Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Feb 6:
Minister of State for Tribal Welfare, Sports and Youth Services Sudam Marandi’s family and three villages have been excommunicated by his community for his daughter’s inter-caste marriage.
On Thursday, the minister had gone to his village Dahisahi (Kandalia) where rituals were performed in the presence of the village head and tribal priest as well as the newly-wed couple.
However, the enraged Majhi Pargana did not take this well and decided excommunication of the minister’s family, as well as three villages who supported them in performing the puja.
The three villages which have been boycotted are Dahisahi, Balikhani and Kandalia.
The minister was in news recently after his daughter, a doctor by profession, recently married a man from Brahmin caste. The decision of Marandi to give approval to the inter-caste marriage had upset the elders in the Santhal community.
Santhals are the third largest tribe of India, native to Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.
In a meeting in Kiashola market place in Shyamsundarpur area under Bangiriposi block yesterday, various Santhal community representatives from Mayurbhanj and neighbouring Jharkhand had severely criticized the inter-caste marriage.
Over 100 Santhal representatives from Jharkhand were also present at the meeting. As the representatives of three villages Dahisahi, Balikhani, Kandalia did not participate in the meeting against the minister, they were also excommunicated. Besides, the minister’s family as well as the three villagers will not be allowed to perform last rites in Damodar Ghat.
Meanwhile, the community is all set to organise a huge rally at Bangiriposi station field on February 10, sources said.