Tamil Nadu Dalit rights activist, who survived hate crime, remarries
Life has come a full circle for 21-year-old Kausalya who became a crusader against caste killings after her first husband, Shankar (a Dalit), was hacked to death in a busy market area in Udumalaipet in Tirupur district by men hired by her own family belonging to the dominant Thevar community, on March 13, 2016. The murder, which was caught on camera, had sent shock waves across the country.
On Sunday, she tied the knot with parai (traditional drum) artist Sakthi at the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam head office presided over by the organisation’s general secretary K Ramakrishnan, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi deputy general secretary Vanniyarasu and Dalit activist Evidence Kathir. “Shakthi has extended all the moral support to me. He abolished all my sorrows and stood with me in all my efforts to destroy the caste system. So, I decided to marry him,” Kausalya said after the function.
Kausalya, who played a crucial role in the case against her husband’s killers, testified against her father Chinnasamy and mother Annalakshmi. In December 2017, six people, including her father, were sentenced to death by a Tirupur district court.
Kausalya’s journey from a victim to a Dalit rights activist was punctuated by perso-nal trauma. In May 2017, she allegedly tried to kill herself amid the crushing loneliness and disappointment at the ap- athy of mainstream parties, who stayed away to placate the powerful Thevar vote.