The effort of Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S. Ramadoss to consolidate intermediate caste groups against Dalit assertion in Tamil Nadu is a cause for concern. Right from the days of forming the PMK, he has been playing the role of a self-styled ambassador of Dalit-Vanniyar unity. Today, he is in the forefront of anti-Dalit movement, opposing inter-caste marriages. His sinister campaign against Dalits has exposed his true colours.
Intermediate caste groups have never seen Dr. Ramadoss as their representative as he has never fought for the inclusion of any non-Vanniyar community in the MBC category. His sudden love for these groups is nothing but opportunism. One wonders how a man who has such contempt for his fellow countrymen can fight for the cause of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Caste and politics have become inseparable. All political parties want to consolidate themselves on the basis of caste and dictate terms to major political parties that encourage caste vote banks. Mr. Ramadoss failed to do well in the last Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. His strategy of switching loyalties from one political group to another went terribly wrong. He is now playing the caste card and trying to get attention in the name of protecting the interests of the intermediate caste groups.
Caste-based political parties like the PMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi create issues out of non-issues in order to occupy media space. They are bent on achieving narrow political ends at the cost of peace in an otherwise calm society.
The Tamil Nadu government should act swiftly to nip their nefarious activities in the bud.
Even after 65 years of independence, we are exploring avenues to strengthen caste-based reservation. Have we really achieved a balanced growth of all sections through reservation? Unless this fundamental issue is addressed dispassionately, we will witness more and more of unrest in the name of one group or the other.