TAMIL NADU

Order on caste of children opposed Government Order on caste of children opposed

Staff Reporter

KANNUR: Children of Dalits, Adivasis and those belonging to backward communities will be the victims of the new order of the State Government cancelling the earlier order that children born of inter-caste marriages will be treated as belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) or Scheduled Tribes (ST) communities if either of the parents belongs to that community, according to activists under the banner of the Reservation Rights Action Committee.

Rashtriya Mahasabha leader M. Geethanandan, who is campaigning against the new order, issued by the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Development Department, told a press conference here on Saturday that the order dated March 22, 2005, would deny children of SC/ST women or unwed mothers of the reservation rights they had been entitled to under the existing rules. The latest order cancels the earlier order, which had been treated as the principle for determining the caste status of children born to inter-caste parents.

The latest order had been issued in the wake of the Supreme Court judgment in another case that a person would inherit his/her caste from his/her father, not his/her mother, even in the case of an inter-caste marriage. Mr. Geethanandan said the Supreme Court judgment clearly stated that the father's caste would be counted only in the absence of any statutory law in this regard. The State had issued various statutory Government orders since 1961 that had given concession and reservation to children of inter-caste couples if either of the parents belonged to SC/ST, he added. Mr. Geethanandan said that unwed Adivasi mothers, and couples of inter-caste marriage from Dalit/Adivasi and Dalit Christian communities would be the victims of the latest order. The new order exposed the State Government's anti-reservation attitude, he said. It was an affront to democracy and system of reservation as affirmative action, he said. The action committee will stage a one-day mass dharna in front of the Secretariat on Wednesday demanding the withdrawal of the latest Government order and restoration of the 1977 order that allowed all educational concessions given to children of SC/ST if either of the parent belonged to one of these communities. The committee will also chalk out plans to intensify the agitation in its next stage, he said.

The action committee activists Sasikumar Kizhakkedam, A. Rajappan and V. Rajan Iritty were also present at the press conference.

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