TAMIL NADU

Panel to consider plea to rename Pallar as Mallar

: The Madras High Court Bench here has directed the Chief Secretary to the State Government to place before the Justice M.S. Janarthanam Commission, a representation made by a retired Additional Superintendent of Police to replace the word Pallar, which refers to a particular sub-caste group of Dalits, with Mallar in government notifications and orders.

A Division Bench of Justices Chitra Venkataraman and R. Karuppiah passed the order while disposing of a public interest litigation petition filed by the retired police officer Siva Jayaprakash of Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district. Citing historical references, he claimed that rulers and warriors originally called as Mallar were branded as untouchables by non-Tamil rulers in the name of Pallar.

Objecting to the proposal of the State Government to formulate seven sub-castes under the common head of Devendra Kula Vellalar (DKV), the petitioner said that the appropriate move would be to bring 56 sub-castes including DKV under the main head of Mallar. He also said that the expression Devendra Kulathan should be changed to DKV in government records.