THANJAVUR: Retired Madras High Court Justice K Chandru on Thursday said untouchability is being practised in novel forms. Inaugurating the third State conference of the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) in Thanjavur, he said the struggle against untouchability and atrocities perpetrated on the Scheduled Castes have been going on for more than 80 years in east Thanjavur area of the erstwhile combined Thanjavur district.
Though these struggles led to abolition of old forms of untouchability, new methods of untouchability are being practised. Chandru pointed out Dalits even now cannot buy land and houses vacated by caste Hindus in the villages. “Though people from other castes and religions could buy houses in areas where once landlords lived, Dalit people could not buy even if they had the money,” he said. He recalled Babasaheb Ambedkar’s stating that without annihilation of the caste structure and dismantling the Hindu Sanatan Dharma, it was difficult to abolish atrocities based on caste.
Lauding TNUEF’s work in safeguarding and retrieving the rights of the Scheduled Castes, Chandru said it was time for all organisations working against caste discrimination to join hands to fight social injustice perpetrated on Dalits. He also pointed out there was no contradiction between class struggle and struggle against caste discrimination. He said there is a need for movements guided by both Marxism and Ambedkarism.