By Arré Bench Oct. 06, 2020
In Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi, the wedding of 35-year-old Dalit AIADMK legislator A Prabhu to 19-year-old student S Soundarya took a dark turn when the bride’s father turned up at the wedding venue and threatened to set himself on fire. He said he was opposed to the age gap between the two, and denied that caste identity played any role.
A wedding is supposed to be a happy ceremony celebrating the union of a couple. But in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi, the wedding of 35-year-old All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislator A Prabhu to 19-year-old student S Soundarya took a dark turn when the bride’s father turned up at the wedding venue and threatened to set himself on fire.
The father, S Swaminathan, said he was opposed to the marriage because Prabhu had “lured” his daughter into marriage, and had been grooming her since she was a minor. Prabhu has denied this allegation, saying that Soundarya and he have been in a relationship only for the past four months, and chose to get married despite Soundarya’s family disapproving of the match.
AIADMK Dalit MLA's inter-caste marriage stirs controversy as wife's family opposes https://t.co/D3EY9YnvMK
— Anna Isaac (@anna_isaac) October 6, 2020
Swaminathan, who is 48 years old, was prevented from immolating himself by the guests and AIADMK workers present at the wedding and handed over to local police. He was then booked under the Indian Penal Code Section 309, relating to attempt to suicide. In response to Swaminathan’s allegations, Prabhu released a video where he is sitting next to Soundarya as he explains their joint decision to get married despite her family’s opposition.
36-yr-old Kallakurichi MLA Prabhu clarifies that neither did he kidnap nor force 19-yr-old Soundarya into marrying him. His inter-caste wedding with her, a brahmin woman, has created a storm in TN @thenewsminute pic.twitter.com/84TfyYamZd
— Anjana Shekar (@AnjanaShekar) October 6, 2020
The girl’s father says he is opposed to the union because of the age gap of 17 years between Prabhu and Soundarya. Swaminathan, who is a temple priest, has denied that caste identity played any role in his opposition to Prabhu, a Dalit, marrying his daughter. In a Times of India report, Swaminathan said, “Though we are Brahmins, for 14 years, Prabhu grew up in my house and I considered him my son. But he broke that trust.” He has now approached the court for a hearing in the matter.
AIADMK Dalit MLA's inter-caste marriage stirs controversy as wife's family opposes. This has created major drama. The woman's father has just now approached court alleging she was abducted. Meanwhile, MLA has published a video https://t.co/e7Wtyx8Sgz
— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) October 6, 2020
Swaminathan is not the only one who is disturbed by the age gap between Prabhu and his new bride. On social media, many users have pointed out that the 17-year difference between the two is out of the ordinary. Though Prabhu has denied the claims that he was pursuing a relationship with Soundarya when she was a minor, not everybody is convinced.
I'm really uncomfortable with the age gap though. She's only 19 and he's 36.
AIADMK Dalit MLA's inter-caste marriage stirs controversy as wife's family opposes https://t.co/guYewDu4Qi
— Arya (@RantingDosa) October 6, 2020
From bride abduction, to possible casteism, grooming of a minor, and finally attempted suicide Prabhu and Soundarya’s wedding day is the opposite of a fairytale.