Christina Dhanaraj Profile picture
Sep 17, 2018 16 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Who is paying the price for #intercaste marriages in India? And why is this being touted as an anti-caste strategy? Questions and Thoughts.
Disclaimer: Twitter is obviously not a great place for nuance, but I'm going to try.
Also note that I'm not against #intercaste marriages. Ideally, we should all get married to whomever we please as long as they are an adult and are consenting. If you conclude that I'm casteist or pro-endogamy from any of my tweets, it's on you.
Let's first understand that not all intercaste marriages are problematic to India's casteist society. Many #intercaste savarna couples lead happy lives while telling the world how progressive their families are. Their weddings are pretty fun too...
...a Hindu Brahmin wedding followed by a Christian Malayalee wedding. People do bat eyelids but in the end everyone eats good food and drinks great wine. Small time magazines/news portals may even cover it, titling it as a 'super woke wedding' that fuses 2 'diverse' cultures.
However #intercaste marriages (from now on, ICMs) mostly become a problem only when a Dalit is involved. And by Dalit, I MEAN SOMEONE FROM AN UNTOUCHABLE CASTE. Dalits are not dominant or landowning castes.

But what's more problematic, is a Dalit man marrying a non-Dalit woman.
In most cases of honour killing, at least in the recent past, this has been the case: The #Dalit man (and his family) are the ones paying the price and bearing the burden of an inter-caste marriage.
Every time a #Dalit man is murdered, because he wanted to partner with a savarna woman, a #Dalitwoman like me can't respond with "we want more intercaste marriages". Pranay, Illavarasan, Shankar, Gokul, and so many others aren't just Dalit men. They are our brothers, our sons...
...and as a responsible family, we'd probably advise our men to not get themselves killed, to be careful. Isn't that what a mother would do? If savarna men were killed for marrying Dalit women, would savarna families still hold the flag for ICMs, still be woke?!
Won't you lock up your twice-born sons? Won't you keep them safe from the 'prying eyes of Dalit women'? Won't you say, hell with ICMs, I need my son to BE ALIVE MORE THAN MARRIED?! Look in the mirror. See your casteist selfish hypocrisy.
How dare you then ask us to pay the price for you to maintain your woke image? #intercastemarriages
Next, understand that the real victim in an honour killing is the DALIT MAN THAT GOT KILLED. It is the Dalit man who paid the price for their love. It is his #Dalit family that will be filled with regret for not protecting their own son...
...your incessant focus on the savarna woman and her future reeks of casteist hypocrisy. She becomes important in your mind for the same reason violence against savarna women gets more media visibility than caste-based sexual violence against #dalitwomen.
Get the fact that the woman's father murdered Pranay with zero fear whatsoever. Such a horrific crime can only happen in a culture that consistently undervalues #dalitbodies. This is not about the savarna woman's bodily autonomy; this is about protecting and valuing Dalit bodies.
Y'all should get your perspectives right. But more importantly, stop asking us if we are against ICMs and start working on your casteist families. YOU NEED TO CALL THEM OUT AT EVERY JUNCTURE. Not after they kill us.
#Dalits are of value. Our bodies matter. Our love matters. Our lives matter. So if you want to marry/partner with us then you have to work for it. Make sure your worlds are conducive for us. Get your families in line BEFORE you ask us out. #dalitlivesmatter

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More from @caselchris1

Oct 8, 2018
As a Dalit woman, the last few days of India’s #MeToo have been both triggering and confusing. I’ve tried to follow it as much as I can and the more I do, I realise how important it is to have a conversation on value.
How are we (as women/non-men) valued in relationships, at work, inside our homes, and in our communities? And who are the ones determining this value? #MeToo
To me, that’s what #MeToo is all about - it ultimately boils down to whether women/non-men are treated as people who have feelings, a body, and a spirit. The fact that so many women, albeit from non-Dalit backgrounds, are outing men for their horrific behaviors +
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Sep 30, 2018
#Dalitwomen are most often victims/survivors of sexual abuse, including of those that are not always legally identified as crimes. And the law has failed us. Progressive communities haven’t responded adequately either. It has been a lonely battle and will continue to be so.
Stories of sexual abuse, especially those that name Dalit men, are therefore uniquely triggering for us. We stand by the survivors, like we all need to, unequivocally, because we are victims ourselves.
We believe the victims, their EVERY WORD, because we’ve lived through the experience of being dismissed as liars so often, by friends and allies alike.
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Sep 1, 2018
"Yet, if the 'rewriting of Indian history' was lurching ahead on the Hindutva fringe of academia, mainstream science was steadily advancing in quite another direction."…
'cause some of you may not read this amazing story, I felt compelled to put this up. #Hindutva
must confess though; I do like the idea of the North Pole being in India.
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