IN the ongoing tussle on reservation for OBCs in higher education the political leaders of Tamil Nadu have claimed that the state is a ?true role model? for the success of reservation system and achievement of social justice. Hailing from the so-called forward community and being a member of the Chennai Chapter of ?Youth For Equality? movement and as an observer of politics, I am truly amazed at the capacity of these political leaders in projecting a ?fraud? as a ?success?! This has made me to go for introspection about history of social justice in Tamil Nadu.
Before going ahead with our analysis let us understand the social and political scenario of Tamil Nadu. Before independence, the Justice Party dominated by leaders belonging to forward communities like Chettiars, Reddiyars and Mudhaliars, was in power in Tamil Nadu and they ruled the state, the then Madras Presidency, for many years. They were in fact acting as stooges to the British rulers and tried their level best to retain the British rule in Madras Presidency even after independence. They literally begged the British not to leave Madras Presidency and to continue their rule. Most of the leaders were non-Tamils and E.V. Ramasamy, a Kannadiga, was also one among them. In fact the DMK founder and former Chief Minister Annadurai joined the Justice Party only as an interpreter and translator. The well-known leaders of Justice Party like Panagal Raja, Muthiah Mudhaliar, Thyagaraja Chettiar, Annamalai Chettiar, Bopili Raja were all ?believers? and E.V. Ramasamy, who wanted to come to the limelight by hook or crook, founded the Dravidar Kazhagam with ?atheism? (read anti-Hinduism) and ?Dravidasthan? (a separate Dravidian state) as the two main objectives.
In 1937 Rajaji took over as the Prime Minister of Madras Presidency and ensured clean administration and social justice. He gave ministerial birth to Munusamy Pillai who belonged to the backward community; he ensured the temple-entry for Dalits, admission for SCs and STs in schools and education through mother tongue proclamations; he enforced prohibition; he brought in debt relief measures for the poor and low class who were reeling under debts. Rajaji ensured many other welfare measures which never happened during the regime of Justice Party. As Congress gained its foothold in the Province, Justice Party got disintegrated. At the time of independence, when Mohammed Ali Jinnah demanded a separate Pakistan, EVR made a demand for a separate Dravidasthan, as the Justice Party was having Telugus, Kannadigas and Malayalis apart from Tamils as members. With the formation of states along linguistic lines, Congress, the only national party was in power throughout the country. The once famous Justice Party got reduced to a small Dravidar Kazhagam with little presence only in Tamil Nadu.
Due to internal feud, DK also got divided and Annadurai along with Karunanidhi, Nedunchezian and others started the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam). Both DK and DMK worked with the only aim of separating Tamil Nadu from India and they wanted to achieve this by isolating the people of Tamil Nadu and separating them from the Hindu fold and for this, they utilised the British sponsored ?Aryan-Dravidian Theory? to the hilt. They asserted that Dravidasthan was their birthright and coined the famous slogan, ?Adainthal Dravida Nadu; Adaiyavittal Sudugadu?, meaning, ?Reach for Dravidian land or else go to cremation ground?.
As the Congress Party got disintegrated due to the internal rivalry between Rajaji, Kamaraj and Nehru family, the Dravidian movement gained momentum and captured power in 1967, also due to the support of Swatantra Party started by Rajaji after his coming out of Congress. The concept of ?alliance? came into being for the first time only then (1967), and that proved to be a great blunder done by Rajaji, as proved by the fact that the state could not get liberation from the clutches of Dravidianism even after 40 years. Later in 1972, again due to the internal feud, DMK got divided and MGR started AIADMK. Since 1967 both DMK and AIADMK have been ruling, or rather ruining, the state alternatively. In the process the state got divided as Brahmins and non-Brahmins due to the ugly policy of anti-Brahminism practiced by both the Kazhagams along with DK. MGR never condemned DK or DMK on this issue even though he was not an open critic or hater of Brahmins. In due course of time, the once forward castes of Chettiar and Mudhaliar were also included in the backward list. While the OBCs knowingly embraced anti-Brahminism as an ideology, the innocent Dalits ignorantly did the same, without realising the fact that they are being taken for a solid ride.
With regards to the social set-up in Tamil Nadu, the Vanniyars are dominant in the north, and Thevars (a combination of Kallar-Maravar- Agamudaiyar called Mukkulathore) and Nadars are dominant in the south and the Dalits (Parayars, Pallars, and Arundhathiyars) are spread all over the state. The state also has a considerable presence of Gounders, Chettiars and Mudhaliars, apart from the ever-increasing Muslims and Christians. The Brahmins are a miniscule three per cent. The state has witnessed a lot of caste wars between Vanniyars and Dalits in the north and Thevars and Dalits in the south. The consistent caste wars politically instigated by the rival Dravidian parties, led to a cluster of caste-based organisations being formed throughout the state. Almost each and every caste in the state has an organisation in its name supposedly serving and working for the welfare of those people belonging to the respective castes. The present PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) is the erstwhile ?Vanniyar Sangam? founded by Dr. Ramadoss. With the advent of casteist organisations, the Dalists also got divided and grouped under two leaders namely Thirumavalavan, Founder-President of ?Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK)? and Dr. Krishnasamy, Founder-President of ?Puthiya Thamizhagam (PT)?. Along with the Dravidian parties the PMK, VCK and PT are also basically violent in nature, and their cadres quite often involve in murder, arson and riots. True to the nature and character of Indian politics, while the cadres ignorantly indulge in fights, the leaders looked after their self-interests and grew in their status and stature. The entire political spectrum of Tamil Nadu is now totally dominated by BCs, OBCs, MBCs, and SCs, & STs, and the only forward community (Brahmin) is totally out of politics.
The last 40 years of Dravidian rule (1967 to 2007) has produced the following remarkable results:
* The Tamils stand totally divided along caste lines.
* Each and every caste/community led by opportunistic leaders has affiliated itself to a political party.
* Major political parties have their own print and electronic media-houses.
* Water scarcity is prevalent throughout the state, from capital Chennai to remote villages.
* Many villages are still there without toilets.
* Hundred per cent power supply is not ensured.
* The status of Dalits (SCs & STs) remains the same without much improvement.
* All the castes have been included in the various reserved categories and the state has archived the ?100 per cent backward? status. Brahmins, the only forward community is negligible, as many have gone out of the state.
* The primary and secondary education has not seen much improvement. The poor and downtrodden are still not given access to primary and secondary education and their literacy level is maintained deliberately at a lower rate through the reservation policy in the name of social justice.
* While their educational access is denied on one side, they are treated as slaves by throwing ?freebies? on the other side. They are kept as permanent dependents on the government without empowerment. The financially well-off OBCs have fully utilised the reservation benefits at the cost of financially weaker MBCs, SCs and STs.
* Temple lands have vanished to a great extent and the maintenance of thousands of temples built by the ancient kings is in doldrums. Many temples are ruined and in dilapidated condition. The revenue from temples is diverted to other sectors.
* Churches have come up in maximum number of villages and conversion and evangelisation activities have increased at an alarming rate.
* Naxalism, Islamic terrorism, Tamil extremism and LTTE activities have increased in manifolds.
* The cultured and disciplined Tamils have been transformed into uncultured and immoral Dravidians, and the state, which was famous for its rich religious and cultural heritage has been reduced to a state of anarchy.
(To be continued)