Viduthalai Chrithaigal Katchi (VCK) founder and Chidambaram reserve Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan made an appeal in Parliament on February 10 to include Dalit Christians (Dalits who have converted to Christianity) in the Schedules Castes list. He made this appeal earlier on August 10, 2021 in the Lok Sabha also.
Last October, the Modi Government appointed a three-member commission, headed by former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, to consider the possibility of granting SC status to “new persons who have historically belonged to the Scheduled Castes” but have converted to religions other than Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. The Apex Court in August last year had listed the case of M Ejaz Ali vs Union of India, combining a batch of public interest litigations from Muslim and Christian groups demanding Scheduled Caste status. Some of these petitions go as far back as 2004.
Thirumavalavan has been making this demand during the past couple of years. During the budget session, he renewed his demand in the Lok Sabha. Hindu Munnani president Kadeswara Subramaniam has seriously reacted to his demand, saying he (Thirumavalavan) is betraying his Dalit community. In a statement, he said his speech was totally against the Constitution and the founding father of the Constitution, Dr Ambedka, who said, “the reservation for Hindus is based on social justice. It won’t fit for other religions,” the Hindu Munnani leader cited several Supreme court and High Court judgements have ruled such benefits should not be extended to people converted to other religions. “Thirumavalavan, who has been cheating his own community by saying he championing their causes and upiftment, is actually doing a disservice and betrayal. Quoting his earlier TV interview, Subramaniam, pointed out Thirumavalavan is converted to Christianity as per his admission. So his speech showed that he was speaking on their behalf.
His demand is against Hindu community. It would give fillip to religious conversion. We appeal to the government not to consider his demand for including of Dalit Christians in the realm of reservation,” said the HM leader.
In 2021, the Legal Right Protection Forum (LRPF) has filed a complaint against Thirumavalavan for misusing the provision of reservation by allegedly concealing his conversion to Christianity. In its complaint addressed to the District Collector of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, and the Lok Sabha Speaker has said that the MP is misusing the reservation benefits meant for Scheduled Caste for his political benefits. Referring to the interview given by Thirumavalavan to a Tamil news channel, LRPF stated that Thol. Thirumavalavan had openly admitted the fact that he is a Christian and practicing Christianity.
The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 states that any person who professes a religion different from Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism shall cease to be a member of the Scheduled Caste (SC).
“It is to be noted that the inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians in the Scheduled Caste list is clear: conversion did not change their caste status and they continued to face untouchability as well as the indignity and the atrocities that Hindu Dalits face,” says journalist Rajesh.
Hindu Munnani also condemned and appealed to Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi against DMK MLA Inigo Irudhyaraj for his controversial speech in a recent function. In a video that went viral on social media, the DMK MLA was heard saying, “the way we brought DMK government in the State, we should kneel down before Lord and prayer in the ensuing Lok Sabha election Modi and his party to be decimated. Pray to God to ensure BJP to home.
Reacting to this, Hindu Munnani said he is trying to create communal clashes with the help of foreign forces. He is trying to create the best platform for the forces which is working against the country. The Christian missionaries are also part of this grand conspiracy. So the Central intelligence agencies should monitor them keenly. The governor should take action against the MLA for his anti-national activities”.
DMK MLA Inigo Irudayaraj, who also runs Christian Goodwill Movement, said that if you keep suppressing us saying we are a minority, we’ll have to prove that we are actually the majority(alluding to the fact that converted Christians hide their real identity and numbers). In the same in another event held prior to state assembly polls in 2021, where Christian politicians like Peter Alphonse of Congress can be seen on the dais, Anglican Church (a Protestant Christian denomination) Bishop can be heard saying “only mosquitoes are in majority’ and they can be swatted away. National bird peacock is a minority. But it is the mosquito which is the majority….If you are the majority you are mosquitoes to us….if we open our wings you won’t be able to face us.”
Inigo Irudaya Raj felicitated the warden Sagaya Mary who is the main accused in Lavanya’s death, with a shawl outside the Trichy Central jail, after she was released on bail by the Thanjavur District Court.
