Posts Tagged ‘panchayat president’

Pappa’s testimony

In Personal Narrative, Report on July 8, 2011 at 8:07 am

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the tenth of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. The Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation’s statement on the issue is here and a poem by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni, a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents, a personal narrative from Jayanthi and Chellamma,  a complaint that murdered Dalit Panchayat President Jaggaiyan had written, and testimonies from the wife and son of murdered Panchayat President Servaaran. Ravichandran has written about responses to the attack on Panchayat President Krishnaveni.

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Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Presidents of Panchayat Goverment conducted a Fact – Finding investigation into the murder of Jaggaiyan – Dalit Panchayat President, belonging to the Arundatiyar Community (Sub-Caste among Dalits), Nakkalamuthanpatti Panchayat, Kuruvikulam Panchayat Union, Tirunelveli District on  22.11.2006.

 

The Fact finding Team conducted its investigation between 27th November and 1st December 2006. It was headed by Ms.Amudha, Executive Committee Member of the Federation and included representatives from the state Executive committee of Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Presidents of Panchayat Government (TNFWPPG), and NGO leaders.

 

Arumugam alias Pappa, wife of victim P. Jaggaiyan, Nakkalamuthanpatti panchayat.

I am living in Nakkalanmutthan patti, with my husband and family.  I am working as a labourer.  We belong to Sakkiliyan Community.  My husband contested in the Panchayat election held last month He won in the election.  Thirupathi Raja s/o Ramasamy Naicker who belongs to our Panchayat contested and was elected as Vice President.  Thirupathi Raja belongs to Naicker Community. Regina Mary W/o.  Thirupathi Raja was Panchayat President last time.

Since for this election (October 2006) our panchayat is reserved for Scheduled Castes. Thirupathi Raja nominated my husband and spent a large sum of money. His purpose was to rule the panchayat using my husband as he expected my husband to obey him. Thirupathi Raja’s wife Regina Mary was Panchayat President for the past 5 years (2001-2006). On the occasion of taking oath as president, selection of vice president (Thirupathi Raja), Gram Sabha meeting conducted by Thirupathi Raja.

As is normal any new president will ask for the previous terms accounts.  To avoid these questions and to function as a benami, Thirupathi Raja nominated my husband and spent for his election.  When my husband asked to hand over the accounts the problem between them started.  He had a terrible hatred for dalits. Thirupathi Raja use to say “When I am seated on the chair you (my husband) are also sitting on the chair as an equal” which I detest.

In the Gram sabha meeting Thirupathi Raja passed a resolution that my husband should resign from the post and persuaded him to sign their resolution.  Jaggaiyan, my husband refused.  For one week he continued to harass my husband.  Thirupathi Raja with his friend Sedhuraja came to our house twice in the night and threatened us with death. Once I locked my husband in one room and told that he is not in house.   Fearing for our lives we went to our relative house in Velayudhapuram. We came back to my house the next day. My husband wrote a complaint about Thirupathi Raja but he didn’t give it to the police.

After election was over.  Thirupati compelled my husband, to obey him.  On 18.11.06 morning 9 A.M when I, my husband, Paramasivan S/o Perumal was talking in front of Panchayat Office, Thirupathi Raja and Regina Mary came and threatened my husband,  “You sakkiliya, have to run the panchayat according to my wish.  If not we will beat and kill you.  Nobody will support you”.  We became frightened. Again on 20.11.06 evening 6 P.M when I and my husband were in our house. Thirupathi raj and Regina Mary came and said “don’t ask about last term accounts we will give you (Rs.10,000) Ten thousand Rupees”.  We didn’t accept that.  Today on 22.11.06 Morning around 6.30 am I, my husband, my husband’s brother Srinivasan  and Moorthy S/o Perumal were talking infront of Panchayat Office. My husband went on a bicycle to Chippiparai to drink tea.  When my husband was going on his way, Vice President Thirupathi with a wooden log in his had and his wife Regina Mary came and stopped him and said “you are not listening to our words”.  Saying this Thirupathi beat my husband again and again with the wooden log on my husband’s head.  Blood came from my husbands head both from the right and left turn side.   My husband tried to protect himself the wooden log with his left hand but Thirupathi continued beating him brutally. Again he beat my husband on the left side of my husband head and he fell down saying “I am dead”.

When we shouted in shock, Thirupathi and Regina Mary saw us and threatened “If you go against us this will happen to you all”.  Then they dropped the wooden log and went west side.  When we went and saw my husband, he was dead.

Paramasivam, S/o.Perumal came there after hearing about the incident.  I went with him to Thiruvengadam Police Station and gave a complaint to Inspector, to take necessary actions for my husband’s death.  During Post Mortem sub inspector of Sankaran Koil interrogated me.

At 5.30 pm they handed over my husband’s body to me after Post Mortem.   During his burial ceremony no naicker people came.  I remember that besides myself, police, my mother in law, Srinivasan, were present.  Police helped us.  I was not given a copy of the Post Mortem report.  In my complaint I named Thirupathi Raja, Regina Mary and Sedhuraja as the three responsible for murder of my husband. But police didn’t take Sedhuraja’s name.  Since I do not know to write, what I said, the police wrote.  They also did not give me an FIR Copy.   My village people all supported us.  I received Rupees 1,50,000 from the collector’s office. The collector informed me that I will get the remaining 50,000 after the case was over.

Why Servaaran was murdered

In Personal Narrative, Report on July 4, 2011 at 10:00 am

The testimonies of Karupayee and Ramar, wife and son of Servaaran, from the Fact-finding Investigation Report into the alleged murder of Servaaran a Dalit Panchayat president from Thirunelveli District, March 2007

Human Rights – Kalam, Tirunelveli, Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) together with Human Rights Forum for Dalit Liberation (HRFDL) commissioned a Fact Finding Investigation into the death of Servaaran – Dalit Panchayat President, belonging to the Arundatiyar Community (Sub caste among Dalits) of Marthankinaru Panchayat, Kuruvikulam Panchayat Union, Tirunelveli District on 19.02.07.

Mrs. Karupayee, Age 55/07 W/o Late. Servaraan Muruthankinaru

I am residing in Arunthathiyar colony of Maruthankinaru Village.  My husband M. Servaraan s/o Mookandi was the Panchayat President of Maruthankinaru elected in October 2006.  I have two sons and three daughters.  My first son Ramar who is married, is working in a private school at Nagerkoil.  My second son Perumal is also married, now working as daily wage labourer in Kottayam.  My two daughters Pechhi, Ganapathi are married and living with their husbands.  My last daughter Kali aged 19 is unmarried and lives with me and works in the match industry. My husband is an agricultural labourer.  On 19.02.2007 (Monday) he took his torchlight and a stick at approximately 5.30 am to go to the toilet in a nearby thorn bush.  At around 6.00 am Kaliammal D/o Ramar a relative came to my house with my husband’s torchlight. She told me that my husband is lying down dead in the bush area.  I was shocked and ran to the spot.  My relatives, neighbours, Murugan s/o Saravaraan also came with me to the spot.

I found my husband’s body lying facing the ground in the thorn bush and he was dead.   The stick he used and one of his slippers was lying near by.

Mr. Harikrishnan and a section of the Thevars supported my husband during Panchayat election.  Harikrishnan’s wife Poolammal was Village Panchayat President for 15 years.  But for all practical purposes Harikrishna functioned as the defacto Panchayat President. They assured us that if any problems arose they would support us”.  So my husband contested in the election and became the president. Even after he became the President he worked as Thotti of the Panchayat Office.  He was not allowed to sit in his chair after becoming president.  Once when officers from B.D.O office came in January he was permitted to sit in his chair.

In the 2nd week of January Vice-President Sumati and her husband Neelaraja Rathinam did some development works without the knowledge of my husband like street lights, changing the drinking water pipeline etc., My husband questioned them for this. In retaliation Sumathi (Vice-President) in front of many people, abused my husband using the most foul language and cursing him about his caste.  Her husband also scolded my husband.  So my husband registered a complaint against both of them twice in Panavadali Chatiram Police Station. The Police Officials called Sumati, and her husband to the Police Station. The called my husband also. They did not take any action against Sumathi and her husband.

Sumati and her husband threatened my husband for giving a complaint against them.  My husband used to discuss all these problems with me and my daughter. We didn’t disturb our son as they are working outstation.

We are sure that Vice-President Sumathi and her husband Neelaraja Ratinan killed my husband.

Ramar, S/o Servaaran :-

I have studied upto 9th Std. My father helped us in education. My father was working as servant to Harikrishnan’s family. Harikrishnan financially helped us sometimes. 300 thevar families supported my father during elections. The other 300 thevars supported Chelladurai. Mr.Harikrishnan only spent Rs.50,000 for my father. My father also spent some of his own money during election. The present Vice President Sumathi and her family supported another candidate Chelladurai.

After elections, problem arose between Sumathi and my father. She and her husband Neelaraja Ratinam once abused my father saying “You Sakkiliyan dog, how dare you not obey us”. After this incident my father filed complaint in Panavadali Police Station. But the police being in favour of Sumathi the case was just compromised. The second time also my father filed a complaint in the same station, but no action was taken. If they had taken any action, this death would not have happened. Our father was a sweeper in Panchayat Office located in the Thevar’s area.

Often my father complained to my mother about the threats by the Vice-President. If we knew about these threats in advance we would have asked him to resign from the post. Police Officials and others tried to portray that my father was suffering from heart problem is a false statement. Three months ago my father had chickun Kunia fever and was treated for that. Otherwise he is a strong and healthy person.

On 19.2.07 early morning around 5.00am he went to the toilet in pallar’s area as we don’t have separate place for toilet. As it is very dark he took one stick and torch light with him. After sometime a relative girl R. Kaliammal who had also gone to toilet found a torch lying on the ground. She switching on the torch light and found Servaaran lying down on the ground. She came running and informed my mother and brother. We noticed swelling on the throat and chest. We tried to give him soda, did some first aid as we couldn’t believe that our father was dead. In the meantime Harikrishnan went and informed the police. Then D.S.P and Panavadali Police Inspector came to our house. They took my father’s body to Sankaran Koil Government Hospital. The police first registered a case under sec 174. After the protest by 300 people and various organisations police changed the FIR to sec 302 SC & ST Act. We received the body in the evening. After that the rituals and we buried our father.

I believe that the reasons for my father’s death is

-          Dominant caste hatred for dalits especially Arunthathiyar. They could not tolerate that a dalit being a president

-          Complaint of my father in the police station against Vice President

-          He refused to function as benamy president to Vice President.

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In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the ninth of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. The Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation’s statement on the issue is here and a poem by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni, a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents, a personal narrative from Jayanthi and Chellamma,  a complaint that murdered Dalit Panchayat President Jaggaiyan had written. Ravichandran has written about responses to the attack on Panchayat President Krishnaveni. Posts on this theme will resume after a few days.

Chellamma’s story

In Interview, Personal Narrative on July 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

தலித் முரசு இதழில் மே 2008-இல் வெளியான விருதுநகர் மாவட்ட பழைய அப்பனேரி பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர் செல்லம்மாளின் நேர்காணலின் ஒரு பகுதி. முழு கட்டுரை இங்கே.

An excerpt from an interview published in the Dalit Murasu in May 2008 with Pazhaiya Appaneri Panchayat President Chellamma from Virudhunagar district. The entire article in Tamil is online here.

சந்திப்பு: மா. பொன்னுச்சாமி

Interview: M. Ponnusamy

உங்களைப் பற்றி சொல்லுங்கம்மா…

Tell us about yourself, ma’am…

எம் பேரு செல்லம்மாள். எனக்கு 45 வயசு ஆகுது. நான் பொறந்தது சங்கரன்கோவில் பக்கம் எலந்தகுளம். வாக்கப்பட்டது பழைய அப்பனேரி. எனக்கு ஒரு ஆம்பள புள்ள, பொம்பள புள்ள ஒண்ணு. பொம்பள புள்ள இறந்து போச்சு. எங்க வீட்டுக்காரர் தலையாரி வேலை பாத்தாரு. குழந்தைங்க சின்ன வயசா இருக்கும் போதே வீட்டுக்காரர் இறந்து போனாரு. 23 வருசமா இந்த ஊருலதான் நானும், என் பையனும் குடியிருக்கோம். என் பையன் பழைய பிரசிடெண்ட்டோடு தீப்பெட்டி ஆபிசுலதான் வேலை பாக்குறான். நான் கோவில்பட்டி கமலம்மாள் ஆஸ்பத்திரியிலதான் கக்கூஸ் கழுவுற வேலை பாத்தேன். 1500 ரூபாய் சம்பளம் கொடுத்தாங்க. ஏதோ துப்புரவு வேலை செஞ்சு குடும்பத்த ஓட்டிக்கிட்டிருந்தேன். ஆனா, நான் பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆவேன்னு கனவுலகூட நெனச்சுப் பாக்கல. இப்ப கொஞ்ச நாளா துப்புரவு வேலைக்குப் போகல.

