IN its efforts to secure victory for its star candidate — former Union health minister and PMK founder’s son Anbumani Ramadoss — from caste clash-hit Dharmapuri, the party of Vanniyars on Friday lined up the mother of the young woman whose marriage with a Dalit man had led to a caste Hindu backlash against the community.
Among the many women who stood waiting for Anbumani’s convoy to enter Sellankottai village in Dharmapuri district Friday was Thenmozhi, whose daughter Divya’s marriage to a Dalit, E Elavarasan, had led to the suicides of her husband Nagarajan and Elavarasan himself last year.
Addressing the crowd, mainly comprising his party cadre, Anbumani stayed away from any references about the clashes or caste affinities. Instead, the focus was on prohibition, giving up the culture of ‘freebies’, and the “bright future” awaiting the country under Narendra Modi’s NDA of which his party is an ally.
But the campaign party skipped the Dalit village Natham, one of the worst-affected in the first clash, from where Elavarasan hailed. Hours after Nagarajan committed suicide, a caste Hindu mob over-ran three Dalit villages including Natham, destroying the houses, huts, vehicles, valuables and documents in arson.
In all, 326 families were on the streets without food, cloth, money or safety.
- Soon You Could Get Plastic Currency Notes: Find Out More
- Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor Starrer Befikre Gets A Thumbs Up
- Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response Over Various Issues Regarding Demonetisation
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Writes To West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
- Bigg Boss 10 December 8 Review: Swami Om Feels Cheated, lashes Out At Gaurav For Jail Punishment
- South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Impeached Over Corruption Scandal
- Former Air Chief SP Tyagi Arrested In VVIP Chopper Scam
- After Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya’s Twitter Account Hacked
- Find Out What PM Narendra Modi Told Cabinet Over Demonetisation Decision
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh Assures Safety Of All Tourists Stranded On Havelock Island
- Government To Waive Service Tax On Debit, Credit Card Transactions Of Up To Rs 2,000
- President Pranab Mukherjee Criticises Parliament Disruptions Over Demonetisation
- Pakistan International Airlines Flight Carrying Over 40 Passenger On Board Crashes
- Shah Rukh Khan On Raees Clash With Kaabil: It’s Impossible To Have A Solo Release In India
- US-President Elect Donald Trump Named TIME’s Person Of The Year 2016
With PMK assuming the leadership of caste Hindu outfits in their violent expression of communal umbrage against Dalits marrying the women in their community, the party was accused of exploiting the long-held caste prejudices for political gains; Anbumani’s candidature from the heart of the latest clash was alleged to be the culmination of this plan.
Vanniyars comprise about 35 per cent of the population here, and there are a significant number of other intermediary castes like Naidus and Gounders. The composition is almost similar in the northern belt of Tamil Nadu from where PMK draws its strength, and party founder S Ramadoss had once toyed with the idea of floating a coalition of backward community outfits, before eventually joining the NDA, apparently at Anbumani’s insistence.
But even after the polarisation, the PMK is not finding it easy here. Anbumani’s visit to Sellankottai came a day after about 50 cadres deserted the party in favour of the DMK.
The fight is multi-cornered, with AIADMK and DMK strongly in the field. Both have the support of all sections of the population including a significant number of caste Hindu communities, and the latter has the added support of Dalit outfits.