Justice Party used to mention ‘Jinnah Park’ and ‘Robinson Park’ in their advertisements for political meetings while refusing to name ‘Tilak Park’ as such – stating that he is a North Indian and thus, they won’t take his name. Ramachandran, the founder of the AIADMK and then, J. Jayalalithaa. It is the Guru Puja day of Shri Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, a visionary who saw through the fallacy of the political parties when it comes to both nationalism and spirituality. To this day people from all walks of life worship him as a saint unperturbed by the caste leader image imposed upon him by the political parties. The terms Mukkulathor and Thevar are used synonymously. During a prolonged strike of the Pasumalai Mahalakshmi Mill Workers’ Union, demanding the reinstatement of a section of fired trade unionists, Thevar was jailed for seven months from 15 October 1938. For instance, in 1911 the British designated the Thevars a "criminal caste", which Mines surmises arose from the community's precolonial role as village guardians or local chieftains but was precipitated by their resistance to British rule. This ‘samadhi’ is the resting place of a man who truly strived to be a saint. [citation needed] In 1961, he become a strong supporter of the Indian National Congress and particularly the then-leader K. Kamaraj. Caste Over Tamil Pride Dravidian politics was universal, at least in theory. The DMK Has Been Two-Faced in Its Commitment Towards Social Justice. But this ‘samadhi’ isn’t your usual political samadhi. K Kamaraj lockets are popular among Nadar students; the Thevars wear lockets with photographs of U Muthuramalingam Thevar, a veteran political leader for Thevars; the Yadavs have claimed Veeran Alagumuthu Kone, one of the first freedom fighters, as their own; while in Coimbatore and Namakkal regions of the state, Gounder students wear lockets of Dheeran Chinnamalai, one of the … [13], A triumvirate of the three caste groups Agamudayar, Kallar and Maravar, Dalits in Tamil Nadu have become less dependent on Mukkulathors for employment due to the effects of India's, "Sasikala's bittersweet journey with Jaya", "TN: Cradle Baby Scheme in Districts With Low Sex Ratio", "Tamil Nadu Public Services Commission: List of Communities", "Central List of OBCs - State: Tamil Nadu", "K. A. Manikumar, Murder in Mudukulathur: Caste and Electoral Politics in Tamil Nadu", Genetic structure of four socio-culturally diversified caste populations of southwest India, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mukkulathor&oldid=994632529, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in Indian English, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 18:49. With the expansion of the East India Company’s rule in India, the native rulers and their dependents suffered. The highly politicized groups like jats and yadavs were faced by a challenge from lower classes , particularly lower caste agricultural labourers, often adopted an extremely aggressive posture against the Dalits, that is, the oppressed Harijan castes. In the stormy political scene of Tamil Nadu, ... of several senior and mid-level leaders of the party as she belongs to the Kallar community which is part of the larger Thevar caste. Caste Politics Has Fuelled Hatred in Poll-Bound Tamil Nadu. However, the growing popularity of Thevar and rising anger against Congress over his imprisonment, led to the abolition of Criminal Tribes act. Insofar as these people of the turbulent poligar country really did become castes, their bonds of affinity were shaped in the relatively recent past". Thevar entered politics in 1927 after getting inspired by the speech of Netaji at the Congress convention in Chennai. His Jayanthi and Punya thithi fall on the same day. Other political analysts point out that Tamil Nadu politics was always leader-centric and it revolved around late leaders like Karunanidhi of the DMK, M.G. Thanks to author. Immediately, the Justice Party collaborated with the British establishment and banned Thevar from addressing the public and leaving Ramnad district. The DMK has traditionally held central Tamil Nadu, Chennai and the Kaveri delta region as its major stronghold, along with the constituencies of Chennai Urban in the north and the Christian-concentrated Kanyakumari in the south. Thevar entered politics in 1927 after getting inspired by the speech of Netaji at the Congress convention in Chennai. This article was informative, specially in times when there was lot of controversy around stalin visiting his samadhi. Dalit engineer hacked to death in Tamil Nadu over caste differences but no action taken so far against the culprits. The three groups traditionally each believe themselves to be superior to their fellow Mukkulathors. Their Anti-Hindu and Anti-Indian nature, in general, made Thevar averse to their politics (That today’s DMK descended from the Justice Party is another matter). But the 29 year old Thevar emerged victorious by a huge margin without even campaigning. Damodraran Karthikeyan, a journalist-turned-academic, notes the historic animosity between the two groups and that "The institutionalised nature of Thevar Jayanthi, through consciously created myths surrounding Mathuramaliga Thevar, his iconisation, canonisation and the construction of a social identity provides a point of entry to study the process of how political power is ritually constructed through social ceremony. Your email address will not be published. Caste assertion, clashes in Tamil Nadu forcing Dravidian parties to recalibrate their politics The problem is that he hails from a village called Gopalasamudram, about 25 kilometres from the bustling Tirunelveli town in southern Tamil Nadu. "[13], Thevars, traditionally practise a Tamil martial art variously known as Adimurai, chinna adi and varna ati. How did this happen? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The backward caste Thevar and its various sub-sects form a sizeable chunk of the electorate in the southern districts. He felt that the Dravidian movement was spoiling the cultural image of Tamils among other Indians. But by this time, differences arose between Thevar and Congress leadership because of the latter’s hesitation in abolishing the Criminal Tribes Act. Post-independence, Thevar led Netaji’s Forward Bloc in Tamil Nadu and became one of the prominent nationalist voices in Parliament against the Pakistan appeasement policies of Nehru. Political articulation on caste lines, which was clearly divisive, more frequently took on a confrontational and communal character. Today, regardless of ideological orientation every other politician in Tamil Nadu will be thronging the ‘samadhi’ of a unique Tamil personality to offer respects. “Nationalism and Spirituality are the two eyes of a nation. Thevar mocked it asking, “In what way Jinnah is not a North Indian? The Thevar rise changes the grammar. It provides Latest Cinema News, Latest updates, Reviews, Celebrity news and interviews.This Channel is an Official News Channel of Cinema News. Visiting samadhis wouldn’t appear as a unique event to those who know somewhat about Tamil Nadu politics. How is the name of poor Tilak so bitter to you Sir?”. There is NO evidence of them being called as Thevar prior to that. They are mostly listed as Other Backward Classes (OBC) by the National Commission for Backward Classes. The Mukkulathor people, who are also collectively known as Thevar, are a community or group of communities native to the central and southern districts of Tamil Nadu, India. Your email address will not be published. [14] This and other displays of aggression are prominent during Thevar Jayanthi. Irony is that the Dravidian leaders who throng the samadhi of Thevar on the day of his guru pooja to secure the votes of his community threw him into oblivion and made their ideological patron EVR, who opposed Thevar vehemently, as the hero of labourers and backward communities. Human Rights Watch has documented allegations that the members of the government of Jayalalitha, including the chief minister herself, favoured the Mukkalathors during the 1990s, leading to them gaining influential positions in the police and in politics. He had dedicated his life for communal harmony and worked for the welfare of all communities claimed Vaiko. He flayed the anti-hindu, anti-national discourse of Justice party and Dravidian movement so much that his speeches were hated by the Dravidian movement followers. For instance, there have been MPs from the community in the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) as well. “This is definitely not a good trend but there is a positive too,” he said. It were the Naickers and Udaiyars who gave them the title Thevar. The Mukkulathor caste group is regarded to be politically exuberant and has its people spread across various political parties. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF MUKKULATHOR AS WARRIORS. The Mukkulathors treat Muthuramalingam Thevar as a deity (Theivathirumagan)[12] and it was from this time that the Jayanthi shifted from being a fairly minor affair to one of considerable significance. The Thevar caste icon is Muthuramalingam, a colourful Congress politician and three times Member of Parliament who later aligned himself with Subhash Chandra Bose’s and Forward Bloc. Thevar mobilized these marginalized communities against the atrocities of the Justice Party and gave Congress a landslide victory in 1937 provincial elections. These clashes often involved the collusion of the police, who aided detention of so-called Dalit activists, assaults on people (especially women), and forcible displacement from Dalit villages. One such occasion – when in 1937 Provincial Elections, Congress stalwarts like Sardar Patel, Satyamurti and Rajaji decided to field a 29 year old Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar against Justice Party’s star candidate Sethupathy Raja from Ramanathapuram. The need now is to combat or resist BJP’s advancement in Tamil Nadu by redefining non-Brahmin politics as anti-caste politics. [8] The community has mostly been given the status of Backward Class (BC) by the Government of Tamil Nadu,[9] although some subgroups are omitted. Required fields are marked *. DMK Treasurer, M K Stalin, after paying respects at the memorial met the media and claimed that the DMK had done a lot for the Thevar … C. N. Annadurai caste: Senguntha Mudaliar caste (Father), Kalavanthulu caste (Mother) CR saraswathi caste: Kallar (Thevar) Dayanidhi Maran caste: Isai Vellalar (Father), Brahmin (Mother) Deepa Jayakumar caste: Brahmin; Dindigul I. Leoni caste: Nadar; Edappadi Palanisamy caste: Kongu Vellala Gounder; G. K. Vasan caste: Parkavakulam Nathaman Udayar Sankar, a Dalit man, was brutally murdered in March 2016 for marrying Kausalya, a woman from the socially dominant Thevar caste. Comprised of three sub-castes – Maravars, Kallars and the Agamudaiyars – the Thevars are a dominant OBC community in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu who have played a … Swatantra is an online journal which aims to bring our civilizational issues into mainstream discussion. He vehemently opposed the Tamil-Non Tamil and Brahmin-Non Brahmin separatist propaganda in the name of supposedly saving Tamil identity and non Brahmin communities respectively. The improvement of Dalit circumstances, together with a general … Politics Until 1955, Ganesan was a staunch sympathizer of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Thevar distributed the 37 villages that belonged to him to Dalits – which is testament to the fact that he was beyond caste politics and why he had such a mass following. A critique of the Dravidian movement largely focusing on DMK and particularly on Karunanidhi's regime from a Dalit perspective. According to R. Muthulakshmi of Madurai Kamaraj University, Thevar "literally means celestial beings or divine-natured people" and Mukkulathor means "three clans united together". It is a well fortified and beautiful city. Today we see Dravidian parties, DMK and its assorted organisations in particular, play the Tamil, North-South card to remain relevant in politics. He was eventually expelled from the party because of his visit to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple which was not permitted by the rationalistic DMK. [3] Thereafter, the evolution as a caste developed as a result of various influences, including increased interaction with other groups as a consequence of jungle clearances, state-building and ideological shifts. THIS WAS A LIE FORGED BY THEMSELVES. Criminal Tribes Act was used by the Justice party to penalize backward communities which were not in its favour. Politics without spirituality is like a body without soul” is his quote through which many know him. His efforts to denotify the group of castes, Maravar and Kallar (subgroups of Thevar community) – known to be the warrior castes of South Tamil Nadu, that were defined as Criminal Tribes by the British earned him respect and he subsequently became popular among the masses. Thevar also supported the temple entry act passed by the then Congress government in 1939 and played a crucial role in facilitating the entry of Dalits into Madurai Meenakshi temple. The Mukkalathor community at that time was the most populous of the backward classes in the state but Dalit communities - notably, the Pallars- were becoming increasingly wealthy and aspirational. Abolishment of caste system began well before when everyone started to drop their caste names after their name which is followed by majority of peoples in the educated class. Thevar and Vanniyar parties succeeded in wresting concessions from the state. At present, this district is named after its capital Vellore. Each of the Thevar communities claim descent from an ancient Moovendar dynasty in the Sangam era: Agamudayar consider themselves to be descendants of the Chera dynasty, the Kallars the Cholas and the Maravars the Pandyas. Though the vestiges of such racism can still be seen among DMK and DK, they still need to bend in front of Thevar samadhi for his community’s votes. How are the names Jinnah and Robinson so sweet to you Sir? The Dalit surge since the 1980s was countered by the growth of the Jayanthi, which gave the Mukkulathors an opportunity to react against the Dalits and assert their own perceived superiority, historic status as rulers, and caste pride. She says that the claims of distinct caste status "were clearly not ancient facts of life in the Tamil Nadu region. Caste system is still alive bcz of politicians and all these violence happens for political mileage and backing. Will ADMK Stand against Caste Politics - THEVAR & KAVUNDAR Community Separation | FunnettO Panneerselvam was there when Jayalalitha needed help. Even as far back as the pre-independence times, Thevar realised the importance of Hindu unity and strived to achieve it through his efforts which can be understood from the fact that in a constituency where Thevars formed only about 18,000 voters, he won with 1 lakh votes. The Dravidian movement was against caste. [5], In the period following Indian independence, the Mukkulathor or the Thevars have grown into, what Mines calls, a "super-caste" that combines the three previously distinct communities, emphasises their similarities and shared historical roles, and forms a consolidated base of support for the AIADMK political party. That EVR who married his foster daughter to supposedly protect his properties – compared to Thevar who gifted away his vast wealth. They have been recorded as practising female infanticide as recently as the 1990s. Thevar travelled to Delhi on 17 July to attend the session of the Lok Sabha. Both names were originally granted to people as titles by poligars (local chieftains) but the holders were not exposed to caste-defining influences such as Brahmanic Hinduism, the concept of varna and practices such as endogamy until the late 18th century. This even led to his imprisonment in 1942. In the end, the management of the Mahalakshmi Mills accepted the demands of the union. An undying pride in caste: Thevar prejudice returns with fury at Kausalya’s home. A committee consisting of Thevar, Dr. P. Varadarajulu Naidu, Perumal Thevar, Sasivarna Thevar and Navaneethakrishna Thevar was appointed by the convention to carry on the efforts to persuade the government to revoke the Act. “Karunanidhi (chief of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or DMK) is wholly responsible for caste issues in this state,” begins Tho Pa, mincing no words. [2], While they share a common mythological ancestor, the three communities also claim ancestral differences. It takes place in competition to the guru pooja organized by the dominant caste Thevars in commemoration of their caste leader Muthuramalinga Thevar, who … The Mukkalathor community at that time was the most populous of the backward classes in the state but Dalit communities - notably, the Pallars - were becoming increasingly wealthy and aspirational. According to the analyst, Kamal Haasan is an urban "caste neutral" leader while Seeman is rural "caste neutral" leader. Unlike the political samadhis of Anna, Karunanidhi and even Jayalalitha, Thevar’s mortal remains were laid to rest based on the traditions advocated by Shri Ramalinganar with a spiritual guru doing the necessary rituals. Politics around Inclusion – Exclusion of Sylhet... 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