My name is Chellamma. I am 45 years old. I was born in Elanthakulam, near Sankarankovil, given in marriage at Pazhaiya Appaneri. I had a son and a daughter. The girl died. My husband used to work as a village official. He died when the children were very young. My son and I have lived in this village for 23 years. My son works in the match factory of the ex-president. I used to clean the toilets in the Kovilpatti Kamalammal Hospital. I was managing the family by doing conservancy work. I did not think in my dreams even that I would become president. For some days now, I have not been going to do conservancy work.

துப்புரவுப் பணி செஞ்சிகிட்டு இருந்த நீங்க எப்படி பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவி ஆனீங்க?

When you were doing conservancy work, how did you become Panchayat President?

இந்த ஊருல 23 வருஷமா குடியிருந்தேன். என்னைப் பத்தி ஊர்ல அவ்வளவா தெரியாது. நான் பாட்டுக்கு கமலம்மாள் ஆஸ்பத்திரியில சுவீப்பர் வேலை பாத்துக் கிட்டிருந்தேன். எங்க ஊரு நாராயணசாமி நாயக்கருதான் பிரசிடெண்டா இருந்தாரு. ஆனா, இந்த வருசம் எங்க ஊருல குடும்பமாரும் போட்டிப் போட ஆரம்பிச்சாங்க. எங்க ஊரு ரவி நாயக்கருதான் குடும்பமார நிக்க வச்சாரு. ஆனா, அவங்களுக்குப் போட்டியா, பழைய பிரசிடெண்ட் நாராயணசாமி நாயக்கரு எங்க ஆளுகள நிக்கச் சொல்லி கேட்டாரு. ஆனா மருதன்கிணறு சேர்வாரன கொன்னது போல நம்மளையும் கொன்னுப்புடுவாங்கன்னு பயந்துகிட்டு யாரும் நிக்கல.

I have been living in this village for 23 years. Nobody knows much about me here. I was just minding my work as a sweeper in Kamalammal Hospital. Narayanasamy Naicker was president. In this year, the people of the Kudumbamar caste also started contesting. Ravi Naicker was the person who was making them stand for elections. To contest against them, ex-president Narayanasamy Naicker asked our people to contest. Since people were afraid that they would also be killed like Maruthankinaru Servaaran, nobody was willing.

ஆனா கடைசியில என்னை நிக்கச் சொல்லி கேட்டாரு. உனக்கு என்ன ஆனாலும் நான் பாத்துக்கிறேன்னு சொன்னாரு. அதனால நான் போட்டிப் போட்டு எலக்சனுல நின்னேன். நைட்டுல ஆஸ்பத்திரியில துப்புரவு வேலை. பகல்லதான் எலக்சன் வேலை. ஒண்ணும் பிரச்சினை வராதுன்னு சொன்னாரு. சரின்னு நின்னேன். ஆனா, நாயக்கமாரும், குடும்பமாரும் என்னைய திட்டாத ஆளில்ல. ஒரு சக்கிலியப் பொம்பள எப்படி எங்கள எதிர்த்து நின்னு ஜெயிக்கிறான்னு பாத்துருவோமுன்னு சொல்லி மிரட்டுனாங்க. இதனால் நான் பயந்துகிட்டு முடுக்கலாம் குளத்துல இருந்துதான் வேலைக்கு வந்து போவேன். அப்படியிருந்தும் 200 ஓட்டு எண்ணிக்கை வித்தியாசத்துல ஜெயிச்சுட்டேன்!

Finally, he asked me to contest. He said he would take care, no matter what problems may arise. That is why I contested. I would go for conservancy work in the night and election work in the day. He said there would be no problems. That is why I contested. Yet, among the Naicker and the Kudumbamar there was not one person who did not scold me. They threatened me saying, we will see how a Sakkili woman stands against us and wins. Since I was afraid, I would go to work via Mudukkalam Kulam only. I still won by a margin of 200 votes!

மலம் அள்ளக் கூடாதுன்னு அரசாங்கம் சட்டம் போட்டிருக்கு, ஆனா நீங்க போறீங்க?

The government has passed laws against manual scavenging, yet you go for this work?

அதப்பத்தியெல்லாம் எனக்கு தெரியாது. சரி அரசாங்கம் தடை போட்டுறிச்சின்னா உடனே நிப்பாட்டிடாகளா? இல்லையே. இதே கோவில்பட்டி பஸ்டாண்டுல அள்ளத் தானே செய்யிறாக. கக்கூஸ் கழுவத்தான செய்யுறாக. அரசாங்கம் அப்படித்தான் சொல்லும். ஆனா செய்யுறத செஞ்சுகிட்டேதான் இருக்கோம். வயித்த கழுவ கக்கூஸ்ச கழுவிதான் ஆகணும். ஏதோ ஆஸ்பத்திரியில வேலை செய்யப் போயி அப்பப்ப டெலிவரி கேசு வரும். அப்ப அவுகளுக்கு துணிமணி துவச்சு, எல்லா வேலையும் செஞ்சா 300, 400 கிடைக்கும். அதுதான் பொழப்பு. சட்டம் வந்து எதுவுமே செய்யாது. அங்க அங்க மீட்டிங்கில பேசுவாங்க, பேப்பருல வரும். ஆனா எதுவுமே நடக்கலையே. இதெல்லாம் சும்மா. இவுக சட்டம் போட்டு நமக்கென்ன ஆவப் போகுது? துப்புரவு வேலைதான் நிம்மதி.

I don’t know about all that. Ok, so if the government bans it, will they immediately stop? Oh no. Even in this same Kovilpatti Bus Stand, people do manual scavenging. And clean toilets by hand. The government will talk like that. We do what we have to do. To eat, we need to clean toilets. Since I go to work in the hospital, an occasional delivery case will come. So if I wash their clothes and do their work for them, I will get some Rs. 300, 400. That is my livelihood. A law cannot come and do anything. They will talk about it here and there in meetings. It will come in the papers. Yet, nothing has happened, right? All this is just for show. What is the benefit we get out of the laws they lay down? Sanitation work is our only peace.

பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆன பிறகு உங்கள மரியாதையா நடத்துறாங்களா?

After you have become president, do they treat you respectfully?

நான் துப்புரவு வேலை செய்யும் போதாவது எந்தப் பிரச்சினையும் இல்லாம இருந்தேன். ஆனா நான் பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆனது இங்க யாருக்கும் பிடிக்கல. எப்படி ஒரு பொட்டச்சி அதுவும் சக்கிலிச்சி நம்ம ஊரு பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆகலாமுன்னு பேச ஆரம்பிச்சாங்க. நான் பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆகறதுக்கு முன்னால எல்லாரையும் சாமி, முதலாளினுதான் கூப்பிடுவேன். இப்பவும் அப்படிதான் கூப்பிடுறேன். கூப்பிடணும். அது இங்குள்ள கட்டுப்பாடு. ஆனா, இந்த ஊருல சின்னப் பிள்ளையிலிருந்து பெரியாளு வரைக்கும் என்ன செல்லம்மான்னு பெயர் சொல்லித்தான் கூப்பிடுவாங்க. எனக்குன்னு எந்த மரியாதையும் கிடையாது. நான் சொல்றத யாரும் கேட்க மாட்டாங்க. பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆன பிறகு சேர்ல உட்காரக் கூடாது. நின்னுதான் பேசனுமுன்னு சொன்னாங்க. தாசில்தார், கலெக்டரு சொன்ன பிறகுதான் சேர்லயே உட்காருவேன். வெளியூர்ல என்ன தலைவின்னு கூப்பிட்டாலும் உள்ளூர்ல பேர் சொல்லிதான் கூப்பிடுவாங்க. வார்டு மெம்பருங்க, வைஸ் பிரிசிடெண்ட் எல்லாருமே பேரு வச்சி, வா, போன்னுதான் கூப்பிடுவாங்க. அவுங்கள எதிர்த்து எதுவுமே பேச முடியாது.

Atleast when I was doing scavenging work, I did not have any problems. Nobody liked the fact that I have become president. They say, how can a woman, that too a Sakkili woman, become president? Even before becoming president I used to call people Saamy or Muthalaali (literally: god or owner). I still do. I have to. That is the rule here. Yet, everyone from the children to the elderly of the village call me Chellamma only. I don’t get any respect. Nobody listens to what I say. After becoming president, I have not been allowed to sit in the chair. They would say that I should stand and talk. Only after the Tahsildar and Collector told me, did I begin to sit in the chair. Even if they call me President outside the village, inside they will only call me by name. The Ward Members, the Vice-President will all call me by name and say come, go, without using any respectful honorifics. I cannot talk anything against them.

நீங்க பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆகி என்னென்ன திட்டம் நிறைவேற்றி இருக்கீங்க?

What schemes have you carried out after becoming president?

நான் பிரசிடெண்ட ஆகி 9 மாசம் ஆகுது. இதுவரைக்கும் இந்த பஞ்சாயத்துக்கு ஒண்ணுமே செய்யல. எதுவுமே என்ன செய்ய விடல. எல்லாம் அவுக அதிகாரம்தான். நான் எதுவும் செய்ய முடியாது. வைஸ் பிரசிடெண்டும், வார்டு மெம்பரும் எல்லாம் கூட்டு சேர்ந்துகிடுவாக. நான் எது சொன்னாலும் எடுபடாது. ஏன்னா சக்கிலிச்சி சொல்லி நான் கேட்கவான்னு, பேசுவாங்க. இந்த 9 மாசத்துல என்னுடைய வேலை காலையில ஆபிசு வந்தா கணக்குபுள்ள வர்ற வரைக்கும் காத்திருப்பேன். அப்புறம் ஏதாவது ரசீது, பிறப்பு, இறப்பு கையெழுத்து கேட்டு வருவாங்க.

It has been nine months since I became president. Till date, I have done nothing for this Panchayat. They have not let me do anything. Power belongs to them. I cannot do anything. The vice-president and ward members will all gang up. Nothing I say will work. They will say, should I listen to a Sakkili woman? In these nine months, my work has been to go in the morning, wait for the accounts guy to turn up, then sign some receipts, birth or death certificates for people who ask.

அந்த கணக்குபுள்ள போடச் சொல்ற இடத்துல கையெழுத்த போடுவேன். அம்புட்டுதான். நான் கையெழுத்து போட்ட பிறகு வைஸ் பிரசிடென்ட்டுகிட்ட கையெழுத்து வாங்க நான்தான் அலையணும். அவ்வளவு சீக்கிரமா அவர் போடமாட்டாரு. பஞ்சாயத்து தோட்டி வேலை செய்றவங்களுக்கு சம்பள பில்லுக்கு செக்குல நான் கையெழுத்துப் போட்டேன். ஆனா மூணு மாசமா வைஸ் பிரசிடென்ட் கையெழுத்தே போடல. அவர எதிர்த்துப் பேச முடியாது.

I sign where he tells me to. That’s all. After I have signed, I will have to run around to get the vice-president’s signature. He won’t sign that easily. I signed the cheque for the wages of the conservancy workers in the panchayat. The vice president hasn’t signed it for three months now. I can’t even talk against him.

நம்ம நாட்டுல ஒரு பெண்தான் ஜனாதிபதியா இருக்காங்க, நீங்க அதே மாதிரி உங்க அதிகாரத்த பயன்படுத்தலையா?

A woman is a president of this country. Can you also try to use your powers in a similar way?

