• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Yes to jallikattu, but No to rights of Dalits: How progressive is Tamil Nadu?

Status
Not open for further replies.

mkrishna100

Active member
Yes to jallikattu, but No to rights of Dalits: How progressive is Tamil Nadu?
Tamil Nadu is not as progressive as we may think it is.
http://www.thenewsminute.com/articl...ressive-tamil-nadu-37616#sthash.26LwT3vn.dpuf

By Stalin Rajangam

At a village called Thirunalkondacheri in Kuttalam Taluk near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, a 100-year-old Dalit man Chellamuthu died earlier this month. In that village, the pathway leading to the cremation ground used by Dalits is not conducive for usage. So the Dalit family preferred to use the common pathway (common pathways are inaccessible to Dalits and this is the unwritten caste rule prevalent in Tamil Nadu).

Sensing that the caste-Hindus would not allow them to use the common pathway, the grandson of the deceased Dalit, Karthik, moved the High Court and got a favourable order that there is no legal bar to use the common pathway to undertake the funeral procession. Moreover it was stated in the order that the Nagapattinam district administration and police should take measures to ensure that the common path is accessible.

The government officials invited both the Dalits and caste-Hindus and held talks. However, the caste Hindus refused to accept the HC Order and reiterated that they will not allow the Dalits to carry the dead body through the common pathway. The officials instead of implementing the HC order took a stance to appease the caste-Hindus by creating a new pathway to carry the body. Dalits resisted this move and refused to take the body in the new pathway. The police did not pay heed so the Dalits attempted to self immolate themselves in protest.

Finally after arresting the protesting Dalits, the government machinery instead of implementing the law, went ahead and used the police to carry the dead body through the newly created path and buried it in the graveyard. So the government, which should protect the law, instead turned into a violator and wilfully engaged in contempt. This is the amount of respect shown by the villagers and officials towards an elderly villager who had lived for so many years in the village.

This incident is a classic example of how the government approaches caste-based issues. The caste-Hindus by refusing to accept the HC order have violated the law of the land but there was no action against them, on the other hand the Dalits who demanded the implementation of rule of law became victims of lathi charge, arrests and other police excesses.

For people who are outside of Tamil Nadu there exists a perception that Tamil Nadu is a progressive state, which questioned the hegemony of the Brahmins by enacting a law that ensures members of all castes to become priests. This is true. Going by this reasoning, the people, the government and political parties should have gained a sense of political maturity. However we would find that the image about Tamil Nadu that exists outside the state is not true if we delve deep into the local power relations in the state.

This Thirunalkondacheri incident is not an isolated incident that happened in some remote corner in Tamil Nadu but an expression of rage happening between different castes that one can encounter within the state. The dominant castes here are unable to digest the changes that have happened both at livelihood and political levels among the Dalits. This easily slips into a sense of stiffness, which is then communicated through violence against the Dalits. Allowing the Dalits to use the common pathway means endorsing their awareness which automatically translates as the dominant castes losing their grip of dominance in the local power structures and that is why they did not even mind violating the law. They believe that their traditional beliefs and caste pride are above law.

The distressing fact is that to encounter such caste based contentious issues there is no space or language or tools in the Tamil context. The earlier anit-caste dialectic questioned and stalled the domination of Brahmins but never translated into establishing the rights of the Dalits and this incident is yet another example of that lacuna. Moreover, it is the beneficiaries of the anti-Brahmin movement who are involved in denying the Dalits their rights.

The recent rise in cases of (dis)honour killings, caste based discrimination, anti-Dalit collective should be taken into account not only to assess this particular incident but also the palpable silence and refusal to speak on these forms of caste dynamics. Contemporary Tamil political language stands away from the previously held perspectives of social reformation and is based on immediate political gains. The current electoral politics to be precise is guided by the idea of caste majoritarianism, so both the ruling party and other political parties are careful not to involve in any act or decision making process that would antagonise the numerically powerful castes.

This is what has happened in the village, while solving conflicts at the local level the government that is run by the idea to satisfy the majority castes to gain votes has instead of implementing the law suppressed the Dalits who demanded its implementation.

