Amid questions over Kerala's secular ethos, a look at DYFI's failed matrimony experiment

Image for representation only. Photo: Shutterstock

Kerala's celebrated secular fabric is not in good shape these days. A series of remarks made by religious leaders, holding other communities responsible for what they term orchestrated inter-faith marriages, have exposed the fissures in the state's long tradition of co-existence.

A few years ago, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPM, sensed a similar danger in society and the organisation came up with what now looks like a quick-fix to nourish a culture rooted in secularism – a website to facilitate secular marriages.

The website – – was launched on December 17, 2014 by celebrity couple director Ashiq Abu and actor Rima Kallingal in Kochi. Seven years down the lane, the website has ceased to exist, even though the DYFI claims it has been doing everything possible to promote secular marriages.

“The secular matrimonial platform of the DYFI is not functional at the moment. However, we have not officially stopped it,” DYFI state secretary A A Rahim told Onmanorama. He said the organisation has been constantly running campaigns to promote marriages outside religious and casteist boundaries.

The Left outfit's online platform to facilitate secular marriages had in fact proved to be a failed experiment within a short span of its launch.

Just a day after its launch, the website was hacked by an organisation named 'Islamic Army'.

However, it was back online and ran for several months before it stopped functioning sometime in 2016.

A message on the website.
A message on the website.

The then DYFI state secretary M Swaraj had claimed that an advanced version of the website would be up online soon. However, it never happened.

Now, the site says its domain is up for sale. A message on the home page reads, “The owner of is offering it for sale for an asking price of 997 USD!” The domain registration was apparently not renewed by the DYFI since March 2016.

The site was designed in such a way that interested youth, who want to tie the knot in a secular way, could register their names on the site and search for their partners there.

They could proceed with the alliance after making suitable enquiries about the background of the registered members.

Swaraj, in a news report, had said that the DYFI did not maintain the data regarding the number of registrations on the website. It seems the youth outfit was not very serious about the venture.

“The secular matrimonial platform was launched at a time when Kerala society was facing some communal tensions like we see now. The project was part of a larger campaign calling for a casteless and secular society. It somehow stopped functioning at a point due to various reasons including leadership change. In fact, it looks like such a platform is needed in Kerala at the moment more than ever before,” former CPM MLA T V Rajesh told Onmanorama.

Rajesh was the DYFI's state president when the website was launched.

A curious fact is that a Facebook page titled Secular Marriage Matrimony has been highly active in Kerala recently.

The page, which is not associated with DYFI, has nearly 40,000 followers. People interested to find their partners from outside the caste and religious lines post their profiles on the social media platform.

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