The National Commission for Scheduled castes has directed to probe the DMK party meeting in Coimbatore where a Rajya Sabha MP Anthiyur Selvaraj, belonging to the Arundathiyar community was asked not to mingle with the party seniors and to sit in a chair below the dais. It is DMK’s way of showing honour to the Dalit community.
People in Tamil Nadu knows what DMK preaches and speaks are different from what it follows. We can cite so many examples. Despite the government’s slew of measures for SC/ST communities welfare, ending decades-long social discrimination, some caste Hindus have been allegedly following untouchability, separate and stainless silver cups, denying them entry into temple rituals in some parts by the caste Hindus in Tamil Nadu.
Now DMK has been caught on the wrong foot for openly practising untouchability, ill-treating an MP before the eyes of the public. The Central government moved a bill earlier this month for categorizing seven SC communities into Devendra Kula Vellalar. DMK president MK Stalin, as part of his election campaign, attended a meeting in Erode on 22th February. The T N Payalam meeting was coordinated, managed, scripted and directed by Prashant Kishore’s I-PAC team like all Stalin’s public engagements. The district secretaries of the party were asked to sit in a corner of the dais in an ordinary plastic chair. They were not allowed to sit next to Stalin. Nobody will be allowed to sit or stand beneath the dais. But on the 22nd meeting, before starting the meeting, DMK Deputy general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Anthiyur Selvaraj were asked to stand separately.
After Stalin came to the dais, Selvaraj was allowed to sit in a separate chair below the dais i.e. in the lower tier. Like Satan preaches sermon or kettle calling the pot black, Stalin remarked that CM Palaniswamy has a sudden special concern and love for the Arunthanthiyar, classified as SC community, by announcing statue and memorial for Pollan who belonged to the community. Pollan, commander of the Theeran Chinnamalai army, fought bravely. He was involved in gathering secrets from the British Army to share with his king. “CM had, in fact, made this announcement with an eye for the election. In February 2019, in a meeting held at Sangagiri, I announced the same for Pollan. When my father was CM, he in 2008 announced a sub reservation for this community. When I was the Dy CM, I moved a bill in the state assembly and a GO was issued within two weeks. So the entire credit goes to me,” said Stalin.
DMK cadres said that if he had got a reservation for the Arunthathiyar community, he should have given MP Anthiyur Selvaraj a chair on the dais along with him to prove that no discriminatory practice in DMK. “People came to know Stalin’s dual standard of treating Sc/St communities only after they see how Selvaraj was treated before their own eyes. DMK, which has been branded as anti-Hindu, now, it seems, may lose SC/ST vote banks because of this attitude. BJP appointed L Murugan, a Dalit, as chief of TN and made VP Duraiswamy, former DMK dy. Speaker of the state assembly, as vice president. They are not discriminated against. BJP accepted Puthiya Tamizhagam’s demands in categorize seven subgroups into one”, says political observers.
National Commission for Safai Karamcharis chairman, M Venkatesan, has directed Anju Bala, a member of the commission to take immediate action against DMK chief M K Stalin for his offending hurtful and disgusting act in DMK public meeting at Tamil Nadu which was published in Dinamalar Tamil daily on 23rd February. In the letter dated 25th of this month, Venkatesan said “ it is informed you that the DMK party leader M K Stalin said that we are the ones who gave separate reservation to Arunthathiyar community in the state of Tamil Nadu but before the meeting began, the DMK co-general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Anthiyur Selvaraj was kept standing alone near the stage by the I-PAC team, then after Mr M K Stalin came on Decorated stage, he was separated and seated alone in dais of the downstairs of the decorated stage. This is the most abusive, intentional and offended abominable way as well as the hurtful act of Mr M K Stalin in an insulting not only to the individual but to all in the society belongs to Schedule castes. Hence it is recommended that an enquiry needs to be conducted on the above-said matter as per the Schedule case and Schedule Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) act on suo moto basis and please keep informed to my office about the action taken”.
Senior Journalist Nambi Narayanan said “there is no second opinion that DMK is a party for upper castes. There were two-tiered daises in a DMK meeting. One under another like a sleeper class in trains. DMK questioned Jayalalithaa who did not allow party seniors to sit next to her. She never allowed separate sitting arrangement for Dalits like what Stalin did recently. Karunanidhi appointed a one-man commission under the chairmanship of justice Janardhanan who left within 8 months under pressure. The commission’s report never seen the light of the day. Why his elder brother MK Azhagiri was living in Madurai because he married to a Dalit girl. DMK family never accepted his marriage with her and did not allow him in any family functions. Caste conflicts have been in the DMK’s first family right from Karunanidhi’s days. It is highly prevalent in the party too. Justice party, DMK did not do anything for Dalits. It was a party of upper-caste Hindus like Mudaliar and Reddiyars. PTR Palanivel Rajan son‘s remarks against barbers invited ire. Dayanidhi Maran also faced criticism for making a comment after meeting with Chief Secretary.
RS Bharati had once said that SCs could become judges in the higher judiciary because of DMK’s alms. Even panchayat presidents who are from the SC communities are not allowed to sit the chair meant for them and discharge duties. If anybody believes DMK is following social justice, he is a madman. People are under the falsified impression or delusion that because of Periyar SCs were freed from social evils. If the DMK claims that it is for Dalits, it should have made former union minister 2G fame A Raja as its general secretary after the death of K Anbazhagan. Durai Murugan is also community-based. RS Bharti’s speech was spontaneous and showed what was in his heart and it is not a slip of tongue. No other party has community biased thinking, views in the state. DMK has been blaming Brahmins at a higher level and oppressing Dalits at the bottom level. DMK has no connection with social justice. We can see in BJP, President Ram Nath Govind is a Dalit, TN Chief Murugan is also a Dalit. BJP made M Venkatesan as national safai karamcharis chairman. BJP has more SC, ST community members as MPs. DMK is an anti -Dalit party. DMK did not comment on the recent bill on Devendra Kula Vellalar.”
DMK Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharati said last year that it was only because of the Dravidian movement that Dalits were given alms and rose to become judges in Tamil Nadu. Referring to a judge, he reportedly said that many Dalits were inducted into the judiciary because of the indulgence of the DMK leadership during former chief minister M Karunanidhi’s tenure. He is facing a court case now in this connection.
Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran accused the then Chief Secretary K Shanmugam of humiliating a DMK MP delegation, saying ‘ are we third rate citizens? Oppressed? He was allegedly alluding to the manner in which SC/STs were ill-treated, discriminated by some caste dominant Hindu communities. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes sought an action taken report last year.
V Saridha, president of J Krishnapuram Panchyat in Coimbatore told media persons in August last that P Balasubramanian, a caste Hindu and a DMK cadre, has been hurling casteist slurs at her whenever she passed by their localities. “He and his aides have been preventing me from discharging my duties” she claimed.
Icchipalayam Panchayat president Rajkumar, a dalit, was forced to sit on floor while In Kodumudi DMK block level secretary Chinnaswamy sitting on the chair. SHRC had issued notice to District collector to file a detailed report.
In Mel Bhuvanagiri block Theruku Thittai Panchayat president Rajeswari Saravana Kumar, from a SC community, was not allowed to sit on the chair at meetings or hoist the national flag. Unable to bear the ill treatment, she lodged a complaint. These are only a few to mention.