Tamil Nadu

I am drenched in tears of joy, says Ramadoss

PMK founder S. Ramadoss on Friday said that he was “drenched in tears of joy” after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami tabled and passed a bill that ensures 10.5% internal reservation for the Vanniyar community in education and jobs within the ‘Most Backward Class’ quota in the State Assembly.

In a statement, Dr. Ramadoss thanked Mr. Palaniswami for “ensuring social justice” for the Vanniyar community after 40 years. “I am drenched in tears of joy and [his son] Anbumani Ramadoss is also in a similar state of mind. When he told me about the news, he couldn’t control his tears. He was emotional and crying profusely. I couldn’t stop his tears.” he said.

“The reason for the tears is that the Vanniyar community, which is now in a very bad state, will improve because of this,” said Dr. Ramadoss.

According to him, the 10.5% reservation would ensure proper representation for the Vanniyars and they would get 10,500 jobs if the government recruits 1,00,000 people.

“If there are 6,000 medical seats, around 630 seats would be ensured for Vanniyars. It would improve the social status and livelihood of Vanniyars. I protested for this for the last 40 years,” he said.

Fight not over

Stating that the fight for social justice is not complete, he said the representation for the Vanniyars should be comparable to its population.

“We have reiterated this to the State government and we have been promised that a census would be done in the next six months and proper representation would be provided.

“Mr. Palaniswami has given this assurance in the State Assembly as well. After the victory in the State Assembly election, PMK will ensure victory in these as well,” he said.

He added that Vanniyars – who are more than 2 crore in population – didn’t get proper representation in education and jobs.

He recalled a number of protests starting from 1980s were spearheaded by Vanniyar Sangam. “For 10 years, Vanniyar Sangam carried out continuous protests. In 1980, I held a big public meeting demanding reservations in Karungalpalayam in Erode district. Between 1981 and 1989, Vanniyar Sangam went to more than 30,000 Vanniyar settlements and met the people to prepare them for the protests,” he said, highlighting how he held a hunger strike in Marina Beach in March, 1984 and recalled how around 2 lakh people participated in a march from Island Grounds to the Seerani Arangam on beach road in August 1985.

He also recollected one-day road roko on May 6, 1986 and rail roko on December 19, 1986.

“In the final leg of the protests in the decade, a continuous road roko was held for a week between September 17 and September 23 in 1987 across Tamil Nadu for social justice. The protests have a long history and are filled with sacrifices,” he said.

Dr. Ramadoss reiterated that the former Chief Minister and DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, betrayed the interests of the Vanniyar community by clubbing the community along with 108 other communities by creating MBC category and setting aside 20% instead of providing 20% for Vanniyars alone.

“It has taken us 32 years to get this back. Vanniyars didn’t get representation in education and jobs despite the creation of the MBC category. Vanniyars have just 2% representation in group 1 jobs selected by Tamil Nadu Government Employees Recruitment Board, 4% in group 2 jobs, 5% in group 3 jobs, 5-6% in group 4 jobs. This is the reason why there has been an uprising within the community,” he said.

Dr. Ramadoss recalled that Mr. Anbumani met Mr. Palaniswami in August 2018 demanding caste-wise census and it was one of the demands when we allied with AIADMK in 2019.

“I reiterated in November 2019 to the Chief Minister that Vanniyars should be given separate reservations and presented evidence for it. Not just that, I had written detailed letters on October 12 and 23 last year. The Vanniyar Sangam and PMK launched protests only after all this,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:52:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/i-am-drenched-in-tears-of-joy-says-ramadoss/article33945705.ece

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