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Vanniyar Ramadoss Vs Dalit Thirumavalavan – a divided Tamil Nadu?

(A discussion on recent Vanniyar Dalit clashes in Tamil Nadu, political ambitions of Ramadoss and Thirumavalavan and creation of new states)

Pandyan asks :

Can we analyse Vanniyar – Dalit clashes in Tamil Nadu from a Social and Political perspective?

P.T.Rama writes: 

Vanniyar-Dalit clashes are not new.

The present situation arises since PMK oppose love marriages. The inter-caste love marriages shall increase in all the communities irrespective of one opposes it or not. The economic progress, urbanisation and media reach including internet shall encourage love marriages.

Both PMK and VCK are considered community organisations with political agenda. They are of the types that they acknowledge existence of caste, try to preserve the culture unique to their communities and also try to unite the communities through mutual cooperation in all the issues. They do not pretend like BJP that favours only a particular community under a philosophical cover of unity of all communities.

Both PMK and VCK are the results of failure of Dravidian parties inadequately addressing their problems since 1968. Similar outfits are also evolving under the leadership of Krishnaswamy and Sarath Kumar for two other communities. This shows these communities were not given their pie in the progress of the state and in the corruption money. I mean, leaders for these communities were not allowed to get benefits of a ruling party in both DMK and AIADMK.

Those who are unwilling to share the political power with these communities are inducing these parties to fight against each other. I mean both the Dravidian and non-Dravidian status quoists are behind these clashes.

Caste clashes are engineered by invisible forces. It is not a real clash among the oppressed communities. People in the upper end of social ladder will not easily allow the rest to go up. There is a ladder. Someone should be above and someone should be below economically too. Here, social and economic status are attached together.

Only a political alliance of all communities shall resolve the issue. Kerala is an example of such a coalition. Even UP or India is preparing for such experiments.

Pandian writes: 

The love marriage of a Vanniyar girl and a Dalit boy was the crux of the issue. Rather than this being settled as a family issue, it spiralled into a caste clash. Did VCK play a role in this? PMK to my opinion took a stand to promote itself by protecting the “sentiments” of Vanniyars rather than resolving the issue amicably. What about Vanniyar boys marrying Dalit girls – why is that not an issue?

The end result is however to the detrimental to the Tamil cause. Eelam is a dead topic now.  To my knowledge ADMK and DMK – both provide shelter to few castes – Thevar, Vanniyar, Nadar, Dalit etc…and hence these castes tolerate them. Politicians are hungry for issues that help them get some leads. I guess both PMK and VCK scored several points over this issue among their respective tribes. I had respect for both these parties and believed that they will one day come together. The ground reality in Tamil Nadu looks like will never let this happen.

I do think that the fundamental reason for people’s protectionist attitude is “fear” – indicative of a lack of good governance. Each of these groups fear that they will be run over by other groups. The smart(er) communities rely on education and/or wealth (Brahmins and Naidus for example). They have produced good academicians and businessmen. Others who are chasing political power are the ones that have not progressed much.

The situation in Tamil Nadu is counterproductive for any Tamil origin leader to come to power – because the other Tamil communities would not like that to happen. This is the reason why we have Telugu origin MK and Brahmin origin JJ (both belonging to minority communities) to easily lead.

There has to be a diversion for people to forget caste alignments and get into the new world order.

Prakash queries P.T.Rama :

Are you suggesting that DMK & ADMK provide adequate representation ?

P.T.Rama answers Prakash: 

Adequate representation means offer of plum posts in both the party and Governance. I fear both DMK and AIADMK failed to balance the caste equations. People with independent thoughts shall never be groomed in a dynastic and leader-centric political parties.

The smaller caste outfits can be killed by alliances. Use and throw. That happened to PMK. They are now irritated and go for even more aggressive topics. They can attack only those who are defenseless, dalits who are living closer to them by habitat. What would have happened to a Vanniyar girl-Brahmin boy love marriage?

What is more important is participation of all the communities in the governance so that all the voices are respected. Dominance of any community shall create problems.

P.T.Rama answers Pandyan :

Your perspective with Tamil unity is good. But ..

From the Sangam age, Tamils are not united. Even now there are demands to trifurcate Tamil Nadu. This is caste-based. Vanniyar Land, Goundar Land and Devar Land.

Telengana is facilitating Reddys. Telugus who got a land for Telugu-speaking people are now divided. Similar fate awaits Tamil Nadu. You are in Utopian dreams of Tamil unity. We failed. Eelam Tamils too failed since anti-Tamils used the caste divide among Eelam Tamils to divide LTTE. Karuna of Sri Lanka turned a betrayer.

The root cause of all our problems is caste. Annihilation of caste propagated by Ambedkar is also one utopian idea. Acceptance of castes by Gandhi worked out well because it suited dominant castes.


We are following Gandhi under the cover of removal of untouchability and non-violence. But, the hidden agenda is imposition of caste system. Ambedkar was fighting it by his intelligence without violence. Maoists counter it by violence. Parties like PMK and VCK do it by following milder violence and political trials.

Give PMK their due share in political power and tie them up with VCK political power by their alliance. They can be united by a Tamil cause. This too is hypothetical only. What will happen in reality? This will be continuously scuttled by others. That is how communities with smaller numbers can get greater political gains to support their own communities. Democracy can be cheated.