16-22 Jul, 2013
small world
Caste Divide
A Love Story Gone Wrong

KOCHI ~ The proponents of communal hatred who harassed two young lovers in Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu can hang their heads in shame. Ilavarasan, a Dalit, and Divya, of the Vanniyar community, who loved each other and got married, are separated forever. Ilavarasan was found dead on a railway track in Dharmapuri. The cause of his death is not officially confirmed, but the police found a four-page suicide note probably written by Ilavarasan. Open had carried a story on how a caste-driven society had made the couple’s lives hell (‘Love in the time of caste politics’).

Ilavarasan blamed no one for his death in the note. ‘If there is a rebirth ever, I wish both of us to be born in the same community and get married with the approval of our parents,’ he wrote. He said he was unable to live without Divya, who had returned to her mother’s house.

On 1 July, Divya told the Chennai High Court that she wanted to live with Ilavarasan, but only with her mother’s consent. But on 3 July, she told the media that her marriage was a closed chapter. The next day, Ilavarasan was found dead.

The state government has appointed a special investigation team to probe the death. It has also instituted a judicial commission under a retired judge to look into the matter.

Ilavarasan’s father, Ilankovan, does not believe the suicide theory. He has complained to the police and the SC/ST Commission, seeking a probe of his son’s death. He also demanded action against leaders of the Vanniyar Sangh and PMK, which bitterly opposed the inter-caste marriage and fanned attacks on Dalits. Even if Ilavarasan’s death is suicide, those responsible for it should be made accountable, he says. The HC will be taking a decision on a re-autopsy of Ilavasaran’s body on 10 July.

It has also asked the police to provide Divya protection and psychological counselling. Ilankovan, too, has requested authorities to help Divya see Ilavarasan one last time, and asked that she attend the funeral. He told the media that he had nothing against Divya and considers her his daughter.

Sex App
A Technological Whorehouse?

One tech innovation currently raising hackles in many Western countries is a new Facebook app called Bang With Friends. The premise of the app is simple: it allows users to anonymously select who in their Facebook friends’ list they’d like to have sex with. A notification concealing the identity of the user is sent to the individual concerned. In case this individual reciprocates by selecting the first user, an email is sent to both, identifying them to each other. While the app has been around since January, it started gaining traction only after Apple removed an IOS version of the app from its Apple store. So far, its creators claim, over 1.1 million users have signed up for it, and it has generated over 200,000 successful matches. There is also a mobile version of the app for Android phones. Colin Hodge, one of the creators of the app, told Memeburn.com, “I think we’re in the midst of a shift in how people form and evolve relationships. We still think there’s too much taboo surrounding sex and since it’s a crucial part of healthy relationships, we should be able to straightforwardly say we’re interested.” Many, however, haven’t been particularly enthused. Writers in various papers and on websites have been using colourful phrases to describe the app. One writer called the app’s creators ‘Online Pimps’ and the application a ‘technological little whorehouse’.


Right Place, Right Time

Guess who got to kiss the Wimbledon men’s singles trophy without picking up his racquet? Mahesh Bhupathi. The 39-year-old doubles specialist is playing his last year on the circuit and increasingly concentrating on his celebrity management business. This year, Bhupathi became an agent to a certain Andy Murray. He was in Murray’s box during the Wimbledon final and later got a chance to cuddle the most coveted trophy in tennis.