The CPI(M) on Monday criticised the government machinery for its alleged incompetency in curbing the practice of untouchability in the State effectively.
Talking to reporters here, CPI(M) Central Committee member U. Vasuki questioned the silent attitude of the government machinery till serious issues such as the recent arrest of a hairdresser on the charge of practising untouchability at Kilamangalam surfaced.
“They [the district administration and Social Justice and Human Rights wing of Tamil Nadu police] should remain vigilant and nib such practices in the bud,” Ms. Vasuki said.
Though State and district level vigilance committees had been constituted under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Tamil Nadu, measures and initiatives to check the inhumane practice had not brought any change in society., she rued.
“In the Kilamangalam case, it was the arrow [the hairdresser] that was arrested and not the archer [those who instigate the inhumane practice]. The suppressed community at Kilamangalam say they are made to digest the indignity thrust upon them in the form of twin tumbler practice and to stay away from public places such as roads and Hindu temples,” she added.
Expressing her dissatisfaction over the manner in which ‘peace talks’ were conducted at Kilamangalam after the issue surfaced, she demanded that organisations such as Thamizhadu Theendamai Ozhippu Munnani (Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front) be allowed to participate in the talks scheduled for December 6 since it would be impractical for the suppressed classes to record their contentions without fear in view of their lack of economic self-sufficiency.
Earlier in the day, she visited the Kilamangalam hamlet in Orathanadu taluk in Thanjavur district, where untouchability was reported, and interacted with the affected people.