Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in including the Narikoravar community in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tamil Nadu.
Observing that Narikoravars were one of the most vulnerable communities in Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister, in her letter, said they were nomadic and extremely poor and deserved all the Constitutional protection and welfare measures.
“Justice in the form of inclusion of the community in the list of STs has eluded the Narikoravars for far too long. They urgently need to be provided all Constitutional guarantees envisaged by Article 342 of the Constitution of India to enable them to lead a life of equality and dignity with other citizens of India,” she said.
Pointing out that based on the request made by her government, the note for the Union Cabinet for inclusion of ‘Narikoravar grouped with Kuruvikkaran community’ in the list of STs of Tamil Nadu was now ready for discussion, Jayalalithaa urged the PM to take prompt action in this regard and ensure that the necessary legislation is moved in the current session of Parliament itself.
The Tamil Nadu government has been repeatedly writing to the Centre in this regard, the Chief Minister said, adding that the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs in its letter dated July 29 had sought the name of ‘Narikoravar grouped with Kuruvikkaran’ in its Hindi version in order to enable the Ministry to finalise the draft note for the Union Cabinet and the Tamil Nadu government had provided the information.
The Chief Minister also referred to the State government’s letter to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs on July 16, 2012 wherein her government had explained the urgent need for inclusion of ‘Narikoravar Grouped with Kuruvikkaran community’ in the STs’ list.
In the letter, it has been clarified to the Centre regarding the spelling of the name of the community in the colloquial and formal forms in Tamil, and the use of the names Narikoravan, Narikuravan and Narikoravar interchangeably to represent the community.
It was also clarified that Kuruvikkaran is an additional colloquial name of the community in Tamil Nadu, used to refer to one of their transitional occupations of trapping birds, especially sparrows, for which the Tamil word is ‘Kuruvi’.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that the Lokur Committee and the Joint Committee of Parliament and the Registrar General of India had recommended and agreed for the inclusion of this community in the Scheduled Tribes’ list.