THOOTHUKUDI: The survey ‘Theendamai Ayivu’ conducted by the Thoothukudi district unit of the CPM in around 40 remote villages in the district has revealed a plethora of atrocities committed against Dalits.
Revealing some of the findings to Express, CPM district secretary K Kanagaraj said some unimaginable forms of atrocities in practice came as a rude shock. “Can you answer instantly why a Dalit should not own a male dog?” he asked. The correct answer is to prevent a male dog grown by a Dalit from mating with a female dog grown by others, he answered. “This was found when volunteers went for the survey at T Shanmughapuram village in the district,” he said.
Kanagaraj informed that the ‘twin-tumbler’ system was no longer in practice. Instead, it had evolved into a ‘two-shop’ system where a Dalit could have tea from only a shop run by his or her community member. This practice is in vogue in some villages like Padarnthapuli, M Venkatesapuram, Adhinathapuram and Gurvarpatti.
“In almost all villages throughout Tamil Nadu, Dalit settlements are situated away from other residential areas so that the wind that passes through a Dalit settlement does not reach other pockets,” Kanagaraj said.
According to the survey, separate barber shops were found in almost all villages and where there was a single barber shop, a separate Dalit worker would work on a Dalit customer. “Most Dalits say that they are addressed as just yei, vaa, po,” Kanagaraj said.
He added that landless Dalits were suppressed more since they depended on caste Hindus for their livelihood by working as coolies. “Providing lands to Dalits would considerably reduce suppression”, he said. He underlined that only around 40 villages were surveyed and added that many more new forms of untouchability would come to light if a proper study was taken up on a large scale.