During the 1990s in a village called Kudithangi which comes under this region, the dominant caste of Vanniyars in the same way refused to allow the Dalits carry the dead body of a Dalit, but then S.Ramadoss, the founder of Pattali Makkal Katchi and a prominent leader of the Vanniyars came forward and carried the body. We have that history, but it was the same Ramadoss who recently formed an anti-Dalit federation against the Dalits.

When the society for various reasons becomes caste-oriented both political parties and the government for their own needs and to fulfil their aspirations and most importantly to stay in power they learn to use caste. Many leaders who maintained a deafening silence on this incident were found issuing lengthy statements on the need to conduct jallikattu. Questioning and opposing caste is a challenging one and do not provide immediate gains whereas events like jallikattu which carry cultural and traditional aspects are both emotional and undemanding which provides immediate political benefits so they choose to address the latter.

(The writer is a Dalit scholar based in Tamil Nadu)
 
Dalits get badly treated everywhere not tamilnadu alone.

Even in northern states like haryana , UP, rajasthan ,bihar , MP , tormentors are intermediate castes-jats [who themselves are upper shudras], yadav and upper caste landlords. dalit lynching for any of

them getting caught with upper caste girls is not unusual.Even panchayats composed of elders from other castes impose punishments on them . But Kanshi ram brought

some semblance of unity of dalits to counteract the other castes and made possible for them to get political power in UP.Mayawathi represents their aspirations.

They are a powerful vote bank in any election and in alliance with muslims can swing elections In UP.In bihar of course we had Manjhi and Paswan representing their

interests.
 
OP
OP
mkrishna100

mkrishna100

Active member
In Tamil Nadu the Dalits are unable to Organize as a big political force like the way Kanshi Ram , Mayawathi Organized in UP and only visible Dalit leadership is Thirumavalavan of VCK Party and Dr.Krishna Swamy of Puthiya Thamizahagam .
 
In Tamil Nadu the Dalits are unable to Organize as a big political force like the way Kanshi Ram , Mayawathi Organized in UP and only visible Dalit leadership is Thirumavalavan of VCK Party and Dr.Krishna Swamy of Puthiya Thamizahagam .

Krishnaji,

Why are the Dalits of TN unable to unite as one political force?
 
This is the problem with dalit scholars of Tamilnadu.

They still believe that brahmins were targeted because the society wanted to reform. Sadly that is not the truth.

I take just quote a few lines from the "Dalit Scholar's' post to highlight this misunderstanding:

The officials instead of implementing the HC order took a stance to appease the caste-Hindus by creating a new pathway to carry the body. Dalits resisted this move and refused to take the body in the new pathway. The police did not pay heed so the Dalits attempted to self immolate themselves in protest.
Finally after arresting the protesting Dalits, the government machinery instead of implementing the law, went ahead and used the police to carry the dead body through the newly created path and buried it in the graveyard. So the government, which should protect the law, instead turned into a violator and wilfully engaged in contempt. This is the amount of respect shown by the villagers and officials towards an elderly villager who had lived for so many years in the village.


The officials are mostly from the middle castes whom "The Dalit Scholar" calls caste hindus. why is he reluctant to call by the appropriate name this group of castes? Perhaps he belongs to one of these castes and not really a dalit. How can you expect these officials to behave in a different way. They owe every thing-their selection, promotion, periodic pay increases, their convenient postings in comfortable stations and even the turning a blind eye to their extracting bribes regularly-every thing to their caste. From the peon in a Government office to the higher official level it is well oiled machinery. The domain has been cleverly demarkated in a friendly way among the dominent middle castes. They just tolerate the dalits because there is reservation for dalits too which can not be changed or abrogated by these middle castes. So the scholar's lamenting is just a pretension.

This Thirunalkondacheri incident is not an isolated incident that happened in some remote corner in Tamil Nadu

Yes. Keel Venmony, Vachathi, Uththapuram and many more. The "dalit Scholar" should note that in none of these incidents brahmins were involved.

In Keelvenmony it was the Naicket/Naidu land lords who burnt alive the dalit labourers with family inside their huts in the darkness of night. No brahmins were involved.

