With elections more than a year away, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan feels that more than political alliances, the need at the present time is a debate on how to counter the ‘anti-Dalit psyche’ sought to be created by the Pattali Makkal Katchi and the targeted violence against Dalits in the name of caste.

Speaking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, he said it was a dangerous strategy, which was based on the unscientific and illogical reasoning that love marriages were taking place with the ulterior motive of extracting money. The truth is that for petty electoral gains PMK founder S.Ramadoss had taken an anti-Constitutional stance and he was using instances of love marriages involving Dalit boys to whip up emotions, he said.

Had the Dravidian parties, which speak the language of equality and claim to adhere to principles of social justice, condemned efforts to spread anti-Dalit feelings , the Dharmapuri and Marakkanam violence would not have happened, said Mr.Thirumavalavan. He, however, acknowledged the efforts of the DMK, which formed a team and visited the violence-hit villages in Dharmapuri and the recent efforts of the government after the Marakkanam violence.

The PMK and other caste organisations were trying to pit the poor people of different castes to fight against one another for his party’s electoral gains. “The onus is on Dravidian and Left parties to prevent such a thing from happening in a State where leaders like Periyar, Kamaraj, Quadi-e-Milleth and revolutionaries like Bharathiar took efforts to promote social equality.”

The PMK was misleading caste organisations allied with it on amending the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, a central law, and efforts were on to strengthen it rather than diluting it, the VCK leader said.

He added that the VCK was not a caste-based party, but one that worked on the Ambedkarite principle of ‘annihilation of caste.’ It would continue its efforts to address these issues with pro-democratic forces and would also reach out to a few caste organisations.