Venkitachalam says that many people who had invited his family for their weddings later withdrew their invitations following the threats from the community leaders.

For disobeying community leaders this Kerala family has been ostracised for five yearsPic : Media One TV
news Religion Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 19:41

A family in Ottappalam of Palakkad district has alleged that they have been facing a social boycott and were being ostracised since 2012 for disobeying their community leaders.

D Venkitachalam, a native of Vaniyamkulam and his 14-member family have been boycotted by the 24 Manai Telugu Chettiyar community since 2012. On Wednesday, Venkitachalam’s neighbour and relative Murukan Chettiyar died, but the family of the Chettiyar erected a blue tarpaulin cover near Venkitachalam’s house so that nobody from the family could witness the funeral going on right next door.

“On November 8, 2012, one month after my father’s death, there were some rituals going on in my house. I invited one Selvaraj, from Chelakkara to my house, he was my relative. Then some of the community leaders asked me not to allow Selvaraj to enter my house as he was a boycotted person. The reason was Selvaraj had refused to marry off his daughter to one of the community leader’s nephew. I refused to obey them,” Venkitachalam explains on why he was boycotted five years ago.

Since then, the family has been ostracised at all the social events of the community members. “Soon after that incident, they called a temple committee and decided to boycott my family. I was not able to defend myself as they did not even inform me. Then they informed all the families who belonged to the community to boycott us, and also warned others that the leaders will not cooperate with them if they included us,” he said.

Venkitachalam recalls that many people who had invited his family for their weddings later withdrew their invitations following the threats from the community leaders.

“Mariyamman Kovil of Vaniyamkulam is of our community. As per the rule, the temple committee members will collect donations from community members and only they can visit the temple. Since that incident, they have not collected anything from us and we were not allowed to enter the temple also,” he said.

“We are not worried about boycott by the temple committee, but not allowing us to attend weddings and funeral functions of our close relatives is the sad part. Relatives, neighbours and our friends in the community who ostracise us are actually helpless, they are also sad,” Venkitachalam added.

He rued that he and his family could not even attend their close relatives’ funeral on several occasions.

All 14 members of the family including Venkitachalam, his wife, mother and four brothers, and their respective families who live together, have been facing a boycott.

“We remain as just outsiders for all our relatives’ functions. We can’t even visit them or talk to them,” Venkitachalam said.

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