Uthapuram castes away ugly past
TNN Feb 15, 2012, 11.54AM IST
MADURAI: Tuesday's move by both dalit and non-dalit communities in
Uthapuram to withdraw cases filed against each other during the years
of animosity marks the success of a series of initiatives by the
police and revenue officials backed by villagers to break with the
Representatives from non-dalit Pillai and dalit Pallar communities -
Marimuthu, Murugesan, Ponniah, Sankaralingam along with K Aadhimoolam
and Chinmaya Somasundar, who were coordinating the peace process said
that the 50-year-long caste issue between these two communities was
amicably settled on October 20, 2011 after an eight-point agreement
was signed between both parties.
As the first step, the temple entry was scheduled on November 10, 2011
where Pallars were taken into Muthalamman temple administered by
Now, they have asked the district police to withdraw cases filed
against each other because they are burdened with a series of cases
and struggling to lead a peaceful life, the villagers said. Murugesan,
leader of Pillai community said that what they need is a peaceful life
and welfare measures for the village. "We have approached the
government for the same, seeking welfare measures like construction of
road, bus shelter and other facilities which will aid the
reconciliation process," he said.
B Balanagadevi, DIG, Madurai Range and Garg, who addressed reporters
later said that the villagers have approached the police department
requesting to withdraw the cases pending against them.
"The villagers have requested us to withdraw the case pending against
them and we will expedite their request as per the regular procedure,"
Commenting on the road which was the major issue between the two
parties, Garg said that the people from both communities are using the
road after the agreement was signed. "They are demanding that the road
be widened for the vehicular movement and there are small
encroachments as well. We are taking the necessary measures to ensure
that the reconciliation process goes on smooth," he said.
Uthapuram residents' bold step to break caste barriers and build a new
community that subsumes age-old caste heirachies could serve as a role
model for other such villages.
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