Inter-caste marriage sparks riot in Tamil Nadu, 148 dalit houses torched


K A Shaji, V Senthil Kumaran & Karthick S, TNN | Nov 9, 2012

Inter-caste marriage sparks riot in Tamil Nadu district, 148 dalit houses torched
Though 300 policemen were present, they failed to control the mob after being grossly outnumbered. The arson and looting continued till 9.30pm when additional police forces arrived on the scene.
DHARMAPURI: Outraged by the suicide of a man who felt humiliated after his daughter married a dalit boy in secret, a mob of non-dalits went on the rampage in three villages of Dharmapuri district, looting and burning houses of dalits late on Wednesday, police said.

The 2,500-strong mob set ablaze 148 houses in Natham, Anna Nagar and Kondampatti villages. They claimed that the “humiliation” caused by the marriage and the refusal of the dalits to send the woman back home had resulted in the suicide of G Nagarajan (48). The mob looted valuables before setting the houses on fire.

Though 300 policemen were present, they failed to control the mob after being grossly outnumbered. The arson and looting continued till 9.30pm when additional police forces arrived on the scene.

Talking to TOI on Thursday, IG (west zone) T P Sundaramoorthy said the situation was brought under control after an additional 1,000 personnel were deployed and more than 90 people arrested. Cases had been registered against 210 others, he said.

Nagarajan ended his life at his residence in Sellankottai, not far from the Natham dalit colony, on Wednesday evening. The autopsy was delayed because of frequent power cuts, and the body was handed over to his relatives only on Thursday evening. Later, police said, a group of dalits set fire to two houses belonging to non-dalits in Natham.

Govt announces compensation 

Announcing compensation of 50,000 to each family that lost its house and belongings, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said on Thursday that severe action would be taken against those responsible for the violence. In a statement, she said police had rushed to the spot and were taking necessary measures. She instructed the district authorities to extend all help to the affected in the violence.

Police said Nagarajan’s daughter Divya, 20, eloped with dalit youth Ilavarasan, 23, about a month ago, and they got married in a temple. As the non-dalits threatened them against entering Ilavarasan’s house in the Natham dalit colony, the couple approached the Salem police, seeking protection.

Meanwhile, the non-dalits conducted a ‘kangaroo’ court and directed the dalit family to return the woman on Wednesday. But Divya refused to obey them and made it clear that she would continue to live with Ilavarasan. Dharmapuri SP Asra Garg said the kangaroo court was held at Nayakkankottai village last week and the police were searching for those who took part in it and orchestrated the violence.

Fire tenders were not able to reach the villages in time because huge trees had been cut down on the roads to block them. Services of the Rapid Action Force had been requested to maintain law and order, he said.Dharmapuri collector R Lilly said the homeless had been put up in three government schools.

Politics stoking caste fire

In a state that boasts of being progressive, caste divide is rearing its ugly head once again. The violence that rocked Natham in Dharmapuri district on Wednesday has reversed a recent positive trend in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, once a hotbed of simmering caste tension between Vanniyars and dalits.

Activists point out that this is the first big caste violence in the last two decades in Dharmapuri. The last decade had seen leaders of the dominant communities in the region, the Vanniyars and the dalits, campaigning together for communal harmony.

“Tamil Nadu is a land of reformation. Usually, political and social leaders of the state advocate inter-caste marriages and successive state governments have encouraged progressive development. But in recent months, this positive trend has changed and a few caste leaders have been openly campaigning against inter-caste marriages,” said writer-politician D Ravikumar, state secertary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, a dalit party with a presence in the north. “They have indirectly encouraged killings in the name of honour and even ignited violence. This should be stopped through progressive initiatives,” he said.

Caste leaders have gone one regressive step further to warn activists against encouraging the union between couples of different castes and even issuing diktats against love marriages. PMK MLA J Guru, who heads the Vanniyar Sangam, the first avatar of the PMK, shocked progressive groups when he issued an open threat at a community meeting, forbidding inter-caste unions. Similarly, the Kongu Vellala Goundergal Peravai, which claims to represent the community, issued advertisements in newspapers calling a meeting of community members to oppose inter-caste marriages and launched a campaign against it.

Activists point out that the violence in Dhamrapuri had occurred in a hamlet which used to have a strong presence of the left movement. “The district was once the headquarters of the ‘naxalbari’ movement. Hence caste violence in such a place has come as a surprise,” said a police officer.

Well-known Tamil writer Manushaputhiran pointed out that political parties have been using caste as a tool to improve their prospects. “Caste feeling is not only a cultural issue now. Caste parties have been using it as a powerful political tool as well,” he said.

