Tuesday, September 20, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Paramakudi Firing: Demand Strictest Punishment


Paramakudi Firing: Demand Strictest Punishment
For The Guilty Officials

By Delhi Tamil Students Union

19 September, 2011

The firing on Dalits by policemen and what happened on the September
of 11th in Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu once again shows the brahminical
nature of the Indian state and the casteist mentality of its police
force. The firing led to the deaths of 7 Dalits, and it has been
observed that most of the firings were above the knee. There was also
use of excessive force by the police that has led many Dalits being
gravely injured. This grotesque event of state brutality, was
supposedly a "response" - in words of state officials - to Dalits
protesting the detention of the leader of Dalit party John Pandian on
flimsy premises. Has one seen any of these law-loving police men
"responding" in a similar manner when lumpen upper-caste youth
disrupted public services in antireservation protests, when Muslims
were massacred in Gujarat, or when Dalit houses torched in Haryana?
But when Dalits and other oppressed sections protest for justice our
'defenders-of-law' suddenly discover a new commitment and intensity!
It is rather obvious on whose side their law is on.

The day this atrocity took place, Sep 11th, has great symbolic value
for the Dalits of South Tamil Nadu. This was the day one of the
leaders of the Dalit movement in that region, Immanuel Sekaran, was
murdered by goons belonging to the dominant castes in 1957. The murder
had instigated protests and in subsequent rioting by dominant castes,
Dalits were the main casualties. While most of the parliamentary
parties, who did not want to lose the support of the regional dominant
castes, were mollycoddling the criminals or were just issuing token
words of condemnation, Periyar came out strongly in support of the
Dalits and demanded that no leniency be shown to the perpetrators of
the outrage.

Ever since then, September 11 has been an occasion for Dalits in the
Southern districts to congregate and remember their slain leader, to
remind the society of the continuing injustices that is heaped on them
and the necessity to struggle against oppressive practices. The
violence unleashed by the brahminical state on the Dalits on this day,
this year, is also symbolic of the reactionary intolerance of the
state's machinery to the Dalit assertion. The way the brahminical
forces in media have covered this is also revealing. The event is
portrayed as a 'law and order problem' and Dalits are identified as
'miscreants'. Historically, there have been more acts of violence
committed in India during various Hindu festivals, but one can only
imagine any media outlet referring to Vinayaga Chatoorthi as a 'law
and order problem'!

Observers in Tamil Nadu also sense a larger scheme behind the attacks
on the Dalits. Over the past few months, there has been a massive
upsurge of movements by Tamil progressive forces in the state in
solidarity with the struggle of the Eelam Tamils for
self-determination. There has also been a powerful campaign to abolish
the death sentence unjustly handed to Murugan, Perarivalan and
Santhan. Various Tamil nationalist forces, almost entirely comprising
of Dalit and backward castes, have been at the forefront of these
protests. In the recent killings of the Dalits, various political
activists suggest a design of the brahminical forces in the state to
fracture the solidarity among masses that is emerging. Any such design
must be identified, opposed and thwarted. At this moment, it is
necessary for all progressive forces to stand by the Dalits and demand
the harshest punishment for the perpetrators of this atrocity.


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