PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss on Sunday claimed only his party keeps saying it would bring back the ‘rule of Kamaraj’, one of the tallest Congress leaders.
Speaking at the Nadar Self-Respect Conference, he said he likes the administrative style of former Chief Minister Kamaraj, who implemented the noon-meal scheme in schools. “If an official says he is not able to implement a scheme, he would change the official. He is the father of water management, education and industrial growth in Tamil Nadu. But, he should not be treated as a leader of a particular community. He belongs to India,” said Dr. Anbumani.
He welcomed “calls from some sections” that India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, should be bestowed on his father and PMK founder S. Ramadoss and rued the fact that he is being portrayed as a leader of one particular caste.
According to him ‘caste is a beautiful word’ but he opposes oppression that happens because of it. “There is culture, traditions and civilisation in caste. We should be proud of it. Family is one circle, above that is another circle called lineage, above that another circle called caste, around that there is religion, around that there is ethnicity, around that there is language and around that there is an identity called Indian,” he said.
“There are so many circles...but few people say there is no need for caste alone. If I say these...they would say I am speaking about caste, but I am not bothered about it. My intention is that all castes at the bottom should develop and get social justice,” he said.
He opined lothes, traditions, family deities, food that we consume are all specific to each caste. “We have to be proud of them. The problem is the oppression (associated with caste),” he said, adding, “In Namakkal, the ‘Thali’ is tied to the girl by making her sit on ‘Thai mama’s lap’. There are many nice traditions like these. We have to teach these to our children. We cannot say that caste should be rejected completely. We have to teach the good things and reject the bad things about caste.”