In Vachathi, it was the Government officials and policemen who raped, maimed and killed the tribal women folk-irrespective of their age- in the name of anti sandalwood smuggling operation. And the court cases took such a long time that many of the culprits died their natural death in freedom when the judgment ultimately came. No brahmins were involved.

In Uththapuram to avoid caste pollution the pillais of that village built a wall segregating the dalits and pillai families and insisted on having that wall despite protests by dalits.

The distressing fact is that to encounter such caste based contentious issues there is no space or language or tools in the Tamil context. The earlier anit-caste dialectic questioned and stalled the domination of Brahmins but never translated into establishing the rights of the Dalits and this incident is yet another example of that lacuna. Moreover, it is the beneficiaries of the anti-Brahmin movement who are involved in denying the Dalits their rights.

The earlier dialectic that questioned and stalled the domination of brahmins was actually no dialectic. It was a clever political tool invented by the dominent middle castes of Tamilnadu to put down brahmins and take them away from any future political reckoning and to preserve perpetually the tight grip over the dalit labour who were needed to work in the vaste fields of TN and to clean their junk. A simple class struggle between the well employed caste and unemployed castes was converted into a Hitlerite hatred movement cleverly to intimidate brahmins. So in that so called dialectic there was no agenda point to empower dalits or to establish their rights. The last line in the above quote is the only truth.

Contemporary Tamil political language stands away from the previously held perspectives of social reformation and is based on immediate political gains. The current electoral politics to be precise is guided by the idea of caste majoritarianism, so both the ruling party and other political parties are careful not to involve in any act or decision making process that would antagonise the numerically powerful castes.

Right from the beginning it was designed to be just that. If dalits believed that they will get justice from these middle castes, they were asking for the moon. It was designed to be majoritarianism and it will remain majoritarianism.

Questioning and opposing caste is a challenging one and do not provide immediate gains whereas events like jallikattu which carry cultural and traditional aspects are both emotional and undemanding which provides immediate political benefits so they choose to address the latter.

Even Jallikattu has caste overtones which can not be denied. Perhaps the dalit scholars would not like to say it openly. But any one who is familiar with this sport and the rural Tamilnadu know s the truth for what it is.
 
Yes to jallikattu, but No to rights of Dalits: How progressive is Tamil Nadu?
Tamil Nadu is not as progressive as we may think it is.
http://www.thenewsminute.com/articl...ressive-tamil-nadu-37616#sthash.26LwT3vn.dpuf

By Stalin Rajangam

At a village called Thirunalkondacheri in Kuttalam Taluk near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, a 100-year-old Dalit man Chellamuthu died earlier this month. In that village, the pathway leading to the cremation ground used by Dalits is not conducive for usage. So the Dalit family preferred to use the common pathway (common pathways are inaccessible to Dalits and this is the unwritten caste rule prevalent in Tamil Nadu).

Sensing that the caste-Hindus would not allow them to use the common pathway, the grandson of the deceased Dalit, Karthik, moved the High Court and got a favourable order that there is no legal bar to use the common pathway to undertake the funeral procession. Moreover it was stated in the order that the Nagapattinam district administration and police should take measures to ensure that the common path is accessible.

The government officials invited both the Dalits and caste-Hindus and held talks. However, the caste Hindus refused to accept the HC Order and reiterated that they will not allow the Dalits to carry the dead body through the common pathway. The officials instead of implementing the HC order took a stance to appease the caste-Hindus by creating a new pathway to carry the body. Dalits resisted this move and refused to take the body in the new pathway. The police did not pay heed so the Dalits attempted to self immolate themselves in protest.

Finally after arresting the protesting Dalits, the government machinery instead of implementing the law, went ahead and used the police to carry the dead body through the newly created path and buried it in the graveyard. So the government, which should protect the law, instead turned into a violator and wilfully engaged in contempt. This is the amount of respect shown by the villagers and officials towards an elderly villager who had lived for so many years in the village.

This incident is a classic example of how the government approaches caste-based issues. The caste-Hindus by refusing to accept the HC order have violated the law of the land but there was no action against them, on the other hand the Dalits who demanded the implementation of rule of law became victims of lathi charge, arrests and other police excesses.

