TIRUPPUR: Tamil Nadu has done away with the use of caste identity in names. But name boards in several roads in Palladam still carry the caste name. Social activists claim that despite complaints to the Palladam municipality and the district administration, the boards have not been removed.
President of Palladam Consumer Awareness Council, KVS Manikumar, said, “Names of the street boards bearing caste names are existing in Palladam for several decades. Streets used to be named after freedom fighters, social activists and celebrities in their memory or contribution to society. Those times have gone. We speak of social justice and social reforms but allow display of caste names. The streets with caste names can create issues among youth.”
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) Tiruppur-South secretary said, “For several years, we have been seeking removal of caste names from street boards. There are 18 wards in Palladam Town Municipality and many street names bear caste names. In Ward two, there is a street called ‘Harijan Colony’ which denotes the Scheduled Caste community. In the same ward, there are many streets ending with caste name ‘Gounder’. The names have been around for more than 40 years. Even when new boards were installed last year, the caste was not dropped.”
Speaking to TNIE, Palladam Municipality Commissioner J Vinayagam said, “Some social activists raised the sensitive issue today. But, the municipality has no powers to change street names. We will hold a consultative meeting with all councillors of Palladam City council and send a proposal to higher authorities in Chennai, who will decide on the matter.”