Thirumavalavan says it is a matured approach to maintain social harmony
The Dharmapuri violence against the Dalits was a backlash to the political rise of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and not targeted at inter-caste love marriages, claimed party president and MP Thol.Thirumavalavan.
Delivering the acceptance speech at an event held to release a souvenir to celebrate his 50th birthday here on Friday, Mr.Thirumavalavan said casteist forces tried to join hands as they felt threatened by the political assertion and rise of the Dalits, who had started to question their marginality in all spheres of life after the emergence of Dalit movements in the State.
Mr.Thirumavalavan said he was criticised for asking his party cadre to stay calm, which appeared to contradict his famous slogan Adanga Maru, Athu Meeru (Refuse to Submit and Break the Shackles). It should not be read as a sign of cowardice, but a mature approach to maintain social harmony and wage an organised struggle, he said.
Even a marginal rise among the Dalits, economically and politically, was leading to casteist realignments and alliances. It showed how hierarchical our society was, he lamented.
The slogan ‘Refuse to Submit’ was asking the marginalised to revolt against oppression in the name of caste, and not an invocation of violence. It was a call to counter the violence unleashed by the dominant forces – whether of the State or social hierarchies. The marginalised in all societies rise in revolt whenever there is an attempt to push them into a domination-subordination relationship, the MP said. The participation of veteran Communist leader R.Nallakannu and CPI(M) MLA Balabharathi in the event was a recognition for the VCK that it was moving ahead towards true democracy, he added.
Mr.Thirumavalavan had a moment of pride when he referred to the absence of uproar among his party cadre when N.Sethuraman, founder president of All India Moovendar Munnani Kazhagam, in his speech asked them to learn about Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, who had done a lot for the Dalits but was suppressed by historians.
Mr.Thirumavalavan said, “If Dr.Sethuraman could speak for five minutes about Thevar to the VCK cadre where there was no opposition or uproar, it shows that our cadre have politically matured and are open minded.” However, he asked Dr.Sethuraman to spread the ideals of Dr.Ambedkar among the intermediate castes.
Mr.Nallakannu released the souvenir and the first copy was received by DMK’s K.R.Periyakaruppan, MLA.
Speaking earlier, both Mr.Nallakannu and Ms.Balabharathi said the support of their political organisations would always be there for the VCK in its struggle against untouchability and caste atrocities. Writer Manushyaputhiran and K.R.Periyakaruppan also spoke.