Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss on Saturday termed as “absurd and baseless” the allegation of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan that the PMK orchestrated the attack against the Dalits to revive its declining support base among Vanniyars.

To support his point, Dr Ramadoss pointed to the fact that those who had been arrested were not just Vanniyars but members of different communities.

He described inter-caste ‘love’ marriages, especially those involving girls from intermediate castes and Dalit boys, as a sham and called for raising the age of marriage for women to 21 years.

‘Settling scores’

Accusing some Dalit organisations of seeking to settle scores with intermediate castes under the pretext of such marriages, Dr. Ramadoss argued that the marriages put an end to the education of the girls.

It was in this context that he suggested raising the age limit of marriage to 21 years for women as in the case of men.

On the issue of inter-caste marriages in general, he hastened to clarify that he was for such marriages which would contribute to the eradication of caste system.

Campaign impact

He added that when southern districts had witnessed attacks against Dalits, northern districts in the state remained peaceful because of his “relentless campaign for social harmony”.

‘Those arrested not just Vanniyars but members of different