The demolition of a section of the wall that separated a Dalit colony from caste Hindus at Uthapuram village in Madurai has brought happiness and relief to all those who believe in equal rights for all. Credit goes to The Hindu, the Tamil Nadu government, political parties, rights activists, and many others who joined hands for the noble cause. The demolition should be recorded in the social history of Tamil Nadu.
At the same time, the action of the caste Hindus who vacated their houses and went away to a hill as a mark of protest is outrageous. The lesson for us is: we cannot eliminate untouchability by political will alone. We need to bring about a change in the mindset of caste Hindus.
The government deserves praise for bringing down a section of the wall, but the action is not enough. The entire wall should be removed. Otherwise, temporary blocks can be constructed whenever there are tensions. The caste Hindus who left the village to protest the demolition should be educated on the Constitution which gives all its citizens the fundamental right to equality.
The demolition of a part of the Uthapuram wall which denied Dalits access to areas of common usage is symbolic of eliminating caste discrimination. The Hindu has proved that the pen is mightier than an electrified wall.
Siva. Veera. Vietnam,
B. Suresh Kumar,