casteism kills innocents

Alummoottil is an aristocratic family in south central Kerala.

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(This is an article / story contributed by a member of the public. This is a work of fiction. All the names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents in this article are the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, and actual events is purely coincidental.)

Urmila was so disappointed. She thought her brother would agree and be happy for her. He has always made sure that she is happy and has everything she wishes for. But for the first time, he had said a NO and she couldn’t take it.

Urmila was just 8 and her brother, Sekharan was 15 when their amma passed away. After her demise, their achan got remarried within days. There were even rumours that their achan had killed Amma himself. Their stepmother, Bhavaani never cared about the children. She would make them do hard household jobs and would never let them be close to their father. Ever since then, it was Sekharan who took care of Urmila. Sekharan was Urmila’s whole world until she met Rama Krishnan.

Urmila and Rama Krishnan have been friends since childhood. When Rama Krishnan proposed to her 4 years back, she couldn’t say anything but yes. Urmila wouldn’t let a single day pass without talking to him. Things were going pretty well until Sekharan found out about their relationship.

One day Urmila herself told Sekharan that she wished to marry Rama Krishnan. Urmila thought her brother would accept them. But he lashed out at her and asked her to stop meeting him. Urmila was heartbroken by his response. Rama Krishnan belonged to an esteemed Nair family. Also, his father was a member of the king’s council. If his family got to know about this relationship, they wouldn’t dare to even kill them both. But Urmila couldn’t accept this. She was in so much love with Rama Krishnan and couldn’t even think of a single day without him. Their last hope was Sekharan. But even he couldn’t help them.

Rama Krishnan had told Urmila to meet him at the Ambalam after everybody was asleep. They were eloping. It was their last chance to live together. While trying to sneak out of the house Bhavaani caught Urmila. Bhavaani felt suspicious to see a bag of clothes in her hand. Urmila tried making excuses but had to tell her the truth at last. Bhavaani's reaction was the opposite of what Urmila thought. She gave Urmila some money and also suggested a place for them to hide.

When Urmila reached there Rama Krishnan was already waiting for her. They were only a few miles away from home when they noticed people following them. Rama Krishnan's father, Madhavan Nair had found out that he was missing and had sent people to find him. They tried to run away and hid but were soon found by the men. Madhavan Nair had ordered them to kill the girl and bring the son back. Marrying an Ezhava girl was unacceptable to Rama Krishnan’s family. They tied Urmila and Rama Krishnan to a tree. They asked Urmila to leave Rama Krishnan forever if she wanted to live. But she didn’t agree. One of the men took out the knife and was about to cut her throat when Sekharan reached there with his men. He saved them both and took them to one of his friends’ place. Urmila couldn't control her tears seeing her brother. She asked forgiveness for abandoning him. Sekharan consoled her and promised to keep her safe forever.

At the same time, Madhavan Nair along with some men barged into the Sekharan's home. Sekharan's wife was dragged out of bed and beaten. She was asked to give the location of Urmila and was beaten hard when she refused. Nair also thanked Bhavaani for informing them about the elope.

When Sekharan reached home, his wife was covered in blood. As soon as she saw Sekharan, she hugged him and asked him to save Urmila. She told him it was Bhavaani Cheriyamma (stepmother) who informed them about Urmila. Soon she fell unconscious and he took her to a Vidyan.

The next morning Sekharan woke up to screams from the entrance of his house. When he went out and looked, he saw Urmila’s lifeless body lying there. He couldn’t believe his eyes at first. There were marks all over her body as if she had been stabbed many times. Sekharan cried his heart out hugging his little sister’s body. 2 days after her death, Rama Krishnan was found dead in his house.

Sekharan was heartbroken that he couldn’t save Urmila. Even after Urmila’s death people were talking bad about her. People considered it her mistake to love an upper-caste boy. He couldn't bear people talking ill about her. He knew he can't change the perspective of people. But he tried to bring people from all religions together. His first step was to build a large dining hall called "Uttoopura" for the Evoor Krishna Swami Temple. The channar himself could not enter the temple under that social system. Still, his act of building the uttoopura became famous among the people. Soon the ezhavaas were also allowed to enter the temple.

He gave attention to Islam also. A mosque was built by him at Muttom. The entire cost for the construction was met by this Channar and it was donated to the Muslim community. His munificence extended to the Christian community and their religion. He offered a huge sum as a donation for putting up a church.

Sekharan's wife was astonished by his acts. She couldn't understand how he could spend all his money on the people who killed his sister. He replied that what killed his sister was casteism and he could spend his whole life fighting against it. That was his revenge.

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A murder in Alummoottil meda was the inspiration of the screenplay of Manichitrathazhu.