Tamil Nadu: Perambalur hairdressers decide to boycott LS poll

The government should introduce a separate law to protect our community.” The district alone has around 15,000 voters from the community, he said.
Representative image
Representative image  ( Express Illustrations )

PERAMBALUR: Complaining issues like caste discrimination plaguing their community have not been addressed despite taking them to the notice of political leaders several times, hairdressers in Perambalur and Chidambaram constituencies have announced a boycott of the upcoming general election in protest.

K Manikandan, Perambalur district secretary of Tamil Nadu Maruthuvar Samuga Nala Sangam and Mudithiruthuvor Thozhilalar Nala Sangam, said, “We are suffering discrimination in several villages from dominant castes. We are particularly unable to attend temple festivals. They look down upon us with hatred. If we come face-to-face with them, they abuse us. The government should introduce a separate law to protect our community.” The district alone has around 15,000 voters from the community, he said.

Mentioning the government having supplied them with implements until about 15 years ago, he sought for the inclusion of a member from their community in the Tamil Nadu Unorganised Workers Welfare Board for better representation.

Outfit district president R Ravichandran said, “Many of our children after completing their studies are not getting jobs. They come back to the community profession also when they don’t get enough salary in private companies.”

P Selvaraj, a barber from Annamangalam, said discrimination was prevalent in his village.

Mentioning a practice of the village leaders collecting “tax” during temple festivals from every household, he claimed that members of his community are not directly approached for payment. “My mother’s body was not allowed to the burial ground as I had not paid the tax. Only after I paid about ‘Rs 5,000, I was allowed to perform her last rites, he added.

While mentioning the issues having been put forth to the district secretaries of the DMK, AIADMK and the BJP during all elections, he said none of them acted on them. “As a result, barbers from Perambalur district have announced that they will boycott the election and have pasted notices in front of their houses,” he added.

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