VCK, Dravidar Kazhagam cadres protested on 11th against ‘under representation of OBCs, SC/STs and minorities in the Apex Court and High Courts. Thirumavalavan said, “we are yet to realise how big an injustice this is. Only DK, Left parties and VCK are protesting against it on the ground and creating awareness. They (Sangh Parivar) are dividing Hindus based on caste and Indian people based on religion. Indian politics has changed for the worse”.
In a recent hearing, the Apex Court was provided evidence of hate speeches by Pastor George Ponnaiah, Preahcer of Jesus Redeems Mohan C Lazaru and OMS-related Evangelical Church of India, Bishop Ezra Sargunam. The State Government has not initiated any action legally on them inspite of filing complaints.
Addressing a gathering during the 4th annual conference of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches at Madurai through video conferencing, Chief Minister MK Stalin detailed the slew of schemes implemented for them, including 5 crore for renovation of churches and allocation of 2 core to provide loans for Christian self-help groups He assured that all reasonable demands from the community would be fulfilled in a phased manner.
Last year while attending a Christmas eve function, Stalin said, “It is your government; Elected by you and for you. We would all need for you”.
While addressing the Tirunelveli Social Service Society, an outfit of the Catholic Diocese of Palyamkottai had organised its golden jubilee at KTC Nagar in Tirunelveli on November 4, 2022, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu hailed Macaulay and the Christian missionaries saying that it was because of him. He said, “I look back at one thing. Not many know how this community was earlier.
Today, they’ve come to this level. Not all the people in the State could buy land. Not everybody could study. Only after Lord Macaulay came, he brought in a law that allowed everybody to study. “The reverand brothers, sisters and fathers, they taught not for themselves but for anyone and everyone in this State. They have been teaching for 187 years but are being slandered now. If ‘they’ throw mud on you, this community should rise and ask. This community should question those who slander them. Christian missionaries provided education without discriminating based on caste or religion.
In June, in a video, Apppavu was heard openly admitting that the DMK came to power because of the ‘fasting’ and support of Roman Catholic Christians and that Chief Minister MK Stalin acknowledges that the DMK Government was installed with the help of Christians. He said, “If Christian fathers and sisters were not there in Tamil Nadu it would have been like Bihar. Catholic fathers have helped me to grow to this position. The Tamil Nadu government is your government. You created this government. Catholic Christians are the main reason for social justice and the Dravidian model of government,” Appavu can be heard saying in the video.
“You do not need to depend on others, you can directly give your problems to the Chief Minister. He will not deny anything but will sort out everything. It is your government and your Chief Minister. If Christians are removed from Tamil Nadu, there would be no development. Catholic Christians are the main reason for the State’s development. Today’s Tamil Nadu is built on you.”
“Is this the secularism of DMK? They have lost their claim to call themselves a secular party. Appavu’s statement proves that DMK is an anti-Hindu party,” Narayanan Tripathy, vice president of BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit, said on Twitter.
HR and CE Minister in a gathering of Christians asked them to say Alleluya Alleluya Alleyluya. Chief Minister Stalin’s son and Minister Udhaya Nidhi Stalin said in the same function, “After love marriage, I become Christian. I am proud to say while it will make heart burn among sangh parivars.
“IT Minister Thangam Thennarsu, education minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhin and host of other DMK leaders including former Union Minister T R Baalu, A Raja are making statement on and off praising the Abrahamic religions only to keep their vote bank intact. That is why many temple festivals, processions, rituals of Hindus have been stopped by the ruling government on the flimsy grounds. The above ones would lend credence to this accusation,” says Hindu Munnani Ganesan.
TN BJP K Annamalai in an interview you tube channel said “The chief of the intelligence department, ADGP, who goes by the name you mentioned.. he has got a single point agenda to promote something in south Tamil Nadu. He clearly has links with missionary groups. He wants such officers in sensitive posts and is handpicking them. They are the ones being placed in power. Be it the Thanjavur Lavanya suicide, or the incident exposed by CNN News 18 where Bible was distributed to children in schools, all of this is an operation run by the Tamil Nadu [police] intelligence department. I am making an open observation. Let them deny it.”
Meanwhile, according to media reports, miscreants hurled bombs at the house of Advocate Ramaswamy who has preferred a complaint against Thirumavalavan for screening of the banned BBC documentary.