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Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Politics |

Casteless Society and the Tamil Psyche

Much water has flown since the birth of the South Indian Protection Council, almost a century ago, which came to be known as Justice Party, transformed later as Dravida Kazhagam, which ultimately gave birth to various branches, and as on date has two major political players and many other minor players.  Right from the beginning, the objective of the movement was to abolish the caste system, and found an easy path by identifying Brahmins as the creators as castes and for achieving their goal of winning social justice and to create a caste less society, Brahmins were seen as a stumbling block for the progress of the Tamils.

Every other Tamil felt happy while listening to the rhetorics of the leaders who endorsed the Tamils as progressive people  and Brahmins as obscurantists, irrational and a people with retrograde views.  With the establishment of the common enemy, the movement had had a safe passage, since then, without realizing that it is making its followers more and more caste conscious who have regrouped themselves behind various caste organizations and caste oriented political outfits.

The leaders were vociferous on inter-caste marriages, self-respect marriages, getting thunderous applause from the audience they mobilized.  Since the Dravidian movement was intertwined with the cinemas, more and more progressive thinkers started making films, with the sole objective of eliminating the caste system, and their one and the only target had been the brahmin community.  Every alternate Tamil film portrayed Brahmins as clownish characters, and stories in which the girls of the community invariably arrives out of the caste were widely applauded and such  films were duly rewarded, with the active support of the so called progressive thinkers in politics and in the media. All these were going on for years, with their blessings because in their perception Brahminism and casteism were one and the same  and for which they were very much vociferous all along.

The leaders of the Dravidian movement were not unaware of the mood of their followers or they were not unable to test their pulse beat.  They could have  over come the hurdle by showing the only common enemy of the Tamils.  In order to ensure safety to their saddle they have segregated the students by opening separate hostels for OBCs and SCs and STs in the name of social justice.  The Tamils could neither move beyond nor introspect themselves.  And at the same time, the film makers devoted much of their time to project their own communities as mighty, there by making the new generation to take pride with their caste identity.

Under such a condition, a Dalit boy Elavarasan married  Divya two years ago and have taken refuge with the police and sought protection by approaching the judiciary, which sent shockwaves across the state, and all the progressives took to silence for three months. Suddenly the think tanks of the Dravidian movement and all the direct offshoots of the movement subjected themselves to metamorphosis and suddenly turned  ostrich birds on the day Elavarasan’s body was found near the railway track, leaving their byproducts to fight between themselves and settle the matter by themselves. Meanwhile, several villages near Dharmapuri witnessed arson, looting, loss of properties etc.,. All the brands of Dravidian parties came back only after the dusts settled.  Similarly, when another youth Gokulraj was done to death, they maintained silence.

The recent one is the gruesome murder of one Sankar in Udumalpet in broad daylight, in the presence of his young wife.  This being an election time, the progressive elements without addressing the issue and without going deep into the crux of the issue, by not attaching importance to the crime and any sympathy to the victim and his family, have readied themselves for the forth coming elections to the state assembly.  Now more voices are heard against ‘drama love marriages’ as they have named it conveniently.

The media also have a role to play.  They also have a duty to report the matter but also have to balance the issue by not taking sides with the families of the victims and using their intelligence found a new term as ‘ego killing’ replacing the old honor killing.  The services of the police has always remained praise worthy as they have strenuously worked hard to conclude the deaths either as suicides or as suspected deaths without unraveling such mystery shrouded deaths.

But in the case of Sankar, the police cannot do so, since, the murder crime happened in full public view.   How they are going to handle this case has to be observed, in the coming months. Whether they are going to take it up in their right earnest or succumb to political pressure will be known in the coming months.  But no section of the media has given a serious thought over this and made an analysis or to question the hypocritical attitude of the progressive thinkers in politics.

They have reported the matter like any other road accident or a routine crime.  No Arnab came forward to expose the politicians who have been playing with the lives of the youth and fish in troubled waters.  But Mr. T R Jawaher, editor of Vadapalani Talk, a freely distributed every week, has discussed the matter in his column Point Blank.  What the priced editions hesitate to write, is being done by an editor of a free journal.  Mr. Jawahar is known for his effective writing and impartial reporting.  Journalism is surviving in free journals and not in either pre paid media or post paid media.

Amrtheswaran Comal Mahadevan
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Amrtheswaran Comal Mahadevan

I am native of Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu, I am now retired from service in Punjab National Bank.
Amrtheswaran Comal Mahadevan
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