ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Space, Love, and Multispecies Entanglements in Pariyerum Perumal

Pariyerum Perumal illustrates the deeply entrenched casteism that transcends human society, infiltrating the lives of non-human beings.

In Pariyerum Perumal (2018), director Mari Selvaraj masterfully details the pervasive influence of caste and casteism extending beyond human interactions into the non-human realm through the profound relationship between Kathir and his dog, Karuppi. Karuppi and other dogs are integral to the communitys daily activities, participating in hunting, bathing, and other communal rituals, reflecting the communitys inclination to instil human values among non-human species. The dogs are considered partners in their subsistence, sharing an equal standing within the social fabric of the villagers, rather than being viewed as mere animals.

The films opening scene at the village pond establishes the entanglement of casteism with the non-human world. The arrival of upper-caste villagers prompts Kathir and his friends, along with their dogs, to depart swiftly. The subsequent brutal murder of Karuppi by dominant caste members symbolises the extension of caste-based discrimination into the non-human realm. Karuppis elaborate funeral involving the entire community underscores her communal standing and integration into their cultural web. This illustrates the deeply entrenched casteism that transcends human society, infiltrating the lives and creating caste identities of non-human beings in the community. For the upper castes, killing Karuppi represents an act of violence not just against an animal but against a being deemed subservient to them due to her association with the Dalit community, emphasising their nebulous distinction between a Dalit and a dog.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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