ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dalits in Tamil Nadu

The dalit question in Tamil Nadu cries out for a new political imagination in the left and the dalit parties.

The oppression, social humiliation and exploitation of the dalit and tribal communities in Tamil Nadu contradict the accepted image of the state as having made impressive social and economic advances over the years. The abominable practice of untouchability, social, economic and religious segregation of dalits, violent upper caste reaction to any assertion, state complicity in such attacks, all this in addition to exploitation in the economic realm, these are the predicaments faced by dalits across the state, in rural and in urban areas.

This is a state that has taken pride in its record of strong anti-caste and rationalist movements that catapulted lower-caste ­political outfits to state power more than four decades ago. The anti-upper-caste movements led by the Dravidian parties before and after Independence resulted in the state embarking upon various measures to subvert upper-caste domination in all spheres of public life, but sadly, the liberation of dalits is yet to make any significant advance.

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