An intercaste wedding on Facebook Live in Bengaluru

An Adivasi man and a higher-caste woman enter into marriage at a ceremony live-streamed on Facebook. Reason: they wanted to put an end to the harrassment from the woman’s parents and have the police close the complaint filed against the man

A Bengaluru couple figured out a way to tell their parents that caste is no bar in marriage. Recently, a 19-year-old BCom student, T. Anjana, and Kiran Kumar, a 25-year-old businessman, streamed their wedding live on Facebook as proof that neither of them was forced into the marriage but had entered into their relationship of their own free will. The couple tied the knot at a temple in Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru.

Kiran and Anjana: When their family spurned them, they sought refuge in social media

Anjana’s family was strictly against the marriage because Kiran is from an Adivasi tribe and Anjana belongs to a higher-caste family in Madhugiri, a small town about 100km from Bengaluru

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When Anjana told her parents that they were in this relationship, they did everything they could to separate them. They sent Kiran away and Anjana’s father Thimmaraju, a Janata Dal (Secular) politician, tried to force Anjana to sign a false police complaint against Kiran for rape. That is when the couple decided to move to Bengaluru and tie the knot. Anjana’s father still filed a police complaint against Kiran for abduction of her daughter and the police were trying to trace the couple. That is when they hit upon the idea of a ‘Facebook Live’ wedding.

Now, the couple will submit the video to the police. With this evidence, they believe that the police will have to close the case because both the individuals are of legal age to marry.

This incident may sound like the stuff of Bollywood films but sends out a strong message. Despite being ahead of the other regions in terms of literacy, southern India still hasn’t been able to free itself from the vice-like grip of caste. Bengaluru remains notorious for moral policing despite having grown into the country’s IT hub. It was fitting then that this couple turned to social media, a product of IT, in Bengaluru to tell its residents and the rest of the world that caste divisions are bad, period.  

 

Copy-editing: Susmita/Anil


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