In what could be termed as a significant moment in strengthening the Dalit-Thevar relationship or moving ahead towards a state of social integrity, the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi has fielded Thiruma M. Pasumpon, son of the late Thevar leader P.K. Mookiah Thevar, as its Mayor candidate for Madurai.
This effort, political observers in Madurai feel, could bring about a positive feeling among the two castes at least at a symbolic level if not in real terms because, for long, there exists a troubled relationship between the two.
The 56-year-old Pasumpon is an Economics graduate from Loyola College, Chennai, and now works as a building consultant.
He joined the VCK in 2006 and before that he was with the All India Moovendar Munnani Kazhagam and worked to restore democracy in Pappapatti, Keeripatti and Nattarmangalam panchayats.
His father P.K. Mookiah Thevar is the most prominent disciple of Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar. He was popularly known as ‘Thevar Thandha Thevar.' He served as Member of Legislative Assembly from Usilampatti constituency continuously for 6 times since 1952 till his death in 1979.
Asked about this evolutionary change to be part of a Dalit party being the son of one of the famous leaders of the Thevar community, he said, “First I have to start from Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar. He is the most misunderstood person in the history of Tamil Nadu. He has been deprived the right place in society because of his followers.”
“When you want to walk in his footsteps, the first thing you should do is lose your caste identity and try to prophesise things in the right social perspective. Muthuramalinga Thevar was striving to bring in a Dalit leadership in Tamil Nadu if not in the Congress party.
Asked what this effort could bring about, he said that Muthuramalinga Thevar and Mookiah Thevar were accepted as great leaders of Mukkulathors.
“Being the son of Mookiah Thevar I expect them to show solidarity and likewise the Adi Dravidars, Devendra Kula Vellalars and Arunthathiyars (referred as Dalits) could as well show their solidarity. If elected to office, this could herald a new chapter in the socio-political history of South Tamil Nadu.”