Two significant issues were reported in the first week of October in the print media of Tamil Nadu. One was that, the Dalits have not been allowed entry into the temples in a few villages and the other one was that, some tea shops were following the two-tumbler system to discriminate against the Dalits. In both the cases, the victims were ?Dalits? also known as ?Scheduled Castes? and the perpetrators were ?caste-Hindus? also known as ?OBCs?.
With regards to the temple entry issue, one example will suffice to expose these champions of social justice! Dhraoupathi Amman Temple in Kanthampatti, Salem district, has been closed for Dalits for the last 40 years! The temple comes under the purview of State'sHR & CE (Hindu Religious & Cultural Endowment) department! The village has a majority of Vanniyars owing allegiance to PMK led by Dr. Ramadoss and a minority of Dalits owing allegiance to VCK led by Thirumavalavan. The Vanniyars are not only allowing entry for Dalits but also restraining them from celebrating the festival. Both Ramadoss and Thirumavalavan are close to each other now??they lead a movement called ?Tamil Protection Movement? for the cause of Tamil language??and they belong to the ruling DPA alliance under the leadership of Chief Minister and DMK president Karunanidhi. The atheist DK, Communist parties and the Congress also belong to the same alliance. The problem could have been solved easily if all these leaders had the will and sincerity. But what happened was Congress, Communists, DK and the DMK didn'tshow any interests, as they do not have a vote-bank there in that village. Ramadoss turned a blind eye, as he doesn'twant to spoil his Vanniyar vote-bank. Thirumavalavan as per his plans led a group of Dalits up to the entrance of the temple, got arrested by the police only to be freed later. All the leaders have played their part well as per the ?Dravidian script? and finally social justice was achieved and Dalits were liberated from the clutches of Vanniyars! The height of the drama was the statement by Thiruma-valavan that ?The government should enact a law to ensure the entry of Dalits into all temples in the state, otherwise ?mass conversion? might be the only solution?. The same leaders probably in a different alliance may enact the same drama next year when the Dhraoupathi Amman festival comes. The irony is, this disgraceful situation is prevailing in a state where Sri Vithyanatha Iyer successfully led a group of Dalits into the famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple during the forties and another Brahmin Rajaji enacted a law for the temple entry of Dalits. Thanks to the Goddess Dhraoupathi Amman, these devoted disciples of the great social reformer Thanthai Periyar E.V.R., have been thoroughly exposed!
With regards to the two-tumbler system in teashops, the prevalence of such a practice as giving separate tumbler for Dalits has been there in some remote villages but, the use of disposable cups in tea shops has become universal and it cannot be cited as a mode of discrimination, as falsely reported by the media. There are many people who prefer disposable cups to that of glass tumblers, because, the glasses are washed repeatedly in the same water stored in a vessel, which is not hygienic. In fact, the disposable cups can be granted the same status of a disposable syringe and the Dalits could be advised to demand tea in disposable cups from the tea shops. This fact not withstanding, the practice of discrimination with two-tumbler system is still there in some areas of the state, which do not get the kind attention of our champions of social justice! The Dalit leaders would crow about it in the media and television channels, but join hands with the party in power leaving their community in lurch. What a way to empower and uplift the Dalits! Cheers to social justice!
Presidentship of Panchayats
Apart from the issues of temple entry and two-tumbler system, the presidentship for Dalits in reserved Panchayats is also a perennial problem. For example, Pappapatti, Keeripatti and Natramangalam are three reserved Panchayats where the minority OBC'sare not allowing the majority Dalits to become presidents. Normally elections will not be conducted, and even if elections are conducted candidates will not come forward, and even if they contest only the OBC-sponsored candidate will win, and even if he wins he will resign immediately after the swearing in! We have a ruling alliance in the name of ?Democratic Progressive Alliance? comprising the leaders of all castes & classes, who claim themselves as champions and social justice, but they simply do not bother about such miniscule panchayats. This is the way these leaders help the progression of democracy and achievement of social justice and Dalit empowerment!
Reservations & Quotas
Last but not the least, the ?reservation system?, being practiced in Tamil Nadu is a classic case of hoodwinking the people in the name of social justice, where in, the poor remain as poor and the elite enjoy all the benefits. When the Supreme Court declared 50 per cent as the quota limit, TN extended it to 69 per cent and took the immunity granted by the 9th schedule for the additional 19 per cent. The activists, who campaigned against this farce, were threatened and an advocate, who approached the Court of Law against this amendment, was attacked lethally in front of his family members by the paid-rowdies of the Kazhagams. Now with the arrival of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher education, the anti-reservationists at the Supreme Court have also challenged the immunity given by the 9th schedule. In the meantime, knowing fully well that the reservation on religious grounds is unconstitutional, the DPA government has passed a bill in the Dravidian assembly for seven per cent quota (3.5 per cent each for Muslims and Christians) as a sub quota for minorities from within the existing 30 per cent for BCs. The leaders of the respective minority communities are also aware of the fact that, the concerned law will be made invalid in the Court of Law as unconstitutional, but they join with the DPA leaders in hoodwinking their own community.
The CPM in Tamil Nadu has demanded a sub quota exclusively for the ?Arundathiyar? community within the existing quotas of Scheduled Castes. This demand by CPM is nothing short of vote chase and an attempt to garner a share of vote percentage. At the same time, the opposition shown for the sub-quotas by PT and VCK is not to lose their share of vote percentage. Both Thirumavalavan and Krishnasamy, concerned about a probable split in their core constituency, have said that, awarding sub-quotas would spoil the consolidation of Dalits and their unity. On the other hand, they never bothered about the unity of the people in general, which has been totally spoilt by the evil system of caste wise reservation for the last five decades. Even a few days back, when the government announced sub-quotas for minorities from within the quota of backward communities, these leaders welcomed it without bothering about the 7 per cent loss of BCs, as their core constituency was not affected at all.
When we look at the so-called social justice history of Tamil Nadu, we can infer that the poor and innocents of the scheduled and backward communities have been remaining status quo and only the OBCs, their leaders and the Dalit leaders have progressed and prospered! Right from EVR to Karunanidhi to Veeramani to MGR to Jayalalithaa to Ramadoss to Thirumavalavan, not even a single leader bothered about the ?access? to education for Dalits and never talked of improvement of educational infrastructures in rural areas and villages. None of the MPs and MLAs belonging to these parties have spent their ?Local Area Development? money in construction of schools or classrooms! None of these leaders have bothered about placement of required number of teachers in the existing schools in both rural and urban areas! None of these champions of social justice bothered about empowering the Dalits and improving their life style.
Both the Dravidian Movement and the Dalit Movement have been a bane to this state. The culture, religion, language, tradition, heritage, womanhood and social harmony have all hit the lowest and gone ?backward? under these leaders. The poor and innocent who have been kept ?backward? by the denial of access to education and the throwing of freebies, have also been made to worship the hundreds of statues of these worthless leaders, both dead and alive. The so-called social justice is a real fraud committed on the Tamils by the Dravidian and Dalit movements. The earlier the people realise, the better for the state!