At this Valentine’s Day in Mandaveli, inter-caste couples were felicitated

This was a different kind of Kadhalar Dinam, timed for Valentine’s Day.

And it took place in the middle of the chaotic traffic in the Visalakshi Thottam zone of Mylapore on February 14 evening. Music, speeches, slogans and cheering around an open-air stage, decorated red, even as MTC buses and cars, autos and bikes eased their way on the edge of this busy roadside venue at rush hour.

The focus of this celebration was two fold – to celebrate inter-caste and inter-religious couples, of all ages, and to ask the state to enact laws that strongly penalised people who murdered or targeted such couples.

At the event, personalities signed a public campaign seeking such a law ( seen in photo below)

In fact, as Nakkeeran magazine editor R. R. Gopal led other seniors in felicitating the couples – some in their Sunday best, some with kids, some dressed for the day – the spotlight was on the couples, who held up a little memento and a rose they were given on stage.

A simple exhibition of young people who lost their lives in Tamil Nadu in what are labelled ‘honour’ killings was also made public at this spot where auto repair shops and fast food joints hug the pavement and workers toil at breaking used bricks all along the bridge over the Canal.

The event was got up by members of the AIYF, the CPI party’s youth wing and by National Federation of Indian Women ( NFIW).

Among those who took part and addressed the audience were V. Arasu of the VCK party, senior lawyer P. Mohan, film director Ganesh Babu, G. Manjula, state head of NFIW, S. K. Siva of CPI party’s Chennai south unit and senior AITUC leader R. Krishnamurthy.

The events on stage were as chaotic as the peak-hour traffic but the effort was widely acknowledged by the guests, mostly youths who are cadres of the CPI party.

There was a big cheer for the emcee and one of the organisers, Dhivya Mary and her husband, Alexander Manoj who were felicitated towards the end of the celebration.

Dinner was served to all.