While there is a lack of cooperation between dalit and non-dalit leaders in southern Tamil Nadu to end the divide, PMK leader S Ramadoss and Dalit leader Thol Tirumavalavan made some efforts for communal amity in the northern belt. Ramadoss unveiled dalit leader Ambedkar’s statue in many places and the VCK in turn honoured him by awarding him the Ambedkar Award.

The caste tension between Vanniyars and dalits was seen to have ended in the early 2000 because of this truce between the two leaders, who came together under the umbrella of Tamil Protection Movement. But the bonhomie did not last and Ramadoss recently declared that his party would align only with caste parties for elections in the future.

 

Jayalalitha Achievements- Promoting and Validating Dowry


Dear all

A Full page ad in Times of India glared us today , larger than life Jayalalitha‘s Portrait and telling us her one year of achievements.

1. Rice at no cost

2. 4 grams of Gold for Thirumangalayam and Fianncial Assistance for women of marriageable age.  

WHAT ???

This adds legitimacy to Dowry, which is illegal and falls within , r Article 4-A- of the Dowry Prohibition Act , 1961

4-A. BAN ON ADVERTISEMENT-If any person,-


(a) offers, through any advertisement in any newspaper, periodical, journal or through any other media, any share in his property or if any money or both as a share in any business or other interest as consideration for the marriage of his son or daughter or any other relative.

(b) prints or publishes or circulates any advertisement referred to Cl. (a), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to fifteen thousand rupees:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

T.N. ups vigil as anti-Kudankulam activists threaten to intensify stir


A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
The Hindu–A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
 PTI, mAY 9, 2012

Authorities on Wednesday extended prohibitory orders and beefed up security in and around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as anti-nuclear activists threatened to intensify their stir against the Indo-Russian project from Thursday.

The district administration has extended the prohibitory orders from 2 km to 5 km radius of the plant since Wednesday morning.

Besides, 11 companies of Tamil Nadu Special Police and Tamil Nadu Armed Police have been deployed, in addition to the existing force in the area.

The police action followed information that People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the protest against the nuclear plant, was planning to intensify its stir from Thursday, since the State government did not respond to its demand for talks.

“It has been nine days now and the state government has not responded to our hunger-strike. So, we have called our supporters from five villages and would have a meeting to decide further course of action tomorrow,” PMANE activist M. Pushparayan said.

The activists’ move comes against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s assertion that the plant would go critical in the next 10 days and power generation would begin then.

Keywords: Anti-nuclear protests,

Bhopal survivors Support Koodankulam struggle


 

Observing Shahid Bhagat Singh Divas on 23 March, more than 250 survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster sat on a day-long fast in support of the Koodankulam struggle against the nuclear power plant. Condemning Tamilnadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa‘s act of charging Koodankulam protestors with “Sedition,” Bhopal survivors said that Bhagat Singh’s fate would have been no different in independent India than at the hands of the white colonial masters.

In December 2011, after waiting for 26 years, Bhopal victims staged a rail roko to press the Central and State Governments to submit accurate figures of dead and injured in a revised compensation claims case filed in the Supreme Court. Cases, including on serious charges of attempt to murder were registered against 2000 people, including elderly women and children. From Chattisgarh to Madhya Pradesh to Delhi to Tamilnadu, people in the Government are the same. “They see poor as objects of charity, pity, ridicule or as seditious upstarts that need to be taught a lesson for their audacity to speak out,” the survivors said.

While the Governments had filed a review petition reopening the 1989 settlement on grounds that casualty and injury figures were under-estimated in 1989, their current submissions too fall far short of the real figures. Survivors have said that Dow Chemical should pay at least $8 billion to address the compensation needs of all survivors and those bereaved. The Central Government is asking only for $1.2 billion.

“We’re reminders to the world that the State and Central Governments in India will only protect the rich. The residents of Koodankulam should be ready to accept that the Government will do nothing but hide any pollution from the plant, and will do nothing to rehabilitate or compensate those affected by the plant,” a group of five Bhopal organisations said.

The Nuclear Liability Act is the unfortunate result of the Bhopal struggle. Pained by the plight of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical that continued to remain in the eye of legal controversy despite the passage of more than two decades, Dr. Manmohan Singh tabled the Nuclear Liability Act to shield the perpetrators of any future nuclear Bhopals from liability.

The survivors have said that they will send a delegation of Bhopalis to Chennai in the coming month. The organisers of the Bhopal hunger strike included Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Manch, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Childre Against Dow Carbide.

For more information, contact in Chennai: Nityanand Jayaraman, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal: nity682@gmail.com@
In Bhopal: Rachna Dhingra. rachnya@gmail.com

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,233 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,766,361 hits

Archives

November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
%d bloggers like this: