TN party announces hunger strike at 10,000 places demanding removal of community from SC list
Devendra Kula Vellalars were stigmatised with ‘unwanted’ identities such as dalits and harijans for the past 7 decades as all 77 castes in the SC list were seen in the same light, said Krishnaswamy
CHENNAI: The Puthiya Thamizhagam party announced a one-day hunger strike at 10,000 places across Tamil Nadu demanding regrouping of Devendra Kula Vellalars and removal of the community from the Scheduled Caste list.
In a statement, the party leader Dr K Krishnaswamy said both the central and state governments have failed to fulfil their promise to recognise six castes -- Pallar, Pannadi, Kudumbar, Kaalaadi, Muppar and Devendrakulathar -- under one title ‘Devendrakula Vellalars’.
History and identity play crucial roles in the development of the people of any community. “Only on the grounds of financial backwardness did the British government include us in the Depressed Class (DC) in 1920. Subsequently, we were included in the SC list, which is a gross historical mistake,” he said.
The statement said that the community members traditionally owned land and were involved in farming for centuries. “The legacy of our castes and culture has been mentioned in several Tamil literatures and epics. Lands from the Devendra Kula Vellalars were snatched by medieval rulers at different points of time which left the community in poverty,” he added.
Devendra Kula Vellalars were stigmatised with ‘unwanted’ identities such as dalits and harijans for the past seven decades since all 77 castes under the SC list were perceived in the same light, said Krishnaswamy. “Many castes included under BC and MBC lists protected their caste pride while enjoying reservation benefits. Similarly, we wanted to regain our past pride by leaving the SC list,” he said.
Krishnaswamy said party members will hold a hunger strike between 9 am and 6 pm on October 6 at 10,000 places across the state.
An expert committee which was constituted last year to look into the demand of Puthiya Thamizhagam is said to have submitted its recommendations to the state government. However, the decision appears to have not been taken yet.