Separate ration for Dalits of Kurayur
Express News Service
Last Updated : 10 Dec 2011 11:33:04 AM IST
MADURAI: "The only difference between what happened in Uthapuram and
our village is that there is no wall here. All other discrimination is
present," said a pensive Mariappan, pointing to the road in the
village that divides the Dalit colony from that of the Caste Hindu
From the archaic two-tumbler system and a separate ration shop, to the
lack of access to the village temple, the Dalits of Kurayur in
Thirumangalam taluk near here have been facing caste discrimination
However, while the physical wall in Uthapuram had received much
attention from the district administration, much of what is happening
in this outwardly quaint village has gone unnoticed.
Despite being a reserved constituency in the last two panchayat
elections, Dalits in the village say that they have not been able to
bring in change. The discrimination starts from the food they eat,
with the village having separate ration shops for the two castes.
"We have to get the rice from the one on our side of the village.
There is another building inside whether they get it, though the cards
are mixed among the two shops," said one person, pointing to the
building near the missionary-run school where only SC students study.
Then comes the dreaded two-tumbler system. When Express checked out a
tea shop in the village, it came to light that the Dalits were served
only in paper cups, whereas the Caste Hindus were served in the usual
glasses."We used to have separate tumblers in the early days. But the
tea shops have now changed to paper cups as they do not want to
attract attention," said another person from the SC community.
Like many other villages in the district, the flashpoint in Kurayur
also seems to be the place of worship. Dalits say that they have been
barred from entering the Mariamman temple in the village, which is now
While they were allowed to worship the Ayyanar in the village during
the festival, they could do it only during days when the Caste Hindus
do not visit.
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