அந்தம்மா செய்யலாம். அவுக என்ன சாதியோ, யாரு கண்டா. ஆனா நாம பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆகி இந்த இடிஞ்ச வீடு, மிஞ்சிப்போனா கமலம்மாள் ஆஸ்பத்திரி கக்கூஸ். அதவிட்டா வேற பொழப்பு இல்ல. அதிகாரம் எல்லாம் உசந்த சாதிக்காரங்களுக்குதான். நமக்கு இல்ல. என்ன ஏதுன்னு எதுவுமே எதிர்த்துப் பேச முடியாது. எதிர்த்து கேள்வி கேட்டதுக்காகத்தான் ஜக்கனையும், சேர்வாரனையும் கொன்னுட்டாங்களே. ஆம்பளைகளுக்கே இந்த நிலமை. நம்ம பொம்பள. ஆம்பள துணை கிடையாது. எனக்குன்னு எந்த சப்போர்ட்டும் கிடையாது. என் மகன்தான் எனக்கு துணை.

That woman may be able to. Who knows what caste she is. After becoming president also, this broken-down house and the toilets of Kamalammal Hospital are my lot. I have no livelihood other than that. Power belongs only to the upper castes. Not to us. I cannot ask why. For the crime of asking why, they killed Jaggaiyan and Servaaran. That is the fate of men. I am a woman. I do not have male support. I do not have any support. Except my son.

இப்ப வரைக்கும் எனக்கு எதிர்ப்புதான். தண்ணி பிரச்சனையை பத்திப் பேசுனா உன் வேலைய மட்டும் பாருன்னு கோவத்தோடு பேசுறாங்க. ஊருக்குள்ள எங்கயும் நிக்க முடியாது, பேச முடியாது. எனக்கும், என் மகனுக்கும் பாதுகாப்பு இல்ல. வைஸ் பிரசிடெண்ட், வார்டு மெம்பராலத்தான் பிரச்சனையே. அதனால இப்ப சொந்த ஊருல இருக்க முடியல. பயந்துகிட்டு பழைய பிரசிடெண்ட்டோட தீப்பட்டி ஆபிசுல கடைசி ரூம்லதான் குடியிருக்கோம். ஏதாவது மீட்டீங்கின்னா சொல்லி விடுவாங்க.

Till now, I have only faced opposition. If I talk about the water problem, they angrily tell me to mind my own business. I cannot stand and talk anywhere inside the village. There is no protection for me or my son. The vice-president and the ward members are the problem. I am not able to live in my own village. In fear, we have to live in the last room of the ex-president’s match factory. If there is some meeting, they will let me know.

துப்புரவு வேலை செஞ்சதுக்கும், பஞ்சாயத்து பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆனதுக்கும் என்ன வித்தியாசம்?

What is the difference between doing conservancy work and becoming panchayat president?

துப்புரவு வேலை பார்க்கும்போது கை நிறைய சம்பளம் கிடைச்சது. நான் உண்டு என் வேல உண்டுன்னு இருந்தேன். யாரும் என்ன பகச்சுகில. ஆனா பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆன பிறகு குடிக்க கஞ்சியில்ல. நிம்மதியான தூக்கமில்ல. ரோட்டுல சுதந்திரமா நடக்க முடியல. சொல்லப்போனா சொந்த ஊருல குடியிருக்க முடியல. ஏன்டா பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆகுனோமுன்னு யோசிச்சுப் பாக்குறேன். ஊருக்கு நல்லது செய்யுறதுக்காக வேண்டி பிரசிடெண்ட் ஆனேன். என்னால எதுவுமே செய்ய முடியல. காரணம் தாழ்ந்த சாதி. உசந்த சாதிக்காரங்க செஞ்சாத்தான் ஏத்துக்கிருவாங்க. நம்ம செஞ்சா ஏத்துக்கிற மாட்டாங்க.

While doing conservancy work, I got a handful of wages. I kept myself to myself and my work. Nobody opposed me. After becoming president, I do not even have gruel to drink. I do not have peaceful sleep. I cannot walk freely on the roads. I cannot live in my own village. I wonder why I became president. I wanted to do good things for the village. But I haven’t been able to do anything. The reason is that I belong to a low caste. They only accept things that the higher caste people do. They won’t accept anything we do.

ஒண்ணு மட்டும் தெளிவா தெரியுது. என்னதான் தாழ்ந்த சாதி பதவிக்கு வந்தாலும் ஒண்ணுமே செய்ய முடியாதுன்னு தெரியுது. நீங்க எல்லாமே செய்யலாமுன்னு சொல்றதெல்லாம் சும்மா வாய்ப் பேச்சுதான். சக்கிலிய சாதியில பொறந்து அப்படியே சொல்றத கேட்டு நடந்தாத்தான் உயிரோடு வாழ முடியும். ‘குமுதம்’ புக்குலகூட என் படத்த போட்டு எழுதியிருந்தாங்க. எல்லா இடத்துலயும் மாரியாதையா நடத்துறாங்க, எல்லா நிகழ்ச்சிக்கும் கூப்பிடுறாங்கன்னு. ஆனா அது மாதிரி எந்த மரியாதையும் எனக்கில்ல. நான் ஒரு டம்மி. கையெழுத்துக்காகத்தான் என்னை பிரசிடென்ட்டா ஆக்கியிருக்காங்க.

One thing is clear. No matter if people of low caste come to power, they cannot do anything. All that talk about ‘you can do anything’ is just talk. A person born into the Sakkili caste can stay alive only if we listen to everything they say. They put my picture in the ‘Kumudham’ magazine and wrote about me – that everybody is respectful to me and that they call me for all functions. But I do not have any such respect. I am only a dummy. They made me a president just for my signature.

உங்க எதிர்காலத் திட்டம் என்ன?

What are your future plans?

கலைஞர் மகன் ஸ்டாலின் வந்து மீட்டிங் போட்டிருந்தார். போயிருந்தோம். அங்க பிரசிடெண்டுக்கெல்லாம் அடையாள அட்டை கொடுத்தாரு. அட்டை கொடுத்து என்ன புண்ணியம்? இங்க ஒரு திட்டமும் நடக்கல. அங்க இங்க மீட்டிங், கூட்டமுன்னு கூப்பிட்டுப் போறாங்க. ஆனா எதுவுமே பேச முடியல. எனக்குன்னு எந்த சம்பளமும் கிடையாது. 300 ரூபா எதுக்காகும்? செலவுக்கில்ல. கஞ்சிக்கே பணமில்ல. இந்தப் பதவியில இருந்து எந்தப் பயனும் கிடையாது. அதனால இந்தப் பதவியே வேண்டாமுன்னு முடிவு பண்ணிட்டேன். கமலம்மாள் ஆஸ்பத்திரியில மேல ஒரு மாடி கட்டி முடிக்கப் போறாங்களாம். திரும்ப வேலைக்கு கூப்பிட்டிருக்காங்க. அதனால பழையபடி கக்கூஸ் கழுவுற வேலைக்கே போகப் போறேன்!

Kalaignar’s son Stalin came and held a meeting. We went. They gave ID cards to all the Presidents. What is the virtue we gain from a card? No scheme has been implemented here. Here and there, they will call me for and take me to meetings. But I cannot talk anything. I do not have a salary. What is Rs. 300 useful for? Not for expenses. There is no money for gruel even. There is no use of being in this post. I have decided that I don’t want this post. They are going to build one more floor at Kamalammal Hospital, it seems. They have called me again for work. I going back to my old job of cleaning toilets.

***

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the eighth of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. The Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation’s statement on the issue is here and a poem by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni, a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents, a personal narrative from Jayanthi and a complaint that murdered Dalit Panchayat President Jaggaiyan had written. Ravichandran has written about responses to the attack on Panchayat President Krishnaveni.

How many more Dalit panchayat presidents are going to be murdered?

In Critical Writing, Personal Narrative on July 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

- Ravichandran

Dr. Ambedkar writes about the village, “The hindu village is a working plant of the Hindu social order. One can see there the Hindu social order in operation in full swing. The average hindu is always in ecstasy whenever he speaks of the Indian village. He regards it as an ideal form of social organization to which he believes there is no parallel anywhere in the world. It is claimed to be a special contribution to the theory of social organization for which India may well be proud of. … If it is a republic, it is a republic of the Touchables, by the Touchables and for the Touchables. The republic is an Empire of the Hindus over the Untouchables. It is a kind of colonialism of the Hindus designed to exploit the untouchables.” (Rodrigues 2011:232)

India witnessed Dalits becoming a President, Chief Minister, M.P, Chief Justice, M.L.A etc. Their life, compared with non-Dalits, has never been a walk on a bed of roses. However, the biggest challenges faced by Dalits are while/after becoming a Panchayat president in Tamil Nadu, especially Southern Districts. History shows five Dalit Panchayat presidents were brutally murdered by caste Hindus in the panchayat. There are many panchayat presidents who are threatened, molested and harassed, for executing their duties. This is a nightmare for panchayat presidents in the so-called backbone (village panchayat) of the Indian political structure, as claimed by Mahatma Gandhi. The voices of  Dalit Panchayat presidents are never heard.
The English and regional media do not pay much attention to such issues.  These Brahminical Media would have focused on this issue if a Dalit became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (like they now focus on atrocities in Uttar Pradesh). Then we could have witnessed NDTV, CNN-IBN, TIMES NOW etc. and the national political parties such as CPI, BJP, INC visiting Ms. Krishnaveni and making a hue and cry over her being stabbed. But a Dalit becoming a Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is not possible in the near future of the so-called land of Periyar.
It needs also to be told that Dalit panchayat presidents are not the only ones to face caste discrimination. But it is important to highlight the plight of these Panchayat presidents’ cases because we have been told that these are the backbone of Indian Democracy. India, as a democratic country, believes in electoral politics. These panchayat presidents are elected by the people. They are then treated like shit in the panchayat and the government is not bothered about the same. Most importantly, empowering these panchayat presidents will empower the Dalits in the villages. The panchayat president issue did not crop up out of the blue. In recent times, there have been many instances of caste-based discrimination in Tamil Nadu.
Some days before, an Arunthathiyar boy was brutally beaten by a caste priest for entering the temple. A couple of movements took up the issue and filed an FIR in the police station. I was disheartened to hear the news. Few days later, Ms. Krishnaveni’s issue happened. When I enquired, I was told that Aathi Thamilar Peravai, Tamil Puligal, Periyar Dravida kalagam, Arunthathiyar Pengal Munnai etc had taken up the issue and protested in front of the collector’s offices to arrest the culprit. Some activists in Nellai told me to check the newspaper for more details. Since I could not check the newspaper, I called friends who are associated with different movements to get updates on the issue. They told me that they were not aware of such an incident – most people’s response was the same. I cross-checked with my friends in Nellai to know the picture. They said again that the newspapers had published articles. Later, I found the newspapers had published this news only on the district-level page.
I spoke to one of the writers in the movement. He, too, was unaware but said that he will not let this issue go as had happened with earlier incidents where Panchayat presidents Mr. Servaaran  and Mr. Jaggaiyan were murdered and the issue was no more in discussion. Even the organizations which took up the issue for Ms. Krishnaveni told me that this issue will not be treated like the earlier incidents.
Another person from the spot strongly felt – based on the information he gathered – that Ms. Krishnaveni has been attacked for being sincere in her job and for being born in the Arunthathiyar community (scavenging community). There were times in the past in her panchayat when the non-arunthathiyar Dalit said widely that they would not support a ‘sakkiliyar’ as president, may be a Pallar or Pariyar can be the president. I am not angry with these people who show a bias against Arunthathiyar, but I am very angry with Dalit leaders for maintaining such divisions for their shitty political power. The person I spoke to strongly felt that the present movement which is taking forward the Ms. Krishnaveni issue is very sincere, and that they will stand to the end. These movements can never be bargained for money. Still he suspects, the state will try its best to break the case and every one will escape. We might not even know how the state machinery lobbies people on the ground.
A person from an investigating organization felt that large-scale political mobilization is needed among Arunthathiyar community. They seem to be subjugated more than any community I have seen, and there must be movement reaching to everyone to mobilize them. The Arunthathiyar movement and the educated people among Arunthathiyar have a big task to their community.
A faculty member in the English and Foreign Languages University shared his experience – majority of the Dalit movements file cases and forget the movement. He thinks the judicial system functions with public pressure. Dalit movement in relation to Khairlanji filed cases and the movement was not the same as it was in the initial stages. He said there must be a movement pressuring the government at various levels. Simultaneously, the cases in court also must be pressurized. Therefore he suggested that movement should place a demand and call a meeting at least of all the Arunthathiyar panchayat presidents and get a letter of representation signed and sent to National Human rights commission. A national-level fact finding must be conducted and the report has to be sent to Amnesty, and other international organizations. A large campaign must be alive on the ground.
Another faculty from the same university said enough is enough – we should demand armed security for Dalit panchayat presidents, and pistols along with armed security for women panchayat presidents. When the stupid Indian cricketers are offered honorary posts as Assistant Commissioner of Police, why can’t the Panchayat President, who is elected by the people and serving the people in the panchayat, which is a backbone of Indian democracy, be considered as the rank of Sub-inspector of police? Also, he believes that if a non-Dalit panchayat president had been attacked, the situation would have been different. Arunthathiyars are taken for granted.
A person based in Delhi maintains a website called www.dalitmat.com and focuses on the issues of Dalits in north, the Hindi belt. He expressed his unhappiness that Dalits in north do not have a contact with the dalits in the south. We should seriously bridge this gap. As a first step, he also posted about Ms. Krishnaveni on his website.
While browsing the history of the attacks on Dalit Panchayat president, some articles made me wary of the way the State operates in these cases. In the meantime, Kalapatti judgement was given in Coimbatore court.
The Coimbatore court gave the judgment on the Kalapatti caste riots. The court acquitted all the culprits and the complainer turned hostile. It was painful to hear an advocate, who was working on the case, Paneer Selvam say,  “Dalits in that area were never mobilized by the so-called Dalit movements. Since they don’t have anything like land, they are dependent on the caste-Hindus, so they compromised on the case. The Dalit movements never enquired or followed the case, none showed interest in the case, however many people visited the place after the riot. It is sad that Dalit movements do not understand the judicial system. Therefore they are least bothered about such cases. For a speedy trial for such cases, a separate court should be brought to enquire the SC/ST atrocity acts alone. And Dalit movements should reach to the people sincerely and not as a mass mobilization like fan clubs.” It was also true that none of the Dalit organizations have raised their voice against the judgement till now. At this juncture, we should also remember that, a year before, a Dalit woman committed suicide in Anna University. The issue was taken up by few movements of Arunthathiyars. They said she died of caste discrimination and protested to take action. At present, the case is still not filled under SC/ST Act and the case is registered under suspicious death. A Chennai-based activist commented, “I tried to pursue but none showed interest after the protest”. Another person in the movement said that the Anna University Vice-Chancellor is a brother of Thurai Murugan and that is why the DMK government in that period did not take action. These are the few voices I thought to put on paper.

Panchayat President Krishnaveni belongs to the Arunthathiyar (a scavenging community). Aathi Thamilar Peravai and other organizations held a protest in front of the collectors office as a result of which the police filed an FIR. The section was not under SC/ST Atrocity act. The next day, the Aathi Thamilar Peravai founder visited the hospital and met the collector. He gave a press statement that if the section is not filed under SC/ST Atrocity act, the movement will go for a mass protest. Therefore the police changed the sections.

The only way to escape the clutches of these casteist institutions is to empower the Dalit panchayat president and to make them a topic of discussion. When are we going to empower the panchayat presidents? Is this the way elected representatives are treated in our society?

How many more Dalit panchayat presidents are going to be murdered? Ms. Krishnaveni has been stabbed and after a huge outcry among the Dalit movement, it is said that Ms. Krishnaveni had given complaints to various people before and she expected these things. Why were those issues were not raised earlier? Only when a person dies, we talk about them. When he is alive and goes to every nook and corner for help, the useless society with biased notions of caste never goes to his rescue. It is same with most of the Dalit movement. I hope civil society and movements do not expect more Dalits to face the same kind of treatment meted out to Dalits in Khairlanji for this topic to be discussed. When are we going to get justice for those who have lost/are losing their lives? After Melavalavu, Khairlanji, and other atrocities, we did not get justice, we only got a token of it through our struggle. What these movement did was to bring the caste question to the discussion platform.

Many Dalits are in high positions as bureaucrats, politicians, academicians etc. What are they doing about these issues? Are they only bothered about their selfish personal gains and keeping quiet?
I only hope that, atleast now, Dalit and civil society will take an oath that this must be the last incident that any Panchayat president should face.
Jai Bheem

Ravichandran is a research scholar in the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the seventh of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. The Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation’s statement on the issue is here and a poem by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni, a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents, a personal narrative from Jayanthi and a complaint that murdered Dalit Panchayat President Jaggaiyan had written.

Jaggaiyan’s complaint

In Report on July 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the sixth of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced here. A poem about the incident by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni about the incident, a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents and a personal narrative from Jayanthi.

Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Presidents of Panchayat Goverment conducted a Fact – Finding investigation into the murder of Dalit Panchayat President Jaggaiyan, Nakkalamuthanpatti Panchayat, Kuruvikulam Panchayat Union, Tirunelveli District on  22.11.2006. An excerpt from the report:

“Earlier on the 19th it is said that Jaggaiyan wrote out a complaint about the threat to his life by Thirupathi Raja and his wife Regina Mary addressed to the Sub-Inspector, Thiruvengadam Police Station and DSP. While he was on his way to file the complaint, he was stopped by an ex-serviceman Mr. Alagumuthupandi of Kovilpatti (Naidu) and brought to the Naicker village, he then spoke about the threat to his life by Thirupathi Raja and the ex-serviceman promised all support.

Everyone present questioned about the reasons for the threat of killing Jaggaiyan. This person then warned the village people not to do any harm to him or face the consequences. In this bargain Jaggaiyan returned home without filing the complaint. The following is a copy of the complaint.”

 

Thiruvengadam

19.11.06

From
P. Jaggaiyan
S/o Parasivan,
South Colony, Nakkalamuthanpatti,
Sippiparai Post, Thiruvengadam Police Circle

To
Sub Inspector,
Police Station,
Thiruvengadam

Respected Sir,

I am living in the above address with my family.  I belongs to the Arunthathiyar Community (Sakkiliyar).  I am elected as Nakkalamuthanpatti Panchayat President in the recently held Local Body Election.  In the Panchayat, Thirupathi Raj Naicker S/o. Ramasamy Naicker who belongs to our village is elected as Vice President.

Thirupathi Raj Naicker on 13.11.06 at around 2.PM in the afternoon at our Panchyat Office threatened me by saying “You simply sign as President I will take care of all other matters”.  When I refused for that, he said in vengeance.

“You cannot live in this village.  I cannot be a Vice President under an Arunthathiyar person.  If I kill you I will become President”.  My wife Pappa who was with me during that time shouted at Thirupathi Raja and sent him away.

Then, on 16.11.06 night at around 1 P.M.  Thirupathi Raja with 2 more persons were standing in front of my house.  Sedhuraja S/o. Alagarsamy knocked at my house door.  My wife awakened me and said “You don’t go out, I will go”.  When she opened and asked what is the matter, Thirupathi Raj Naicker threatened “You ask your husband to resign otherwise his life will be in danger”.

They went off when my wife shouted.  I told about this incident to some persons in the village.  They said, “wait, we will enquire and warn Thirupathi Raja”.   So I didn’t give any complaint to any one.

Yesterday (18.11.06) at midnight 12.P.M. Thirupathi Raj Naicker and Sedhuraj S/o Alagarsamy knocked my house door, awakened me and threatened. “You are not listening to what I am saying your life is in danger, (death is awaiting you), If you did not resign from the President’s Post within 2 days your family will be destroyed.

Today 19.11.06 morning around 7a.m.  When I am in my house, Thirupathi Raj Naicker’s wife Regina Mary came to my house and threatened.

“Yes, resign immediately, If you complaint about my self or my husband, I will complaint and put you in jail saying you teased me and touched my hand”.

So, you should take necessary steps on above persons and give appropriate protection to me and my family.

Your’s truly.

P. Jaggaiyan

Copy to action:-

  1. District Collector, Tirunelveli
  2. District Superintendendant Police, Tirunelveli
  3. Minister of Local body, Chennai

Jayanthi’s Story

In Interview, Personal Narrative on June 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

First published on the Irenees website
Coimbatore, July 2007

“My name is Jayanthi and I contested the Local body election from the reserved constituency of Thandakaran Palayam Panchayat, Avinashi Taluk, Coimbatore District of the State of Tamilnadu in South India.

In my constituency only women were allowed to contest. The other five contestants were also women and they do not know anything about the Panchayati Raj system or the election process. By fielding them the intention was that we should not win but be defeated. They feared that if we won, other party people would join us. But after the election there was no problem. All was over with the election.

I have been in the Self Help Group for the past five years. Now it is my sixth year. Although I was in the Self Help Group even during the time of the previous election I could not contest because it was a general constituency during that time. Only a male candidate contested, but could not win.
The reason for not contesting in the previous election and for contesting in the recent election is to be seen in the point of view of my skills and capacities. I have undergone many training programmes conducted by some NGOs on the Panchayati Raj Institution. While I was undergoing the training, I began to think about contesting the election so that I could do something tangible for the people. Mustering up a lot of courage I contested.

After I won the election as President and took over the office, we had some problem in selecting the Vice-President as it happens everywhere. He belonged to the dominant community. The matter was that if an uneducated person becomes the President, the Vice-President would assume all powers in his hands. He would be invariably from the dominant community. Often he would manipulate and assume all powers including the power to sign cheques. The President would be unable to exercise his power and cannot question him. He or she would have to simply sign the cheques and sit quietly. In such situations the Vice-President would be de facto President and the President would be reduced to the stature of a Vice-President. That’s why there is problem in electing the Vice-President every time. However our Vice-President follows our advice. Krishnasamy by name, he belongs to the Bayal Community. We take administrative decisions in a committee consisting of nine ward members.

Among the nine members five are Dalits and four are non-Dalits. One of the members becomes the Vice-President. The four ward members (non-Dalits) did not support the candidate we proposed as Vice-President. The Dalit representation was six including me. The Vice-President is chosen by election. All the ward members exercise their voting rights in electing the Vice-President. The President can support any one. When the President supports a candidate, problems can arise.

People invite me to public functions at the school. With regard to family functions such as boring the ears, marriages etc., even though they invite me they would look at me only as an untouchable. Even today it is the practice. I don’t go for such functions because I feel discriminated. When it comes to other public functions, they don’t show their feelings of discrimination so blatantly. They had invited me to the School Annual Day. They could not do any mischief there. They have even invited me to family functions as well. If the function is held at their homes, they show their feelings. When it is held outside in a hall, they don’t show their feelings openly. They consider that I am polluting only inside their house. If it is a Marriage Hall, they treat me well. They give respect to me as the President and freely talk with me. The basic factor is that our caste people work in their fields. So they would view us only that way.

I have an unforgettable experience that I want to share with you. It is regarding the allotment for ten Group Houses. We started constructing the houses according to the BPL list. The construction was done with good amount of cement and it has come up to concrete roofing. Somebody whom we do not know for sure-whether Scheduled Caste or Backward Caste – sent a petition under the name ‘public’ to the Chief Minister alleging that the President and Vice-President of not constructing good houses. “They are using mud only and so the CM should take proper action” was their contention.

The BDO came from the Collectorate. He called me and said: “President, a petition has come. So many such things usually come. In your case this is the only one. Don’t be scared. Those who are not in your favour will do a lot more like this. You don’t worry”. When I told him that we involved the engineer and did everything properly, he said, “Don’t care. You do your work.”

My husband helps me in taking the motor for repairing. You see when the motor in a pump set is out of order; I cannot carry it for repairing. I know it is not my job. But if I entrust that work with someone he may charge some commission for his work. Then the expenditure will go beyond the income. Even if I do not carry it myself, I have to go. Don’t I?