For people who are outside of Tamil Nadu there exists a perception that Tamil Nadu is a progressive state, which questioned the hegemony of the Brahmins by enacting a law that ensures members of all castes to become priests. This is true. Going by this reasoning, the people, the government and political parties should have gained a sense of political maturity. However we would find that the image about Tamil Nadu that exists outside the state is not true if we delve deep into the local power relations in the state.

This Thirunalkondacheri incident is not an isolated incident that happened in some remote corner in Tamil Nadu but an expression of rage happening between different castes that one can encounter within the state. The dominant castes here are unable to digest the changes that have happened both at livelihood and political levels among the Dalits. This easily slips into a sense of stiffness, which is then communicated through violence against the Dalits. Allowing the Dalits to use the common pathway means endorsing their awareness which automatically translates as the dominant castes losing their grip of dominance in the local power structures and that is why they did not even mind violating the law. They believe that their traditional beliefs and caste pride are above law.

The distressing fact is that to encounter such caste based contentious issues there is no space or language or tools in the Tamil context. The earlier anit-caste dialectic questioned and stalled the domination of Brahmins but never translated into establishing the rights of the Dalits and this incident is yet another example of that lacuna. Moreover, it is the beneficiaries of the anti-Brahmin movement who are involved in denying the Dalits their rights.

The recent rise in cases of (dis)honour killings, caste based discrimination, anti-Dalit collective should be taken into account not only to assess this particular incident but also the palpable silence and refusal to speak on these forms of caste dynamics. Contemporary Tamil political language stands away from the previously held perspectives of social reformation and is based on immediate political gains. The current electoral politics to be precise is guided by the idea of caste majoritarianism, so both the ruling party and other political parties are careful not to involve in any act or decision making process that would antagonise the numerically powerful castes.

This is what has happened in the village, while solving conflicts at the local level the government that is run by the idea to satisfy the majority castes to gain votes has instead of implementing the law suppressed the Dalits who demanded its implementation.

During the 1990s in a village called Kudithangi which comes under this region, the dominant caste of Vanniyars in the same way refused to allow the Dalits carry the dead body of a Dalit, but then S.Ramadoss, the founder of Pattali Makkal Katchi and a prominent leader of the Vanniyars came forward and carried the body. We have that history, but it was the same Ramadoss who recently formed an anti-Dalit federation against the Dalits.

When the society for various reasons becomes caste-oriented both political parties and the government for their own needs and to fulfil their aspirations and most importantly to stay in power they learn to use caste. Many leaders who maintained a deafening silence on this incident were found issuing lengthy statements on the need to conduct jallikattu. Questioning and opposing caste is a challenging one and do not provide immediate gains whereas events like jallikattu which carry cultural and traditional aspects are both emotional and undemanding which provides immediate political benefits so they choose to address the latter.

(The writer is a Dalit scholar based in Tamil Nadu)

To me, this news item appear to be totally bogus, written only with the perspective of starting some trouble with the oncoming assembly election in mind. Consider the contradictions in the story:

(a) Instead of finding means to expeditiously dispose off the dead body as per customs, the grandson of the deceased makes an application in Madras High Court;

(b) The death occurred in a village near Mayiladuthurai and the distance to Chennai from there is about 275 kms requiring at least 6 hours journey time from station to station leaving aside journey time from village to Mayiladuthurai and local conveyance at Chennai. He approached the High Court on the same day and obtained the requisite permission same day? Seems very unlikely, but for argument sake let us take it was got done.

(c) No Government department, including the police would act unless the Court orders is received by them. How the Court orders were received by the local police or was communicated is left to the imagination of the readers.

(d) Now the police department instead of implementing Court orders calls the meeting of villagers and sets about to arrange a meeting between various communities is yet again unbelievable stuff as if the District Collector is unaware of contempt proceedings in case of dishonouring the High Court order.

(e) Now further unbelievable stuff. The district administration starts to build a new pathway !! as if there is no system or procedure for sanction or approval civil construction and there is no CAG to audit the work.

