at the ceremony, though Sakthi’s parents objected to their wedding and chose not to attend it.
While talking to the media, after the function, Kausalya said, “Shakthi has extended all the moral support to me. He abolished all my sorrows and stood with me in all my efforts to destroy the caste system. So, I decided to marry him.”
The 27-year-old groom, Sakthi, is an MBA graduate from Vellalore and is also a Parai artist, who has been teaching the instrument for eight years. He has also trained Kausalya, who now also gives lessons to children in Shankar’s (first husband) village. During the marriage ceremony, both of them took vows, Sakthi vowed that he would never interrupt in Kausalya’s political career and would guide her as a father at any crisis.
The incident that changed a lot
Kausalya, who took to activism after her husband Shankar’s murder in Udumalpet later told media that she would continue to fight for a separate law against “honour” killings.
On December 12, 2017, the Principal District and Sessions court in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday handed death sentence to six persons, including the father-in-law of deceased. The mother-in-law has been acquitted of all charges. The case has been treated as “honour killing”.
In December 2017, six people, including her father, were sentenced to death by the Tirupur district court. Presently, 11 people, including her parents, are lodged at Coimbatore Central Prison. Kausalya testified against her father at the court.
Also Read: Honor-Killing: Death Sentence To 6 Including Father-In-Law For Murdering A Dalit Engineering Graduate