After becoming the President of the Panchayat a great change has occurred within me. My personal capacities like communication and leadership skills have developed to a great extent. In the past, I was involved in educating the people about exercising their voting rights. Now I have come to realize what power I have. I have to think about what to present before the Collector when I meet him. This election has taught me to think about how to relate to others and to a councilor.
I have already got training in preparing reports and book keeping while I was in the Self-Help Group. I don’t need any other training. Our clerk is now under suspension. So I take care of his duties also. During the last term, accounts for Rs.1, 28,000 have not been shown. The former President had transferred that amount to the clerk’s account and he had spent it for some other purpose without paying the electricity bills. Even for that expenditure proper bills have not been submitted. Now that the clerk has been suspended, I am looking after the accounts.”

***

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the fifth of a series of posts relating to attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced here. A poem about the incident by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni about the incident and a fact-finding report on discrimination faced by Dalit Panchayat Presidents.

Discrimination against Dalit Panchayat Presidents

In Report on June 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the fourth of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced here. A poem about the incident by SRaj is here. There is also an interview with Panchayat President Krishnaveni about the incident.

A fact-finding report and memorandum submitted by human rights activists to the Tamil Nadu Ministry for Rural Development and Local Administration, dated 16.03.2007, lists the discrimination that Dalit panchayat presidents face. Thalaiyuthu is here mentioned as Vadaku Thalaitthu, as one of the Panchayats where the Dalit presidents ‘face imminent threat to their lives.’

We are concerned about developments in Tirunelveli District regarding the threats to life of elected Dalit Panchayat Presidents in the district. Already in two panchayats dalit presidents have been killed. They are Mr.Jaggaiyan, Panchayat President, Nakkalamuthanpatti Village Panchayat, Kuruvikulam Panchayat Union & Mr.Servaaran, Panchayat President, Maruthan Kinaru Phanchayat, Sankaran Kovil Taluk, Thirunelveli District. Following these murders representative of the organisations who are presenting this memorandum to you conducted fact finding investigations into both the deaths of the Panchayat Presidents.

The main findings of these investigations are :

1. The Fact Finding team concludes that after examining all evidence before it that the murder of Jaggaiyan Panchayat President of Nakkalamuthanpatti Panchayat was committed by Thirupathi Raj and Regina Mary at around 6.00 a.m in the most brutal fashion.

 

2. The Police under directions from their superior officers have taken all steps to charge sheet the accused under IPC SectionS 341, 302, Sec 3 (1) (X) and Sec3(2)(V) of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989. The charge sheet has been filed and the evidence statement in the presence of the Judicial Magistrate Court, Sivagiri was recorded on 28.12.2006.

 

3. After the Constitution 73rd Amendment this is the 3rd Election for Panchayats in Tamil Nadu. The previous elections were held in 1996 and 2001. In 2001 the Government did not pass orders for rotation of reserved seats for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Women. Accordingly there was some measure of consolidation of independents and identity of elected Panchayat Members from among the dalits and women. With DMK Government opting to put on rotation the reserved seats the dominant caste groups have used this occasion to support, coerce and finance candidates from among the weaker dalit communities in order to be able to disempower them and make them subservient for their control over the panchayat government. Jaggaiyan’s case is one among the several panchayats presidents who have been elected in reserved constituencies supported by Dominant caste votes. In Jaggaiyans case he attempted to function independently and even this was not tolerable to the dominant Kamma Naidus (Naickers) and hence he was murdered by the same Vice-President of the Panchayat who financed his election. Interestingly the Vice-President Mr.Thirupathi Raja’s wife was the previous panchayat president and he functioned as the defacto president.

 

4. The quality of life and economic and social status of dalits especially among the minority sub-caste Arunthathiyar community has not improved as can be seen from this panchayat. They do not have access to potable drinking water, street lights and are totally landless dependent on the kama naidus who are the land owners. Literacy levels is lower than other dalits.

 

5. District Government officials and Police officials require to take more effort than what they have already taken in Tirunelveli District to provide protection to the vulnerable dalit panchayat presidents. There should be more schemes by the Government of Tamil Nadu to provide them with special awareness programmes about their rights on priority basis. Insufficient land distribution of cultivable lands and ineffective use of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against all those threatening Dalit Panchayat Presidents continue to make dalits live in insecurity and fear.

 

6. From evidence gathered by us during our fact finding investigation, we consolidated the following list of Dalit Panchayat Presidents who were functioning on the orders of the Dominant Caste groups and facing severe discrimination, humiliation and inequality. They face imminent threat to their lives.

 

The panchayats are :

I.          Kuruvikulam Panchayat Union
1.         Appaneri Panchayat (Women President)
2.         Ramalingapuram Panchayat
3.         Ilyarasanendhal Panchayat

II.         Melaneelathanallur Panchayat Union

4.         Thevarkulam Panchayat

III.        Kadayam Panchayat Union
5.         Pappankulam Panchayat

IV.       Alangulam Panchayat Union

6.         Navaneetha Krishnapuram Panchayat

V.        Palayankottai Panchayat Union
7.         Ariakulam Panchayat

VI.       Manoor Panchayat Union
8.         Pillayarkulam Panchayat (Women President)
9.         Vadaku Thalaitthu (Women President)

VII.      Ambasamudram Panchayat Union
10.       Therkku Pappankulam Panchayat

We are afraid that this trend is likely to spread to several other panchayats where Dalit Presidents have been elected. A memorandum has been submitted to the District Administration identifying 40 panchayats where dalit presidents are forced to act as puppets of the Vice Presidents. The Vice Presidents invariably belong to the dominant caste in the area and continues to threaten dalit presidents. They prevent dalit presidents from functioning so that they can control the panchayat administration or compel them to function in a subservient manner.

Unless the Government of Tamil Nadu intervenes immediately and in an effective manner on behalf of these dalit presidents there is every possibility that the killings of the dalit presidents will continue unabated and become a severe blot on the administration of Tamil Nadu. Through ongoing studies we have discovered 40 panchayats in Tirunelveli District with dalit presidents that have been elected as benamies of the dominant caste group. Representation for action has been given to the District Collector.

The Dalit Panchayat Presidents are not being allowed to function in the following manner

1. Keeping cheque books under the control of the vice president.

2. All registers and accounts books controlled by the vice president and the clerical assistant.

3. Registers are not handed over to the presidents for him / her to function on a daily basis.

4. The panchayat office key kept with the Vice President or clerical assistant and preventing entry of the panchayat president into the office.

5. Even if the panchayat president is permitted to enter the office he/she is not allowed to check registers or even be seated in a chair or on a bench.

6. Civil works being modified according to the whims of the Vice president.

7. Forced to sign cheque amounts without any questions. If the president questions the purpose he / she is abused vulgarly.

Such offences against Elected Dalit Presidents who are also vested with the executive powers is being committed not only in Tirunelveli District but probably in all the districts.  All this is taking place at a stage when funds to panchayats for various civil works and schemes have not yet been transferred fully. We see a definite escalation of offences against dalits presidents including murders once such transfer of funds have taken place.

The 40 dalit presidents are not able to even come out of their village to express their plight or seek remedy from the Government personally. Any movement of the presidents that threatens the vice president and dominant caste groups that supported his / her election is met with abuse, physical and verbal and warnings of death. A few of these dalit presidents have filed petitions before the District Collector or the police seeking protection as they feel threatened for their life and their family.  We reiterate that this is not a unique situation in only one particular pocket but are afraid that there will be similar situations in several other blocks in several districts in Tamil Nadu.

Prayer

1. We request for a meeting with the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at the earliest by a delegation of persons and organisations concerned with this denial of dalit panchayat presidents being allowed to function and facing threats to their life.

2. As Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration, we urge that you take steps to stop the violence and denial of the rights of the dalit panchayat presidents in Tirunelveli District and also in other districts in Tamil Nadu.

3. We urge you as Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration together with the Minister from the Local Constituency in Tirunelveli and the District Collector to organise and definitely participate in panchayat meetings where dalit presidents are forced to function as benamies and are facing threats to their life. For a start you could begin with the 40 vulnerable panchayats with dalit presidents identified in Tirunelveli District by the District Collector. This is very necessary to build confidence among these Presidents and the dalit community as a whole and revive faith in local government institutions.

4. From our experience over the last ten years with sensitizing dalit and women Presidents about administering panchayat government we have been repeatedly informed by Dalit Presidents that the cheque signing power vested also with the Vice President who invariably belongs to a dominant caste group creates several obstacles to their functioning as Presidents. They have requested that the post of Vice-Presidents should also be reserved for dalits in a village panchayat were the President seat is reserved for dalit. This, they say, will enable them to function more effectively. We support this suggestion of Dalit President and request that the Government of Tamil Nadu consider such an amendment and policy decision in the case of village panchayats reserved for dalits, men and women.

5. In those panchayats where dalit presidents are not allowed to function by a dominant caste groups the existing clerical assistant should be changed and the panchayat presidents given full freedom of making fresh appointments of only dalit clerical assistant.

6. All those dalit panchayat presidents facing threats to their life or their families should be provided with a revolver licence and a revolver from the district armoury.

7. Action should be taken against all persons who are responsible for various types of offences against the presidents including verbal and physical abuse forced signing of cheque books, prevention of entry into the panchayat office, not handing over registers and cheque books, etc.

Thiru.V.Karuppan, IAS (Retd.)

State Convenor, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights

Thiru.Ravichandran

Human Rights Forum for Dalit Liberation (HRFDL)

Thiru.Ekambaram

HRFDL

Thiru.Killivalavan

HRFDL

Thiru.O. Fernandes

Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation

Thiru.K.K.Manikumar

MIDS, Chennai.

Thirumigu. Santhi S

Advisor,

Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Presidents of Panchayat Government.

Thiru.M. Bharathan

Human Rights – Kalam

Tirunelveli

Thiru.Rameshnathan

SASY

Thiru.Dayalan

Convenor,

Panchayat Raj Thematic Group.

HRFDL

 

Interview with Krishnaveni

In Interview, Personal Narrative, Report on June 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

‘தாழையூத்து ஊராட்சி மன்றத் தலைவர் திருமதி. கிருஷ்ணவேணி மீது கொலை வெறித் தாக்குதல்; சமூக அக்கறை கொண்ட கல்வியாளர்கள், எழுத்தாளர்கள், மனித உரிமை ஆர்வலர்கள், ஜூன் 18-19, 2011, ஆகிய தேதிகளில் மேற்கொண்ட கள ஆய்வு’ அறிக்கையிலிருந்து

Excerpted from the report on ‘Murderous attack on the Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Mrs. Krishnaveni; Investigative field visit conducted by Collective of Socially Concerned Academicians, Writers and Human Rights Activists – Tirunelveli – on June 18-19, 2011’

“நான் பொறுப்பேற்றதிலிருந்தே பல பிரச்சனைகள், தெரு பிரச்சனை, ரோடு, தண்ணீர் பிரச்சனை, வீடு ஒதுக்கீடு பண்றது எல்லாமே பிரச்சனை தான். கூட்டமே நடத்த விட மாட்டாங்க. காவல்துறையின் உதவியுடன் தான் கூட்டமே நடத்துவேன். காவல்துறையிடம் புகார் மனு கொடுத்தாலும் உடனே நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க மாட்டாங்க. அவசரம்னு போன் பண்ணி கூப்பிட்டாலும், உடனே வரமாட்டாங்க. பால்துரை இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் எந்தப் புகார் கொடுத்தாலும் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கமாட்டார். ஆனா மற்றவர்கள் கூப்பிட்டால் உடனே வருவார். குடியரசு தினம் அன்னிக்கு கொடியேத்திவிட்டு கிராம சபைக் கூட்டம் நடத்த ஏற்பாடு செய்து கொண்டு இருக்கும் போது துணை தலைவர் அவருடைய பினாமி ஆள் மூலம் இடது கையை பின்னால் திருப்பி முறுக்கி ஓடிச்சு விட்டார். பால்துரை இன்ஸ்பெக்டருக்குத்தான் போன் பண்ணினோம் வரவே இல்லை. அப்புறம் இதே ஆச்பித்திரியில்தான் வந்து சிகிச்சை எடுத்துக்கிட்டேன். ஆதித்தமிழர் பேரவை தான் வந்து ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் பண்ணினாங்க. ஏழைப்பேச்சு அம்பலம் ஏறலை. நம்ம சொல்றது எதையுமே கேட்க மாட்டாங்க.

From the day I took charge, there have been many problems, problems within streets, roads, water problems, housing allocation, everything was a problem. They would never let me conduct meetings. I had to hold meetings only with the help of the police. Even if I gave a complaint with the police, they wouldn’t take action immediately. Even if I phone and call for an emergency, they won’t come immediately. Inspector Paldurai would never take action for whatever complaint I gave him. If others called, he would come immediately. On Republic Day after the flag hoisting, I was making arrangements for the Village Council meeting, when the vice-president’s representative came and twisted my left arm over my back and broke my arm. We called Inspector Paldurai only, he never came. We came to this same hospital for treatment. The Athithamilar Peravai held a protest. The speech of the poor did not climb into the open. They will never listen to anything we say.

வெட்டும் போது ஏதாவது சொல்லி வெட்டுனாங்களா?

Did they say anything when they were attacking you?

பேசவே விடலை. தாறுமாறா தாறுமாறா வெட்டுனாங்க. அங்க ஒரு கழிப்பறை கட்டப் போறோம். ரொம்ப நாளா போராடி ஒரு கழிப்பறை கட்டப் போறாம். சுப்பு கோனாரு அண்ணன் பையன் ஆவுடையப்பக் கோனார் நாடார் பையன்களை brain wash பண்ணி கூட்டிட்டு வந்தாங்க. அன்னிக்கு ரொம்ப நேரமாயிட்டு ஆபீஸ்ல வேலை முடிய. 9.30 மணி ஆயிட்டு மறுநாள் ஜமாபந்தி இருந்ததுனால old age pension, அப்புறம் பட்டா, ரேஷன் கார்டு எழுதி கொடுத்திட்டு இருந்தேன். மாமா வேர இரவு வேலைக்கு போயிட்டாங்க. எனக்கு அன்னைக்கு periods வேறு. அதனால் என்னால் நடக்கவும் முடியலை, தலை சுத்தலா இருந்தது. அதனால ஆட்டோல போகலாம்னு சொல்லி கிளம்பினேன்.

They did not let me talk at all. They hacked at me blindly, from all directions. We were going to build a toilet. After a long struggle, we were going to build a toilet. Subbu Konar’s elder brother’s son Avudaiyappa Konar had brainwashed the Nadar boys and brought them along. That day, it had taken a long time for work at office to get over. It became 9.30 p.m. The jamabandi – settlement of land revenue – was to take place tomorrow. So I was writing out the old age pensions, patta and ration cards. My father-in-law had gone for night labour. I had my periods also on that day. I couldn’t even walk, was feeling dizzy. So I decided to take an auto.

வழக்கமாக போகின்ற ஆட்டோவா? வேற ஆட்டோவா?

Was it the auto you took usually? Or was it a different one?

நான் எப்பவுமே நடந்துதான் போவேன். அன்னைக்கு periods சமயம், மத்தியானம் வேறு சாப்பிடலை, தலைசுத்திற மாதிரி இருந்தது. நடக்க முடியலே கீழே விழுந்திருவேனோன்னு பயந்துதான் ஆட்டோல போவோம்ன்னு கிளம்பினேன். ஆட்டோக்காரன் வந்தான், கருப்பசாமி கோயில் திரும்பிய உடனே கூட்டமா அரிவாளோட வந்ததும் ஆட்டோக்காரன் ஓடிப் போயிட்டான். நானும் ஆட்டோவை விட்டு இறங்கப் போனேன். இறங்க முடியலை. எப்பவுமே அந்த இடத்துல கும்பலா ஆள் உட்கார்ந்து இருப்பாங்க. போலீஸ் கிட்ட எத்தனையோ தடவை அங்க ஆள்களை உட்கார விடாதீங்கனு சொன்னோம். உட்கார்ந்துகிட்டு கெட்ட வார்த்தையால பேசுவாங்க, கல்லைக் கொண்டு எறிவாங்க. அன்னைக்கு அரிவாள், கத்தியோட கூட்டமா ஓடி வந்ததும் ஆட்டோக்காரன் ஓடிட்டான். ஆட்டோக்குள்ள வைச்சி வெட்டுனாங்க பேசவே விடலை. வாயை மூடிட்டாங்க, கண்ணைப் போத்திட்டாங்க, வெட்டு அதிகமாக விழுந்தாலே கத்த முடியலை. எட்டரை மன்னிக்கு மேலே எல்லோரும் நாடகம் (டி.வி) பாக்கப் போயிடுவாங்க. நாடகத்திலே மூழ்கிடுவாங்க.

I always walk back. Since it was the time of my periods and I hadn’t eaten in the afternoon, I was feeling dizzy. I couldn’t walk and was afraid I would fall. That’s why I took an auto. The autodriver came. Immediately after turning at Karuppasamy Koil and the gang came with sickles, he ran away. I also tried to get out of the auto. I couldn’t. Always, there is a gang of men hanging around that place. I have told the police so many times, not to let men sit there. They would sit there and use obscene language and hurl stones at people. That day, when they came running with sickles and knives, the auto driver ran away. They hacked at me as I sat inside the auto. They didn’t let me talk. They shut my mouth and eyes. They were hacking at me so badly, that I couldn’t scream. It was past eight thirty, so everyone would have gone to watch the drama (T.V.). They would be lost in the drama.

அதுக்கு முன்னால உங்களைத்தான் வெட்டப் போறோம்ன்னு ஏதாவது சொன்னாங்களா?

Before the incident, did they say anything about attacking you?

அப்படி சொல்லலை. சொல்லியிருந்தா உஷாரா இருந்திருப்போம். ஜாக்கிரதையா இருந்திருப்போம். எங்க வீட்டுக்காரரைத்தான் வெட்டுவேன்னு சொல்வாங்க. ரோட்லே வைச்சி வெட்டுவோம்ன்னு சொன்னாங்க. கடைசியில அவரை இங்கிருந்து மாற்றம் பண்ணிட்டாங்க. என் பிள்ளைகளுக்கும் பாதுகாப்பு இல்லை. தலைவர் ஆனதில் இருந்த பிரச்சனை. அவங்க சொல்ற எல்லாத்துக்கும் சரின்னு ஜால்ரா அடிச்சிட்டு போயிருந்தா நல்லா இருந்திருக்கும் எந்தப் பிரச்சனையும் வந்திருக்காது. கள்ளத்தனம் பண்றதுக்கு, யாரையும் எதையும் தின்ன விட மாட்டேன் அதுதான் பிரச்சனை. நான் தேர்தலில் சுயேட்சையாகத்தான் நின்றேன். ஆதித்தமிழர் பேரவைன்னு இருக்கிறதே பதவி ஏற்ற பிறகு தான் தெரியும். எங்க சமுதாயம்ன்னு லேசா போவேனே தவிர பெரிய அளவில் இல்லை.

They didn’t say that. If they had, we would have been cautious. We would have been careful. They only said that they would attack my husband. They said they would cut him down on the road. Finally, he was transferred. My children have no protection. From the time I became president, there have been problems. If I had said ‘yes’ to everything they said and went along, playing the accompaniment, things would have been fine. There would have been no problems. I won’t let anyone do any thievery,  I won’t let anyone eat up anything. That was the problem. I had stood in the elections as an independent candidate. I had learnt of the existence of the Athithamilar Peravai only after taking up my post. Since they were of my community, I would go along a little but not much.

ஊர் மக்கள் ஆதரவாக இருப்பாங்க நீங்களே அவங்கிட்ட கேட்டுக்குங்க. நல்லா ஒத்துழைப்பு கொடுப்பாங்க. இடையில் நாடார் சமூகத்துக்கும் ஒரு சண்டை வந்தது. 2008-இல் சரோஜினி நாயுடு அவார்டு சோனியா அம்மாகிட்ட வாங்க டெல்லி  போயிருந்தப்ப சாதி சண்டைல விடலைப் பசங்களுக்குள்ளே சண்டை. தட்சணம்மாள் நாடாரோ ஒரு நாடார் அந்த சண்டைல எங்க சாமிய அடிச்சிட்டாங்கன்னு பிரச்சனை. அந்தப் பிரச்சனை நடக்கும்போது நான் டெல்லி போயிட்டேன். நான்தான் அந்த சண்டையைத் தூண்டிவிட்டேன் என்று என்னைப் பிடிக்காதவங்க சொல்லி, அந்த சாதிச் சண்டை விஸ்வரூபம் எடுத்துட்டு என்னதான் சரிசெய்து வைத்தாலும் அப்பப்ப இது புகைஞ்சிகிட்டே இருக்கும். (அருகில் இருந்த மகள் புவனேஸ்வரி: இப்ப கொடையில் கூட பிரச்சனை வந்தது. சும்மா இருந்த அம்மாவை எப்படி நீங்க இங்க வரலாம் எங்க கோயிலுக்குன்னு கேட்டாங்க. வேணி தொடர்கிறார்) மட்டமா மட்டமா அம்மணக்குண்டி அப்படி இப்படின்னு லேடீஸை கேவலப்படுத்துறாங்க. யாரு மேடம் சம்மதிப்பாங்க. இதுக்கெல்லாம் நாங்க பொறுப்பாக முடியுமா. பிரச்சனை வந்தது.

The people will support me, go and ask them. They would co-operate well. In between, there was a quarrel with the Nadar community. In 2008, when I had gone to Delhi to get the Sarojini Naidu Award from Sonia madam, there had been a quarrel among the adolescent boys during a caste-clash. It became a problem when Thatchanammal Nadar or some Nadar hit our god during the fight. I had gone to Delhi during this time. People who didn’t like me said that I was the one who had instigated the clash. Then that clash took on monstrous forms, and, however, much we tried to set things right, it kept smouldering. (Her daughter Buvaneswari is nearby and adds: Now there was a problem with the festival too. My mother was not doing anything and they came and asked her, how can you come to our temple? Krishnaveni continues) They would use such filthy debasing language, they would call the women ‘naked bottomed’, this, that. Who would accept such things, madam? Can we be responsible for these things? Problems came.

அதிகளவு உங்க பதவிக் காலத்தில் தொந்தரவு பண்ணது யாரெல்லாம்?

Who were the people who caused the most problems during your term?

இஸ்லாமிய சமுதாயத்தை சேர்ந்த சுல்தான். ஓடைப் பிரச்சனையில் சுப்பு போன வருஷத்துல இருந்து ரொம்ப தொந்தரவு பண்ணினாங்க. அப்புறம் நாடார் தான். நான் சொந்த ஊர் நாகர்கோவில் பக்கம். இங்குள்ள மக்கள் எல்லாருமே நாடார் வீடுகளுக்கு கல்யாண வீட்ல இலை எடுத்துப் போடுவாங்க. சுடுகாட்டுல குழி வெட்ட போவாங்க. இப்படி நாடார் சமூகத்துக்கு வேலை செய்வாங்க. நான் பதவிக்கு வந்ததும் அதுபோல வேலைகளுக்கு போக விடமாட்டேன். ஓடை தள்ற வேலை பார்க்கறதாலே இப்ப போக மாட்டாங்க. இது அவங்களுக்கு தாங்கலை. கோபம்.

Sulthan, who belongs to the Muslim community, only. In the problem of the canal, Subbu has been giving a lot of problems from last year. Then the Nadars. My native place is near Nagarcoil. All the people here go to the Nadar houses during weddings and remove the leaves that people have eaten from. They would go to dig holes in the cremation ground. They would do work for the Nadar community. After I took my post, I don’t let them go for such work. Since they do the canal digging work, they don’t go. Those people can’t stand this. They’re angry.

சுல்தான் ஒரு தடவை தேசிய வேலை வைப்பு உறுதித் திட்டத்தில் ஓடையில வைச்சி வேலை நடக்கும்போது அங்க அம்மணமா வந்து நின்னாரு. இப்படி வந்து நின்னா பொம்பளைங்க எப்படி நிப்பாக. அதுக்குக்கூட போலீஸ் எந்த நடவடிக்கையும் இல்லை. போலீஸ் காசு கொடுத்தா அவங்க பக்கந்தான் நிக்கும். அப்போ டி.பி.எம். மைதீன்கான் இருந்தார். அவர்ட்ட சொன்னேன். பூங்கோதை அம்மாட்ட சொன்னேன். நான் சுயேச்சையா நின்னேன். ஆனால் நான் ஆ.இ. அ. தி.மு.க. சார்பாக நிக்கிறேன்னு சொல்லி அந்தம்மாவையும் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க விடாமல் ஆக்கிட்டாங்க. கருப்பசாமி பாண்டியனையும் பார்த்தேன். கஷ்டப்பட்ட சமூதாயத்தில இருந்து யாரும் வரக்கூடாதுன்னு நெனைக்கிறாங்க. கழிப்பறையை கட்டுறதை எதிர்த்து சுப்பு கோனார், அவருடன் சேர்ந்து மீரான், சுல்தான், எல்லாம் மிரட்டினாங்க. நாங்க முறையா அணுகினோம். RDOவிடம் கேட்டோம், தாசில்தாரிடம் கேட்டோம். இடம் இருந்தா தாராளமாக கட்டுங்க. இடம் முடிவு செய்தது மக்கள் தான். கோனார் ஆசாரி தேவர் எல்லா சாதியையும் சேர்ந்து தான் முடிவு பண்ணாங்க. இவர் சுப்பு கோனார் இடம் முக்கால்வாசி புறம்போக்கை பிடிச்சி வைச்சிருக்காரு. அதனாலதான் அவருக்கு இது புடிக்கலை.

Once when the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme work was going on in the canal, Sulthan came and stood naked there. If he comes and stands like this, how will the women stay there? For that, too, the police did not take any action. If they give money to the police, they will be on their side only.  T.P.M. Maideen Khan* was in the government then. I told him. I told Poongothai* madam. I had stood as an independent. They told her that I had stood on behalf of the A.I.A.D.M.K. and made sure that she didn’t take any action. I went and saw Karuppasamy Pandian** also. They think that noone from the struggling communities should come forward. Subbu Konar, with him, Meeran and Sulthan, all threatened me against building a toilet. We went about it formally. We asked the RDO, the Tahsildar. They said, if there is place, go ahead and build. The people only decided the place. Konar, Asari, Thevar – all the castes came together and decided. Subbu Konar’s land is mostly encroaching on poromboke lands. That’s why he didn’t like it.

*Ministers in the DMK government of 2006-11
**DMK Member of the Legislative Assembly in the same period

(அவரால் தொடர்ந்து பேச முடியவில்லை. கடைசியாக அவர்,) நான் ரொம்ப தைரியசாலிங்க. ஆனால் பொம்பளைன்னு பாக்காம இப்படி தாறுமாறா வெட்டுனதுக்க அப்புறம் எனக்கு ரொம்ப பயமா இருக்கு. இனிமேல் எங்க சமூதயத்துல இருந்த யாராவது பொது வாழ்க்கைக்கு தைரியமா வருவாங்களா? பொம்பளையான என்னை வெட்டும்போது என் கணவர், என் பிள்ளைங்க கதி? என்ன பாதுகாப்பு இருக்கு? ரொம்ப பயமா இருக்கு (என்று கண்ணீர் விட்டு அழுகின்றார்)

(She is unable to continue. Finally she says,) I am a very brave person. But after they have hacked at me blindly, without even caring that I am a woman, I am very afraid. After this, will any person from our community come bravely to public life? If they hack me, a woman, what is the fate of my husband and children? What protection is there? I am very afraid. (She weeps)

***

தாழையூத்து பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர் கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் மீது நடத்தப்பட்ட கொடூரமான தாக்குதலைத் தொடர்ந்து, தலித் பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர்களின் மீது நடத்தப்படும் வன்முறைகளை முன்வைக்கும் வலைபதிவுகளின் மூன்றாம் பதிவு இது. அருந்ததியர் மனித உரிமை அமைப்பு வெளியிட்ட அறிக்கை இங்கே. இந்த சம்பவத்தை தொடர்ந்து எஸ் ராஜ் எழுதிய கவிதை இங்கே.

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the third of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced here. A poem about the incident by SRaj is here.

A poem for Krishnaveni

In Dalit Writing, Political statement on June 27, 2011 at 7:26 am

- SRaj

ஒதுக்குப்  புறமாக ஒடுங்கி கூனிக்  கிடந்த சக்கிலிச்சி
சபையேறி நிமிர்ந்து நின்று  ஊர்ப்பணி ஆற்றுவது
ஜீரணிக்க முடியுமா பரம்பரை ஏவலர்க்கு
அடுக்குமா ஆதிக்க ஜாதிக்கு
பொறுக்குமா நம்மை ஏய்த்துப் பிழைத்து
வயிர் வளர்க்கும் கூட்டத்திற்கு

The Sakkili woman, who once lay crouched in a corner,
Now standing straight on a stage, serving the public,
Will those who have ordered us for generations digest this?
Will the dominant castes tolerate it?
Will the crowd that survives and fills its stomach
By ordering us around stand for it?

ஊரை விற்று உலையில் போட
சுயநல கூட்டம் போட்ட  தாளத்திற்கு
ஆட மறுத்து உன் உயிரை பணயம் வைத்து
திமிறி எழுந்து திறம்பட பம்பரமாய் மக்கள் பணியாற்றி
மாதிய குலத்து  வேணி  வீராயி நீ பெற்ற விருதுகள்
கண்களை கட்டை கொண்டு உருத்தியதோ

To sell the town and toss it into the fire
The selfish crowd beat out a rhythm
That you refused to dance to, placing your life on the line,
You threw them off, stood up and skillfully, busily, served the people
The awards you won, brave goddess of the female clan,
Were they as logs poked into their eyes, to annoy them so?

பெண் என்றால் பேயும் இரங்கும் என்பர்
ஐந்து ஜாதி  வெறி பிடித்த மிருகங்கள்
பெண் ஒருத்தி உனை சுற்றிவளைத்து
மேனியை ஆயுதத்தால் வெட்டி  பிளைந்து குதறி
கொலைவெறி தாக்குதலை நடத்தி
குற்றும்  குலை உயிருமாக இரத்த வெள்ளத்தில்
தங்கை நீ மிதந்த பத்திரிக்கை  செய்தி பார்த்து
படபடத்து பதரிவிட்டோம் உன் அண்ணன் நாங்கள்

For a woman, even the spirits show pity, they say.
Those five animals possessed with casteist rage
Surrounded you, a lone woman,
Hacked, split open and ripped you with weapons,
Attacking you with murderous intent,
They left you barely alive, floating on a flood of blood,
Our sister, when we read of this in the news,
We, your brothers, were flustered, stunned, troubled.

இந்த மிருகங்களின் முகங்களிலே
காரி உமிழ்ந்தால் கூட நம் எச்சில் தான் வீணாகும்
ஆட்சியாளர்கள் அலட்சியம் காட்டி
நீதித்துறை  நீதி வழங்கவில்லை எனில்
நம் நீலப்படை நீதிவழங்கும் என அண்ணன் அதியமான்
கூறியதை நீ சிந்திய செங்குருதியின் மீது
அணையிட்டு கூறுகின்றோம்.

Even if we should hawk and spit upon the faces
Of these animals, only our spit will be wasted.
If the ones who govern us should prove indifferent
If the department of justice does not provide justice
Our blue army will provide justice, said our brother Athiyaman,
Upon the blood you have spilt,
We swear that this shall be so.

***

This poem is written for Aathithamilar Peravai www.aathithamizharperavai.com

தாழையூத்து பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர் கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் மீது நடத்தப்பட்ட கொடூரமான தாக்குதலைத் தொடர்ந்து, தலித் பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர்களின் மீது நடத்தப்படும் வன்முறைகளை முன்வைக்கும் வலைபதிவுகளின் இரண்டாம் பதிவு இது. அருந்ததியர் மனித உரிமை அமைப்பு வெளியிட்ட அறிக்கை இங்கே.

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the second of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced here.

Why was Panchayat president Krishnaveni attacked?

In Dalit Writing, Report on June 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

தாழையூத்து பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர் கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் மீது நடத்தப்பட்ட கொடூரமான தாக்குதலைத் தொடர்ந்து, தலித் பஞ்சாயத் தலைவர்களின் மீது நடத்தப்படும் வன்முறைகளை முன்வைக்கும் வலைபதிவுகளின் முதல் பதிவு இது. இந்த சம்பவத்தைப் பற்றி அருந்ததியர் மனித உரிமை அமைப்பு வெளியிட்ட அறிக்கை கீழே.

In response to the brutal attack on Thalaiyuthu Panchayat President Krishnaveni, this is the first of a series of posts about attempts on the lives of dalit panchayat presidents. This attack has hospitalised an award-winning and popular elected leader and underlines the threat that caste poses to democracy. A statement on the attack issued by the Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation has been reproduced in full and translated below.

நியாயமாக பணிசெய்த பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவரை அடித்து நொறுக்கிய கருங்காலிகள் யார்?

Who were the scoundrels who beat up a just and hard-working Panchayat president?

‘தைரியம்ன்னா என்னான்னு தெரியுமா?’ ஒரு செயலை செய்வதற்கு துணிந்து நின்று பயம் இல்லாமல் செய்வதைத்தான் தைரியம் என்று சொல்கிறோம். அந்த வகையில் சாதி வெறியாட்டம் மிகுந்த திருநெல்வேலி சீமையிலே தனி ஒரு மனிதனாக நின்று ஆங்கிலேயரை எதிர்த்து, முதல் சுதந்திரபோராட்ட தியாகத்தில் தைரியமாக போரிட்டவர் தளபதி ஒண்டிவீரன் என்பவரையேச் சாரும் அவர்களின் வழி வந்த எம்மக்கள் மீதான வன்கொடுமைகள் தொடர்ந்து இருந்து கொண்டே இருக்கிறது.

‘Do you know what courage is?’ To stand up boldly and to dare to do an act without fear, that is what we call courage. Such courage belonged to general Ondiveeran, the man who stood alone against the British and fought bravely in the first war of Independence. In Tirunelveli region, that stronghold of caste violence, our people who are of his lineage are being continually subject to atrocities.

இந்நாட்டு மக்களாகிய, அனைத்து தரப்பு மக்கள் எந்தவித நோய்கள் வராமல் இருக்க ஊரையும், தெருவையும், பெரிய பெரிய முதலாளிகளின் வீடுகள் ஆகிய அனைத்தையும் சுத்தம் செய்து, அவர்கள் நன்றாக இருப்பதற்காக அனைத்து நோய்களையும் தாங்களே அனுபவிக்கிறார்கள். இந்தியாவின் 3வது அரசாங்கமான உள்ளாட்சி அரசாங்கத்தின் வழியாக தான், இழந்த அனைத்து உரிமைகளையும் சலுகைகளையும் பெற முடியும் என்ற நம்பிக்கையில் பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர்களாக நின்று அந்த அதிகாரத்தின் வழியாக கிராம அளவில் முன்னேற்றம் அடையலாம் என நினைத்து இந்த 5 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு தான் அரசியல் கோணத்தில் வெளிவருகிறார்கள் அருந்ததியர்கள். அவ்வாறு வெளிவந்த சமயத்தில் ஏற்பட்ட சம்பவங்களில் இழந்த உயிர்கள் தான் அதிகம்.

 

To save the people of this country from disease, they clean everything from the town, the streets and the houses of the big landlords. That these people may be healthy, they take all diseases upon themselves. Only in the past five years have the Arunthathiyar been standing for elections of panchayat presidents in the belief that atleast through the third arm of governance – the local bodies – they can find progress at the village-level, regain their lost rights and receive the subsidies that are their due. At this, the moment of their arrival, they have only lost many lives.

 

திருநெல்வேலி மாவட்டம் தாழையூத்து பஞ்சாயத்தில் தலித் தனி தொகுதியில் கடந்த 2006ஆம் ஆண்டு பஞ்சாயத்து தேர்தலில் அருந்ததிய சமூகத்தை சேர்ந்த கிருஷ்ணவேணி(35 ) என்பவர் போட்டியிட்டு வெற்றி பெற்றார். இந்த பஞ்சாயத்தில் அனைத்து தரப்பு மக்களும் வசித்து வருகின்றனர். பெரும்பாலும் விவசாயத்தை நம்பியே வாழும் சூழல் இருக்கிறது. இந்த பஞ்சாயத்தில் சங்கர் சிமென்ட் மற்றும் நிலவுடைமைகள் அதிகமாக இருப்பதனால் பஞ்சாயத்திற்கு வரவேண்டிய வரி வரவுகள் அதிகமாக இருக்கிறது. இருந்தாலும் கிராம அளவில் முன்னேற்றம் என்பது கேள்விக்குறியாக இருக்கிறது. குறிப்பாக தலித் மக்களின் முன்னேற்றம் மிகமிக குறைவாக இருக்கிறது. இந்த கிராமத்தின் வளர்ச்சியை நோக்கி இப்பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர் அரசு மற்றும் அரசு சாரா நிறுவனங்கள் நடத்தக் கூடிய பல்வேறு கிராம முன்னேற்ற சம்பந்தமாக நிகழ்ச்சிகளில் கலந்து கொண்டு தன்னுடைய பணிகளை செய்து வந்தார்.

 

Krishnaveni (35) of the Arunthathiyar community contested and won the Panchayat elections in the reserved Thalaiyuthu Panchayat of Tirunelveli district in 2006. There are people from many communities in this Panchayat. They mostly depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Since Sankar Cements and many large land-holdings exist in this Panchayat, there are many taxes that are due to be paid to it. Yet, progress at the village-level remains a question mark. Specifically, the progress among dalit people is very very low. For the development of this village, this Panchayat president participated in several programmes relating to village development, organised by governmental and non-governmental bodies, and performed her duties.

 

இவரின் சவாலான துணிச்சலும், தைரியமும் மற்றவர்களை வியப்படச் செய்தது. இது ஒரு பக்கம் இருந்தாலும் மாற்ற ஆதிக்க சமூகத்தினருக்கு அச்சத்தை உண்டாக்கியது. அதாவது, ‘ஒரு சக்கிலிய பிள்ளை இப்படி துணிச்சலா செய்றா நம்மளைய அடக்கி ஆள நினைக்கிறா’ என்ற தவறான சிந்தனைக்கு சென்று இப்பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவரின் பணியில் நெருக்கடி கொடுத்தான் மேலும் சில கொலை மிரட்டல்களும், கொலை முயற்சிகளும் அவ்வப்போது செய்து வந்தனர். இருப்பினும் பிற சமூகத்தை சார்ந்த பலர் ‘இந்த கிருஷ்ணவேணி அம்மா வந்த பிறகு தான் நல்லநல்ல விஷயங்கள் நடந்து இருக்கிறது. இந்த அம்மா நேர்மையா இருக்கிறது’ என்று கூறினார். இதையொட்டி இந்த பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர் ‘நான் பணி செய்யும் போது ஆதிக்கசாதியினர் ஒரு சிலர் பணிக்கு குறுக்கீடு செய்யுறாங்க, கொலை செஞ்சிடுவேனு மிரட்டுறாங்க’ என இரண்டு முறை பாதுகாப்பு வேண்டி காவல்துறைக்கு மனு கொடுத்துள்ளார் ஆனால் காவல்துறை இதை பெரிய பொருட்டாக கருதவில்லை. இதற்கிடையில் கடந்த 11.06.2011 அன்று மாவட்ட ஆட்சிதலைவர் மன்றத்தில் நடைபெற்ற மக்கள் குறைதீர்க்கும் கூட்டத்தில் கலந்துகொண்டு பின்னர் இதற்கு மறுநாளான 12.06.2011 அன்று சமபந்தி கூட்டத்திலும் கலந்துகொண்டு பஞ்சாயத்துக்கு சம்பந்தப்பட்ட தீர்மானங்களை நிறைவேற்றினார். இந்த கூட்டத்திற்கு கிளார்க் மற்றும் துணை பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர் ஆகிய இருவரும் கலந்துகொள்ளவில்லை என தெரிகிறது.

 

People were stunned by her courage and bravery which were a challenge to them. While this feeling existed, dominant castes were also afraid of her. The wrong thought that ‘This Sakkili woman acts with so much courage, she seeks to subdue and rule us’ led to them posing obstacles to her work, besides issuing a few death threats and making attempts on her life. Yet, people from other communities said, ‘After this Krishnaveni lady has come, many good things are happening. This lady is honest’. The Panchayat president had twice sought police protection, saying ‘While I am doing my work, some members of the dominant castes are interfering and are threatening to kill me’. The police department did not take her seriously. On 11.06.2011, she participated in the grievance redressal meeting organised at the Collectorate. She participated in the meeting the next day to fulfill the resolutions relating to her Panchayat. It seems that both the clerk and the Panchayat vice-president did not attend this meeting.

இந்த நிலையில் 13.06.2011 அன்று வடக்கு தாழையூத்து பகுதியில் பஞ்சாயத்து சம்பந்தமான பணிகளை செய்து முடித்து வீடு திரும்பும்போது இரவு நேரம் என்பதால் ஆட்டோவில் சென்று கொண்டிருக்க ஆள் நடமாட்டம் இல்லாத இடத்தில் சென்று கொண்டிருக்கும் போது திடீரென 6 அடையாளம்  தெரியாத மர்ம நபர்கள் கடுமையாக தாக்கக்கூடிய ஆயுதங்களோடு வந்து பஞ்சாயத்து தலைவர் கிருஷ்ணவேணியை சரமாரியாக கை, கால், முகம் என பல்வேறு இடங்களில் வெட்டி காயப்படுத்தினர். இதனால் அவர் உயிருக்கு போராடிக்கொண்டிருக்க பாலைமேட்டுதிடல் அரசு மருத்துவமனையில் சேர்க்கப்பட்டார். இரத்தம் அதிகமாக வெளியேறியதால் 1 லி 900 மிலி தேவைப்பட்டதால் தாழையூத்து பகுதியிலுள்ள பிற சமூகத்தைச் சார்ந்த 8 நபர்கள் தன்னுடைய இரத்தத்தை கொடுத்துள்ளது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

 

On 13.06.2011, after having finished some Panchayat-related work in north Thalaiyuthu, she was returning home in an auto since it was nighttime. While crossing a sparsely populated stretch, six strangers attacked Panchayat president Krishnaveni with weapons intended to cause serious injury and hacked at her arms, legs, and face. She was admitted, battling for her life, to the Palaimettuthidal Government Hospital. Since she had lost a lot of blood, 1 l 900 ml of blood was needed. It is notable that eight individuals of other communities of the Thalaiyuthu region have donated blood for her.

இந்த சம்பவத்தின் பின்னணி என்ன என்று விசாரித்த வகையில் ‘ஆயுதங்களோடு தாக்கிய 6 நபர்களில், 2 நபர்களை நாங்கள் சந்தேகப்படுகிறோம்’ என கிருஷ்ணவேணி தரப்பில் கூறியதால் காவல்துறை அந்த இரண்டு நபர்களை கைது செய்தது. கைது செய்த 2 நபர்களை விசாரித்த வகையில்  ‘ஆயுதங்களோடு தாக்கியவர்கள் அந்த இரண்டு நபர்கள் அல்ல, அதை செய்தவர்கள் கூலி படைகள் தான் அதனால் நாங்கள் சீக்கிரமாக கண்டுபிடித்து விடுவோம்’ என காவல்துறை கூறியுள்ளது. இச்சம்பவம் நடந்த 5 நாட்கள் கடந்த நிலையில் 19.06.2011 அன்று 5 நபர்கள் காவல்துறையிடம் சென்று ‘நாங்கள் தான் கிருஷ்ணவேணியை கோலை முயற்சி செய்தோம்’ என சரணடைந்துள்ளனர். மேலும் இந்த சம்பவ விசாரணையானது 23.06.2011 நீதிமன்றத்திற்கு வருகிறது என கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் உறவினர்கள் கூறினார்கள்.

 

While inquiring about the incident, it was said on Krishnaveni’s behalf that ‘Of the six individuals who attacked with weapons, we suspect two people we know’. The police arrested these two. Following interrogations, they arrived at the conclusion that it was not these two but hired labourers who had attempted to murder her. They promised to find the culprits soon. Five days after the incident, on 19.06.2011, five individuals went to the police, confessed to the attack on Krishnaveni and surrendered. Krishnaveni’s relatives said that the matter will come up for hearing in the court on 23.06.2011.

 

இந்த சம்பவத்தை செய்த கருங்காலிகள் யார்? என்பது இன்னும் புரியாத புதிராக இருக்கிறது. திருநெல்வேலி, விருதுநகர், தூத்துக்குடி ஆகிய அருகிலுள்ள மாவட்டங்களைச் சார்ந்த அருந்ததிய இயக்கங்கள் ஆங்காங்கே கண்டன ஆர்பாட்டங்கள் மற்றும் போராட்டங்களின் வழியாக கிருஷ்ணவேணியை தாக்கிய அந்த கருங்காலிகளை கைது செய்து தண்டனை வழங்குமாறு தங்களுடைய எதிர்ப்புகளை தெரிவித்து வருகின்றனர். வருகிற 28.06.2011 அன்று திருநெல்வேலியில் அனைத்து தலித் தலைவர்கள் இணைந்து 2000 மக்கள் கலந்து கொள்ளும் வகையில் கண்டன ஆர்பாட்டம் நடைபெறும் என திருநெல்வேலி ஆதிதமிழர் பேரவை மாவட்ட செயலாளர் திருமிகு சங்கர் கூறியுள்ளார். மேலும் இச்சம்பவம் பற்றிய முழு விபரங்களை கண்டறிய உண்மை கண்டறியும் குழு என்ற ஒரு குழுவை அமைத்து அந்த கிராமத்திற்கு சென்று உண்மை என்ன என்பதை கண்டறிய அதற்கான பணிகளை செய்தால் சிறப்பாக இருக்கும் என்ற பரிந்துரையை சமிர்பிக்கின்றேன்.

 

Who were the scoundrels responsible for this incident? This remains an unresolved question. Arunthathiyar organisations from the districts of Tirunelveli, Virudunagar and Thoothukudi have organised protests to express their demand that the scoundrels who attacked Krishnaveni be brought to justice. The Adithamizhar Peravai district secretary Sankar has announced that dalit leaders will come together to lead a 2000-strong protest on 28.06.2011 in Tirunelveli. I submit the recommendation that a fact finding team should be constituted and sent to the village to determine the truth.

 

>அரசானது திருமதி கிருஷ்ணவேணியை தாக்கிய கருங்காலிகளை உடனே வன்கொடுமை தடுப்பு சட்டத்தின் கீழ் கைது செய்ய வேண்டும்.
>திருமதி கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் குடும்பத்திற்கும் உற்றார் உறவினர்க்கும் பாதுகாப்பு வழங்க வேண்டும்.
>பாதிக்கப்பட்ட கிருஷ்ணவேணியின் குடும்பத்திற்கு உடனே நிவாரண நிதியுதவி செய்ய வேண்டும்;
>தலித் மக்கள் வசிக்கும் பகுதிகளுக்கு பாதுகாப்பு வழங்க வேண்டும்.
>வன்கொடுமை தடுப்பு சட்டத்தில் கூறியுள்ள தலித் ஊராட்சிமன்ற தலைவர்களுக்கு பாதுகாப்பு நலன் கருதி துப்பாக்கி கொடுப்பதை நடைமுறை படுத்த வேண்டும்.
>ஊராட்சிமன்ற தலைவர்களுக்கான 29 அதிகாரங்களை நடைமுறைபடுத்தவேண்டும்.

அறிக்கைதொகுப்பு
வ. முத்து
மாநில ஒருங்கிணைப்பாளர்
அருந்ததியர் மனித உரிமை சங்கம்

 

>The government must immediately arrest the scoundrels who attacked Krishnaveni under the Prevention of Atrocities Act.
>Mrs. Krishnaveni’s family and relatives must be provided with security.
>The regions where Dalit people live must be provided with security.
>For the security of dalit Panchayat leaders as mentioned in the Prevention of Atrocities Act, it should be made a practice to provide them with guns.
>The 29 powers and responsibilities that rest with the Panchayat President should be brought into practice.

Statement compiled by
V. Muthu
State Convenor
Arunthathiyar Human Rights Federation

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