(f) And in all probability the Government department finished building the new pathway in 2-3 hours flat? lol

(g) It is unspecified who carried the dead body to the grave (just naming it as District administration) but it would be a joke of the century to expect on duty police to carry the dead body on someone else's behalf.

(i) The Dalits are now not concerned with the burial of the dead body but are interested in protesting about carrying the dead body along common pathway and in threatening self immolation.

(j) Very incredible that the dalits who had the foresight to approach the High Court for advance remedial measures did not seek legal remedies for their wrongful confinement, police excesses and contempt of Court orders and thought mere writing in some blog would set right the matter.

(k) The usual bogey of mention of (dis)honour killings, jallikattu, caste discrimination, Dalit Scholar, Dalit Intellectual, S. Ramadoss, PMK etc. are sure indications of stirring the boiling pot of election politics.
 
OP
OP
mkrishna100

mkrishna100

Active member
Krishnaji,

Why are the Dalits of TN unable to unite as one political force?

I am not an expert on Caste Politics but of late listening to the various comments from Dalit Intellectuals in this JalliKAttu issue ,I found that they accuse both the DMK ,AIADMK as being dominated by Upper Caste ( these are Non Brahmin Upper Castes ) who do not want the Dalits to come up and even this jallikattu is to show off their caste supremacy . There is no takers for following up of issues related to the atrocities on the Dalits except for some token statements here and there and that was well visible in the death of Dalit Boy Illavasran , Gokulraj and also the suicide of Lady DSP Vishnu Priya . No Party wanted to sympathise with the victims fearing the loss of votes from the Upper Caste ( here I mean non brahmin upper caste ) .
 
(The writer is a Dalit scholar based in Tamil Nadu)

I did a little bit of google search on this "Scholar" and this is what his own blog says about him:

Stalin.R : One of the Indian citizens born in Mayiladuthurai on April 14,1983. His father name is S.Rajangam ( Retd Sheristadar in Nagapattinam District Court ). His mother name is R.Anbazaghi ( Home maker ). He did his school in Sri Guru Gnana Sambandar High School, Mayiladuthurai. He did his H.S.C in D.B.T.R school of Mayiladuthurai. He has two elder brothers, 2 elder sisters and a younger brother. His first elder brother is Maran, Executive Engineer in N.L.C Neyveli. Second elder brother is Azhagiri, Medical Doctor in Sri Muthukumaran Hospital, Mangadu. His younger brother is Anbunithi, Program analyst in CTS, Bangalore. His two elder sisters got married. They are house wives.

http://stalin140483.blogspot.in/2011/04/stalinr-wiki.html

Of course there are quite a few paDikkAdha-meDhais but in general but a H S C guy claiming to be a scholar needs a bit more convincing.
 
Brahmins did discriminate against dalits.However they were non violent in dealing with dalits. They still are not favourably disposed towards them and not accept to have any

transactions with them or ignore them.

Violence that is let loose on them is mostly by the intermediate castes in villages and other places.Harshest treatment is

reserved for them'

I wish the dalits would combine into a single force to be counted electorally like UP.

In bihar maha dalits and paswans dalits [I forget the caste name] did not cooperate and paid for it electorally though both fought the election in alliance with bjp.

Only if dalits and muslims combine to fight elections They can make themselves heard. In fact many dalits converted to muslim religion to escape persecution in

meenakshipuram.

Munshi Premchand wrote a story ' sadgathi' made into a film by satyajit ray where in , a dalit who is unwell is made to wield an axe in hot sun to cut wood by a

upper caste landlord and when he dies as a consequence, he and others do not help to cremate him as he is dalit. ultimately his body is put on a cloth sheet,

dragged to be dumped outside the village for burying.Om puri played the memorable role of the dalit.
 
Last edited:
Even among Dalits there are 2 or 3 sub-castes as Parayar, Pallar etc.
The differences among them are started to narrow down.
But the leaders like Thirumavalavan, Krishnaswamy, John Pandian are having their own political outfits for their own ambitions to fulfil.
 
JalliKAttu is an exclusive domain of " Mukkulathor" / Thever community.

They are the most powerful community in Tamilnadu.

No political party have the guts to ignore them. All wants to woo them.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks