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Resentment brews as 'Thiyya' community of Kerala demand 'distinct identity'

The Thiyya community in Malabar, clubbed together with Ezhavas in the list of Other Backward Class (OBC) for reservation in government jobs, has started crying foul at the classification.

Published: 12th April 2018 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2018 02:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: The Thiyya community in Malabar, clubbed together with Ezhavas in the list of Other Backward Class (OBC) for reservation in government jobs, has started crying foul at the classification. Claiming a ‘distinct identity’ from Ezhavas, the Thiyyas want the government to enlist them as a separate group in the OBC list. The reason: The apprehension that Ezhavas are taking away most of their jobs within the quota.

According to Thiyya Mahasabha president U K Jayarajan, authorities do not have a breakup of  the number of Ezhavas and Thiyyas getting reservation in jobs. Since the two groups are clubbed as one, proportional representation is not being ensured, he alleged. The Thiyya Mahasabha is also planning legal recourse to get their demand accepted by authorities.

According to the Kerala Public Service Commission’s (PSC) reservation rules, 40 per cent quota is allowed for OBC. For direct recruitment to posts included in the Kerala Last Grade Service (KLGS), out of every 40 appointments, 11 shall be given to Ezhavas, Thiyyas and Billavas. For direct recruitment to posts other than those included in the KLGS, out of every 40 appointments, 14 shall be given to the three communities.

“The PSC itself has in a reply to our memorandum stated Ezhavas and Thiyyas are considered as one. When the final notification is issued, only ‘Ezhava’ is marked. Due to this, we do not have any data as to how many members of our community have got reservation benefits,” said Thiyya Mahasabha general secretary P V Lakshmanan.

‘Political conspiracy’
SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellapally Natesan doubts a political conspiracy hatched by the CPM. “We’ve not differentiated between Ezhavas and Thiyyas when it comes to appointment in educational institutions run by the SN Trusts in Malabar. For years, both communities have co-existed closely. A sudden demand for a distinct identity makes one doubtful of the motive,” he said.

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