Dr.K.Veeramani – President, DK performs Self–Respect marriages to the couples
Family is the association , forming the fundamental unit of a civilized society. It is the nucleus of the social functioning. Union of the male and female is the basis of the functional unit and it commences with the institution of marriage.
Union of two minds – male and female is fundamental for human proliferation and civilization. If the union is not subjected to any social pressures or condition but harmonised rationally, the pace of the progress of civilization would be faster. But the prevailing scenario in the society is not so but gloomy.
The union of the couple is alleged as predesigned in the heaven as per religious dogmas. Many religions perceive through their dogmatic scripts and picture differently with regard to the origin of human – male and female.
Mammoth gathering assembled at ‘Manral 2012’ at Periyar Thidal, Chennai.
The different versions of them itself reveal to a veritable proof to arrive at a conclusion that such perceptions are man-made as per the knowledge and worldly outlook they had possessed in the respective territories during their primitive periods.
Such versions were not divinely ordained as perceived but emerged as regional revelations of men which later got tinged with divinity for global application through political propping and imperative social needs that prevailed then and there in the past. For the union of male and female, wedlock became more ritualistic and devoid of reasoning in course of time.
The marriage event became more of a religious event rather than the basic functional union of human minds paving war for civilization and progress. There are two millennium old literary evidences in Tamil to prove that marriages were felt as ‘Gandharva union’ based on the mutual understanding of the prospective life partners.
Later proper importance of such premarital understanding between the couple was eliminated and marriage was converted as mere ritual due to alien cultural invasion and the resultant effect of infusion of caste system based on the woeful and inhuman varnashra dharma.
What prevailed as division of labour in the society prior to the cultural invasion became as division of labourers as per the divinely ordained (a)dharma! Perpetuation of social duties was assigned within the respective caste compartment. For the continuance of that cunningly designed concept, inbreeding within the same caste was customized. Practically marriages were arranged and performed within the same caste compartment.
The prospective person self-briefs the details
Marriage became a mere union by its ritualistic performance, nullifying the great cause behind such union. The issue of mankind proliferation and its prosperity were confined only to sector and religious deeds belittling the potentials embedded in such union. The marriage ultimately became a religious ritual giving more significance to pseudo sciences like astrology, horoscope, numerology etc.
More than the mutual understanding and the social compatibility, it is the interpretation of superstitious horoscope that decides the probability of prospective life partners. A family, however much educated and enlightened on worldly affairs is engulfed in superstitious beliefs and practices whenever the occasion of performance of marriage arose in their family and social circles.
If at all any deviation occurred from this social trend due to love affairs of male and female, sustaining such trend for their successive generations in the performance of marriages remains as very rare. The pair united in love had to succumb to social pressures from the environment they dwell in.
It was Periyar E.V.Ramasamy, the rebellious-social reformer who revolutionized the diverse social fabric in the southern part of Indian sub continent. It was not mere preaching and propaganda of many social revolutionary practices, but he initiated the performance of marriages devoid of priests, sermonising the religious rituals.
Caste is the symbol of religious sanctity of an individual in the Hindu religion. Caste is destroying the morale and self respect of people. By starting the performance of marriages without religious rituals and the self respect of the people were regained. If the meaning of ‘mantras’, chanted by the priest at the time of marriage is understood, no one would like to invite priest and prefer ‘mantras’.
One of the religious sermons chanted by the priests at the time of Hindu marriage is that the bride gets married to many gods first and then only gets married and solemnised to the bride groom,
Soma: prathamo vividhe
Kandharvo vivida :
Thruthyo ak mishde pathi
Dhur yashtha manushyaja :
(Source : Vivaha Mandhrardha Bhodhini Edited by Keezhathur Srinivacharyar B.O.L. Page 22)
Periyar advocated marriages, devoid of priestes and rituals. The revolutionary marriages which were performed by Periyar and his movement were popularized as self respect marriages. The first self respect marriage was conducted by Periyar in 1928.
The opinions in favour of social reforms leap first and legal sanctity by the state would follow-limb the suit. The self respect marriage like other reforms , also faced many challenges. The legal sanction for self respect marriages came into force with retrospective effect, when the chief disciple of Periyar, affectionately called Anna became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1967.
From then onwards, momentum gained much significance and a lot many self respect marriages are being held due to the individual initiatives as well as in the family circles of the cadres and the functionaries of Periyar Movement.
An exclusive directorate to encourage as well as provide information about the prospective life partners has been functioning with the organizational identity as, ‘Periyar Self Respect Marriage Information Bureau’ at Periyar Thidal, Chennai. Under the auspices of Periyar Self Respect Marriage Information Bureau, Mandral 2012 was conducted to facilitate the prospective life partners for their union through self respect marriages.
The mega event was held on 25th November, 2012 at Periyar Thidal, Chennai wherein a huge meaningful gathering participated. Many progressive individuals and families turned up for the search of prospective life partners for their kith and kin. The full one day event started with the registration of the members with their detailed background.
With the briefing about the self respect marriages, the preferences of persons were announced with their projections before the assembled audience. The purpose of self respect marriage is to break the backward social custom which remains as hindrance to free human living . Many preferences were of inter – caste and inter – religion.
Widow marriage was encouraged enthusiastically. Re marriage of the divorcees was a vital agenda of the event. Besides the marriage proposals of differently able persons were also invited and facilitated for the performance of marriage.
A good mix of different propositions at the venue was an unusual event and it captured the attention of the entire population of Tamil Nadu and the adjoining States besides the coverage of the event both pre and post in print and electronic media.
Mandral 2012 assumed much significance in the background of the recently ravaged villages in the North West part of Tamil Nadu, inhabited by the lower caste people as the after effect of the utterances of the political outfit, masked progressively. Such an organized event, nullifying the caste identity in the marriage proposals was convened by Periyar Movement.
A total of progressive marriage proposals of 291 prospective life partners (male 201 and femal 90) was registered of which 32 & 40 numbers comprise of the divorcees and 23 & 10 numbers of the differently abled. Self respect marriages of TWO couples were performed at the valediction of the mega marriage event, Mandral 2012.
More than the number of marriages agreed upon, it is the level of confidence gained by the persons who are anxious and prepared to perform self respect marriages on different progressive social grounds, prove to be encouraging. In fact, Mandral 2012 created a refined awareness to change the social scenario of Tamil Nadu through the self respect marriages.
Based on the reception received and enthusiasm evinced by the public, another mega marriage event was convened at Tiruchirapalli on 30th December 2012. A total of 145 (male 111 & female 34) members registered themselves of which divorcees were 24 & 20 and the differently abled were 11 & 5 respectively.
All the registered members are for inter caste marriage Mandral has just begun . The effect of Mandral has a long standing effect for the progressive change in the social scenario of Tamil Nadu. Let the Mandral continue as a sustained agenda in the progressive path of Periyar Movement!