Tamil Nadu bans 'caste-driven' Tom Tom system

On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, V Irai Anbu, wrote to all district collectors, directing them to strictly ban the use of 'thandora' for making announcements.

Published: 03rd August 2022 07:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2022 07:49 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (Express Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The age-old caste-driven practice of beating 'thandora' (Tom Tom) to pass on important announcements from the government to the people has been done away with in Tamil Nadu. 

With this, the persistent efforts of VCK leader and MP D Ravikumar have borne fruit.

On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, V Irai Anbu, wrote to all district collectors, directing them to strictly ban the use of 'thandora' for making announcements.

In a handwritten letter, the Chief Secretary pointed out that science has evolved, technology has developed, and there is no need to continue with the 'thandora.' The letter further said that information can be passed on by fixing speakers in vehicles. The letter also mentions that strict action will be taken against those who violate the government's direction. 

In this regard, Ravikumar, thanked the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Chief Secretary on his Twitter account. His tweet says, "The 'Tandora system' has come to an end. My 15-year-old demand has been met." Also, he thanked the people on social media for endorsing his voice against the practice.

Two days back, he tweeted about the incident where Tom Tom was used to warn people of the floods in Cauvery river. He called it a "regressive act" and requested the Chief Minister to do away with the practice.

Speaking to TNIE, Ravikumar said the practice of beating Tom Tom and making announcement meant for the people has been in vogue since the period of kings. The practice was followed by the Britishers. 

The lower-level staff in the revenue department or the municipality were roped in for beating Tom Tom. The practice was linked to the caste system and only helped in maintaining the caste hierarchy, he said.

"In 2006, the then chief minister M Karunanidhi banned the practice of 'parivattam' wherein VIPs were given traditional temple honours. At that time itself, I as a legislator made an appeal to the CM to ban the practice. But it didn't materialize. 

However, Ravikumar added, that recently when there was a flood in Cauvery river people were alerted by beating Tom Tom. At the time, I brought this to the notice of chief minister MK Stalin and he saw to it that the system was banned.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp