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Writers' body flays political system

Staff Reporter

Demand democracy in Dalit Panchayats



AGAINST DE-RESERVING: Members of Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Association observing a fast in the city on Sunday, demanding conduct of elections in reserved village panchayats. — Photo: K. Ganesan

MADURAI : The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Association has flayed the political system for `failing to ensure democracy prevailed' in the Dalit village panchayats of Pappapatti, Keeripatti, Nattarmangalam and Kottakachiyendal in the State.

Despite more than half a century of obtaining freedom and with the entire nation accepting a Dalit to occupy the post of President of the nation, the rationale in not tolerating Dalit leadership in the four reserved village panchayats in Tamil Nadu should be questioned. The situation warranted attention and appropriate action, the association said.

Observing a fast here on Sunday under the leadership of Aruna, State president of the association, the members said high drama had been prevailing since the last nine years in preventing Dalits from becoming heads of the panchayats. This was because the caste groups were keen on de-reserving the panchayats after the completion of 10 years.

However, this should not be allowed, the association said and urged the Government to make it legally binding for Dalits to govern those village panchayats for a minimum period of a decade. A skit was staged on the occasion to highlight the denial of democracy in the reserved Panchayats.

Besides, Mr. Arunan; the association's general secretary, S. Tamilselvan; Treasurer, Erasai Muthu; Erode Tamil Anbu; Kavi Musthapa, Tamil Kuttan, Kavita Kumar, district secretary, a large number of writers, including Ponneelan, Salma, Konangi, S. Balamurugan, M. Tamilkoothan, and artistes participated.

The Communist Party of India (Communist), N. Nanmaran, inaugurated the fast.

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