Chennai: While the world is busy celebrating the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage, India is still troubled over inter-caste marriages. This problem was highlighted when the mother of activist Harish Iyer, put out a matrimonial ad inviting proposals for her gay son, while mentioning that ‘Iyers’ were preferred. Several people asked how a progressive thinking mother could still be so regressive in her thoughts about caste.
With the aim of spreading awareness on how caste equality is as important as same-sex marriage equality or LGBTQ rights, a few queer individuals in the city organised a panel discussion. The panel was presided over by Dhrubo Purkait, journalist, Christina Dhanaraj, Dalit activist, Kavin Malar, writer, and Prof Kaleshwaran, popular writer.
Organiser Mr Chandra Mouli said that for a progressive movement like LGBTQ rights, it is equally important to participate in other human rights movements as well. He added that it was important for members of the queer community to start a dialogue on caste oppression. The panelists discussed various incidents of caste violence, murder and rape.
On his reaction to the US SC’s judgment, Mr. Chandra Mouli said that the LGBTQ community has a long way to go, “ Marriage is just one aspect, the problem is much wider in our country. I think we first need to accept inter-caste marriages; same-sex marriages seem a far reality.”