Ilavarasan Case Study

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Ilavarsan died on July 4. His body was found on a culvert adjoining the railway track in Dharmapuri(Tamil Nadu) with severe and fatal injuries that the police say were due to his being hit by a train as a result of a suicide bid. His relatives, however, insist that he was murdered. The first post-mortem concluded that he had committed suicide. The family then moved the high court seeking another post-mortem.Ilavarasan’s tragic end was the result of the most dangerous and flammable mixture in India -- caste and politics. Divya and Ilavarasan studied in Dharmapuri town and they lived in neighbouring villages -- he is from Natham and her from Sellankottai.

They fell in love and planned to get married once they graduated and got jobs.
The curse of modern day India -- the caste divide -- meant that her parents who were of the Vanniyar caste, would never agree to Divya’s marriage to Ilavarasan, who was from the Dalit community. It was not just their families the two young people would have to battle. Caste politics came to haunt them as well.For more than 10 years two caste outfits, the pro-middle caste PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) and the pro-Dalit VCK (Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi) had been in alliance either with the DMK or with the AIADMK, the two major parties in Tamil Nadu. Peace had thus prevailed between the Vanniyars and the Dalits as Ramdoss of the PMK and Thirumavalavan of the VCK were friends.In the last elections they fell out. While Thirumavalavan managed to become a Lok Sabha MP, the PMK was wiped out completely. Their friendship broke. Ramdoss started a vicious campaign against inter-caste marriages.In the surcharged atmosphere of the sustained hate campaign by the PMK and KNGP, Divya and Ilavarasan k...

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... track. There was dried blood on the rubble near the culvert. It seemed far-fetched that a huge train hit a young man and he fell merely three feet away.
The railways conducted their own enquiry and categorically denied that any accident had occurred on the tracks on July 4. The suicide theory thus went for a toss.
The case has been transferred to the state Crime Branch of the CID. So, no one knows how Divya is, how she has taken the two deaths of the most important men in her life. She will get no help, support or understanding from her family or community. And the odds are against the State providing either protection or justice, when it could provide neither for her husband.Neither governments nor courts have been able to end the curse of caste discrimination so firmly embedded in the psyche of people even from a comparatively educated state such as Tamil Nadu.
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