Moved by Pranay’s caste killing and the attack on the couple Sandeep and Madhavi in Telangana, activist Gowsalya from Tamil Nadu, a victim of caste killing, reached Telangana on Friday to visit Amrutha and Madhavi. While she could interact and share her pain with Amrutha in Miryalaguda, she couldn’t see Madhavi as she still remained in observation after being attacked by her father earlier this week.
Gowsalya had lost her husband, Shankar, in a similar caste murder in 2016. Shankar was attacked with long knives in Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu in March 2016, when the couple had gone shopping. The brutal murder was caught on CCTV.
After meeting Amrutha on Friday, Gowsalya, accompanied by leaders of Kula Vyathireka Porata Samithi (KVPS), held an interactive session with the media at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram, Hyderabad.
When journalists asked how she felt after meeting Amrutha she said, “I hugged her first… so that it could lessen the pain. Pranay was killed in the same manner in which Shankar was killed. I had shown her the video of Shankar being murdered. The crime was so similar.”
“Amrutha didn’t know about me or Shankar, so I told her that even Shankar was murdered because of his caste,” she added.
Gowsalya told TNM that Amrutha confided in her that she is being harassed on social media and also feels threatened. “She is facing the same harassment I continue to face. She also said that she needs police protection. I want the Telangana government to provide police protection to Amrutha until all the legal proceedings are completed and Pranay’s killers are sentenced to death.”
Gowsalya also reiterated her demand for a separate law against violence over inter-caste marriages, wherein the government should ensure protection for the couples. “For close to two years I have been fighting for a separate law in Tamil Nadu but I am yet to see fruition. I will continue my fight for it,” she asserted.
Stating that she has been reading Periyar and Ambedkar now, she made an important observation on “parental love” being used to justify violence. “I now see that the parental love is a façade. They use it to emotionally blackmail us. They make all the choices for us, including buying even a piece of cloth and want us to believe that it’s love. I really think that it’s emotional blackmail.”
Recalling the phase where she thought of committing suicide after Shankar’s death, she said that the people of Tamil Nadu had showered her with love, especially her comrades. “Initially, I would just partake in the anti-caste meetings, but later I thought that I should speak up at those meetings. I thought that if I speak, at least one person would change.”
Post the media interaction, Gowsalya went to Yashoda Hospital, where Madhavi, another victim of caste violence, is availing treatment. However, she couldn’t meet her as the doctors refused to allow her inside.