There is an article in “People’s Democracy” in its September 30 – October 6 issue (last page), about the social revolution that is being brought in T.Nadu through the hectic efforts of the people under the leadership of the “Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front” (TNUEF). The movement has been functioning for a few years and could make a lot of change for removing untouchability and connected malpractices.
The present article reports about the Direct Action Programmes organised in various parts of T.Nadu on 30th September, the death anniversary of Com. B.Srinivasa Rao, who was a crusader against untouchability and atrocities against Dalits in T.Nadu.
Some of these Direct Action Programmes were the following:
1. Temple Entry for dalits: For about 100 years, dalits were not allowed to enter Chathiswaran Temple in Village of Erode District.As per announcement made earlier the TNUEF workers under the leadership of TNUEF President Comrade P.Sampath and other leaders marched to the temple. The administration has no other go but to allow the temple entry of dalits then and there.
2.In the same way Dalits under the leadership of TNUEF also entered Narayana Perumal Temple in Tirunelveli District.
3. Entry in to own Land: In Kudalingapuram in Dindigul District, patta was given to 48 Dalit families, but they were not allowed to occupy the land since it was not handed over. The TNUEF workers came in large numbers and the administration was compelled to hand over the land to the dalits.
4. Untouchability Gate demolished in Ooty: The gate blocking the entry of dalits to the public road at Gandhipuram, Ooty was demolished on 30th September and the road opened for the dalits under the leadership of TNUEF.
5. First time hair cuts for dalits: The dalits in Echenkottai village of Thanjavur District, were not allowed to have hair cuts in the village and they were compelled to go far away for the same. Further in the tea shops the ” two tumbler system” existed whereby the dalits were given separate tumblers for supplying tea in the shops. This system was put an end to after the TNUEF agitation and massive demonstration on 30th September. The dalits were allowed hair cuts also in the village.
6. Hair Cut allowed in Vadipatti town in Madurai District also in the same way for the first time after many years.
7. Bath in the Common tank by Dalits: Dalits were denied permission to take bath in the common tank in Muthulingapuram, in Virudhunagar. On 30th September, the dalits and TNUEF volunteers together went to the tank and took bath, breaking the years old system of denying bath to the dalits.
These developments are a great victory for the dalits and the people of T.Nadu. It is not an easy matter to break the caste barrier and get justice for the dalits. It is only through sustained struggles that the injustices could be removed. The TNUEF should be congratulated for the revolutionary task they have undertaken. The movement is getting more and more support from the people and we hope that it will be able to advance further for the cause of the dalits. My Hearty Congratulations to Com. Sampath, President TNUEF and thousands of its activists and supporters. Really, a turn around is coning in T.Nadu.
(For details see “People’s Democracy” September 30- October 06 issue)