To begin with, there should be a fight for equality. They were under the influence and leadership of political parties run by others (other castes). IT is quite paradoxical that a socially progressive State such as Tamil Nadu should have a long and despicable track record of discriminatory practices against Dalits. Thevar dominance was such that they were a “law unto themselves” in the region. Owing to violence in the after math of the 1957 Mudukulathur bye-election, the district collector convened a peace meeting where all caste leaders, including the powerful Muthuramalinga Thevar of Forward Bloc, were invited. A by election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. Prof K.A. You have reached your limit for free articles this month. It was followed by anti-Dalit violence in the villages of Nadunalumuthalikkinaru, Kodiyankulam and Sankaralingapuram (in Tuticorin district in the late 1990s); the murder of Murugesan, a Dalit panchayat president, in Melavalavu in Madurai (2000); the struggle of elected presidents to assume office in the reserved village panchayats of Pappapatti, Keeripatti and Nattamangalam, all in Madurai (2000); the arson and looting at the Natham Dalit colony near Dharmapuri following an inter-caste marriage (2008); and the murder of Shankar, a Dalit youth, following his inter-caste marriage, at Udumalpet town (2017). Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. mudukulathur, tamil nadu on 9 october 1924. Drawing on a vast amount of primary sources, the author narrates the sequence of events leading to the caste conflagration of 1957, and its political and social fallout. To continue enjoying Frontline, you can turn off your adblocker or subscribe to Frontline digital. In-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the world. K. Krishnasamy, 44, a Coimbatore-based cardiologist, gave up practice to fight for the cause of Dalits and formed the Devendra Kula Vellalar Federation (DKVF) in 1995. Today, there is a memorial for Immanuel Sekaran in Paramkodi in southern Tamil Nadu. Rajagopal: ‘The minimum courtesy should be to consult people whose lives are affected’. Later, the C.N.Annadurai-led DMK government released all those arrested in connection with the 1957 riots. When the All India Forward Block candidate T.L. Memories of the Mudukulathur riots have been moulded to perpetuate and intensify caste conflict in the region ever since. The S. Venkateshwaran one-man commission of inquiry exonerated the police. The murder of Immanuel Sekaran precipitated the situation. Subscribe to The Frontline now and get unlimited access. What is your political agenda? Do you think that Dalits' problems can be solved in isolation from the struggle by other oppressed sections of society? Get full access to 22 years old archives. There are no local issues between the people of the two castes involved. Since the Mudukulathur riots and the murder of the Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran (September 11, 1957) at Paramakudi town in Ramanathapuram district and the gory incident in Keezhvenmani in Thanjavur district in which 44 Dalit agricultural workers were burnt to death (December 25, 1968), Dalits have been asserting themselves against feudalistic forces. By then, the animosity between Muthuramalinga Thevar and Kamaraj had become intense. Only then can one think of joining hands with other forces. Before going in for class struggle, caste problems should be solved. In the years following the riots both communities have used the memory of Mudukulathur for political mobilisation, and the event continues to have strong resonance in contemporary politics. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength. mudukulathur riot(1957): A by-election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. In his concluding chapter, the author says that there was no immediate reaction to the murder as “it would take time to germinate”. (Muthuramalinga Thevar left the Justice Party in protest against its failure to repeal the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, implemented by the British against the Mukkulathors, and joined the Congress in 1937, only to leave it in 1949 when it too failed him.). In 1952 the Congress came to power and in 1957, it returned to power amid the emergence of regional parties, mainly the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). However, there was no one to guide and organise them properly. They were under the influence and leadership of political parties run by others (other castes). The situation in the area was tense on the day that the results were released, and there was a sizeable presence of police forces in place. His observation that “conflict in any society is often an outcome of political, social and economical change” sets the tone and tenor of his work. to T.Ladasamy servai& Guruvammal. Muthuramalinga Thevar questioned the participation of Immanuel Sekaran, saying that “he [Muthuramalinga Thevar] was the sole representative of both Thevars and Pallars”. We should remember that he distributed his lands to … Although the narration lacks lucidity, with repetitions and casual editing that obstruct the reading experience, it is without doubt a valuable work on the Mudukulathur riots. He argues that the differences between the two political parties, the All India Forward Bloc, led by Muthuramalinga Thevar, and the Congress, led by Kamaraj, were the main source of the hatred between the Thevars and the Pallars and between the Nadars and the Thevars. The Mudukulathur Riots have since been deployed by various parties in their political mobilisation. Quoting from the minutes of the peace meeting, the author says that Muthuramalinga Thevar had accused Nadars of distributing firearms to “Harijans and Nadars to destroy the Thevar community”. He makes a sincere attempt to set the record straight, plug the gaps in the narratives, and present the raw documented facts, which many historians failed to do for reasons best known to them. Casteist aggressors and Hindutva forces saw the Ramanathapuram conference as a warning signal in that respect. For starters, let's make it clear that EVR/Periyar doesn't fall under a certain set of rules or frames. The police firing at Keelathooval village, which resulted in the death of five Thevar men on September 14, 1957, “was the outcome of the government’s determination to adopt a tough stand against Thevars”, according to Manikumar. Dalits were then completely unorganised, uneducated. Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations. As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The Pallars recollect the riots as the first bold sign of resistance against the caste-based slavery they had languished under for centuries. Dalits are confident of protecting themselves from atrocities... You launched the DKVF but have converted it into a political outfit, Puthiya Tamilagam. Dalits were then completely unorganised, uneducated. There are thousands of castes in the country. The election was won by D.V. The episode of violence at a Wistron iPhone assembling facility near Bengaluru was not the ploy of a set of rogue managers but is in tune with the nature of global value chains, where companies engage in exploitative practices to be profitable. There is greater awareness. The Mudukulathur Assembly byelection, necessitated by Muthuramalinga Thevar’s resignation after he retained the Srivilliputhur Lok Sabha seat, was won by his supporter T.L. Between the Mudukulathur riots of 1957 and the caste-related violence in recent years, do you see any significant change in the Dalit response? Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly. “Between July 1995 and June 1996, clashes between Thevars and Pallars resulted in large-scale destruction of property, loss of life on both sides” (Human Rights Watch 1999:84). [2] the anniversary of devendrar's death is celebrated annually as devendrar jayanti by … Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. T.V. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. Sekaran, who represented dalits, is believed to have refused to stand up when Muthuramalinga T walked in. The Mudukulathur riots in the east Ramanathapuram region are not only significant in the sociopolitical milieu of Tamil Nadu’s political discourse but remain an emotive issue for the two major caste groups of the region—the Thevars, a dominant land-owning group comprising the most backward castes of Kallars, Maravars and Agamudaiyars (together known as Mukkulathors), and the Pallars, a predominant Dalit sub-caste. Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. His determination won the appreciation of those who had been disillusioned with the disruptive politics of Thevar.” At the same time, he takes pains to refute the allegation that Kamaraj instigated the Pallars against the Thevars in order to safeguard the Nadar community. After the 1957 general elections, it became more or less a case of personal enmity between Muthuramalinga Thevar and Kamaraj, which percolated down to the party cadre and to members of the caste. Earlier in his political career, Krishnasamy was influenced by Marxism. The Ramnad riots were a series of politically motivated violent clashes that occurred between July and September 1957 in the Ramnad district, in southern Tamil Nadu, India. Now most Dalits have come out of the clutches of those political parties. He has been vocal and fairly consistent in his ideologies That being said, let's see this case “rationally” and why leaders like Thol. The author K.A. Only unity among equals will be effective and lasting. In-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the world. The murder of Immanuel Sekaran, though it had “conscientised the Pallars about their rights”, could not be termed as “the” reason behind the clashes, says the author. Their assertion led to prolonged clashes in the east Ramanathapuram region, which reached a flashpoint in 1957 when Immanuel Sekaran was murdered. He writes: “So the argument that the Pallars rioted only at the instance of the Chief Minister Kamarajar or some wealthy merchants of the Nadar community scarcely holds water.”, At the book’s launch in Chennai, Manikumar said: “I have tried to deal with it as dispassionately as possible. Sasivarna Thevar stood for bye-election from Mudukulathur and won [ 3 ] . They first mobilised under the leadership of Perumal Peter and then Immanuel Sekaran and his Depressed Class Youth League, besides getting “identified politically with the ruling Congress party”. If Dalits, with about 20 per cent presence in the State, and Muslims, with 12-15 per cent presence unite, it can signal the emergence of a formation that will be formidable. ... the 1957 ramnad riots, in which 42 dalits were killed, occurred as a consequence of devendrar's murder. But most of the works have been written from a caste perspective. Krishnasamy was detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency in 1976. Ukkirapandi Muthuramalingam Thevar (30 October 1908 – 30 October 1963), also known as Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, was an Indian political leader. However, in a later chapter, he acknowledges that “the Pallar retaliation was certainly due to the work of Immanuel Sekaran”. The election was won by D.V. It is against this backdrop that any writing on sensitive issues such as the Mudukulathur riots, including Manikumar’s book under review, has to be viewed. Hindutva forces think they can break the unity between Dalits and Muslims by attacking Muslim property. Until the turn of the 20th century, the Thevars, whom the author says were “prisoners of their own predilections”, were dominant in East Ramanathapuram, and the government was virtually non-existent. 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Ramnad riots A by-election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals Electronics Gift Ideas Customer Service Books New Releases Home Computers Gift Cards Coupons Sell Ramnad riots. The episode of violence at a Wistron iPhone assembling facility near Bengaluru was not the ploy of a set of rogue managers but is in tune with the nature of global value chains, where companies engage in exploitative practices to be profitable. Memories of the Mudukulathur riots have been moulded to perpetuate and intensify caste conflict in the region ever since. Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations. I have just laid the facts before the readers. As a result, these communities are going back to their old ways. Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. Ramnad riots A by-election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. “Astute he was, his tactics to handle Muthuramalinga Thevar politically bore fruit. No.45 (MS), Public (General-A), (Confidential), Department, 11, September 1958: “[Muthuramalinga] Thevar abused Immanuel Sekaran as a man of straw and questioned his audacity to sit with him on equal terms as a leader.” Muthuramalinga Thevar left the meeting after chiding his followers for allowing “Immanuel to talk back to him”; the developments eventually culminated in his murder. However, Manikumar says that Kamaraj was not innocent. The material sourced by the author, including the peace document, has helped him substantiate his claim that there was more to the riots than meets the eye. Although the party did not win a single seat, its performance was impressive in a few constituencies. They have started rallying round Puthiya Tamilagam. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. The leaders brought all caste-based atrocities to the notice of the state. Sasivarna Thevar was born in the southern part of the Madras province. You were a Marxist earlier in your political career. The Kallars, Maravars and Agamudaiyars, who call themselves Thevars, are the traditionally denotified tribes, and their concentration is heavy in the southern districts. In fact, he says, "I continue to be a Marxist." ... group of thevars on 11 september 1957. You have reached your limit for free articles this month. Buy Murder in Mudukulathur by Manikumar, K a online on Amazon.ae at best prices. 1957 general election Thevar ... Ramnad riots. Dalit assertion today is growing, with a new breed of educated and economically empowered Dalits, including a tiny group of radical Ambedkarites, active in the social and literary arenas, besides engaging themselves in grass-roots-level activism. Two kinds of violence were on display in Ramanathapuram—the violence of the dominant class and the violence of the oppressed.” He says that the former’s was to subjugate the oppressed while the latter’s was to uphold the dignity of life. Murder in Mudukulathur is the first extended study of this watershed moment. What happened in Ramanatha-puram is neither a caste clash nor a communal clash that originated locally. Murder in Mudukulathur is the first extended study of this watershed moment. Their assertions took the shape of a movement after educated leaders started emerging from within. mudukulathur riot(1957): A by-election was held in the Mudukulathur assembly constituency on July 1, 1957, as Thevar had resigned from his assembly seat. Exploiting the volatile situation, the then Congress party and Kamaraj set off a series of political manoeuvres that dislodged the Thevars from their dominant position. The election was won by T.V. The situation in the area was tense on the day that the results were released, and there was a sizeable presence of police forces in place. in 1957, were not able to “reconcile [themselves] to the present democratic conditions and cannot believe that the feudal system is vanishing fast”. The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. They have their own flags; now they are well organised. Subscribe to The Frontline now and get unlimited access. Get full access to 22 years old archives. For political reasons, the conditions were lifted all on a sudden, without providing time for effecting a smooth social transformation. N. Ram, Chairman, THG Publishing Private Limited, who spoke on the occasion, said: “The author should be praised for providing a critical historical account of what happened in 1957 and for treading a difficult ground as it could lead to a reaction.” The author has anchored his arguments in archived records, quoting extensively from various sources, especially the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly’s debates and notes on the failed no-confidence motion moved against the then Congress government, to explain the politics behind the clashes. The situation in the area was tense on the day that the results were released, and there was a sizeable presence of police forces in place. In an interview to S. Viswanathan he discussed Dalit-related issues and explains his party's political agenda. In 1957, during the run-up to state assembly by-elections in Tamil Nadu, violence broke out in Mudukulathur—a southeastern town in the state—between the Thevars, the regionally dominant caste, and the Devendrakula Vellalars, a Dalit community. The antagonism between the two caste groups was not restricted to the social realm; economic factors also played a crucial role. As a result of this, he resigned the Mudukulathur Legislative Assembly seat which he had previously held. This seemingly caused a shift in the political and caste symmetry in the region. However, the victory triggered controversy which resulted in the murder of Congress Dalit leader Emmanuel Sekaran and fuelled the 1957 Ramnad riots . The document pointed out that the general election and the subsequent Mudukulathur byelection “have created a lot of misunderstanding between the Forward Bloc and the Congress parties. Today, there is a memorial for Immanuel Sekaran in Paramkodi in southern Tamil Nadu. An upsurge could be seen among the Pallars in the 1940s and the 1950s. In the 1930s, with the help of Christian missionaries, Dalits got educated and subsequently became economically empowered. Manikumar quotes from G.O. The killing of Immanuel Sekaran in September 1957 became a major flashpoint in Tamil Nadu politics. Today, there is a memorial for Immanuel Sekaran in Paramkodi in southern Tamil Nadu. The hatred for each other during the last two months resulted in a number of clashes between these two parties and was responsible for creating tension in this taluk.”, An analysis of the pattern of the conflagrations in the book indicates that the murder of Immanuel Sekaran “did not evoke any organised protest from the Dalit community [immediately]” since the caste violence “had been fierce with battles involving Thevars on one side and Pallars and Nadars on the other”. We have a good rapport with Muslims. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength. Manikumar details how the incidents unfolded and resulted in one of the worst riots Tamil Nadu has ever witnessed. Drawing on a vast amount of primary sources, the author narrates the sequence of events leading to the caste conflagration of 1957, and its political and social fallout. Prof K.A. ... and special precautionary measures were put into operation in Mudukulathur taluk. Manikumar’s Murder in Mudukulathur: Caste and Electoral Politics in Tamil Nadu (2017) helps set the record straight. Sasivarna Thevar. The author also refers to the editorial in The Hindu of October 12, 1957: “It seems that the recent troubles are not solely of communal origin and that political differences dating from the first general elections and intensified by the recent byelection in Mudukulathur have been also responsible.” The Hindu, in fact, had demanded a judicial inquiry into the riots. The Mudukulathur incident of 1957 is significant as it involved both Muthuramalinga Thevar and Immanuel Sekaran. There are more than 2,000 castes even among the backward communities and more than 100 castes among the Scheduled Castes. The print medium all over the world is no exception. Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. “The Congress,” he agrees, “projected itself as the defender of Dalit interests in Ramanathapuram district.” The Pallars seemed to have received more relief than the Thevars during and in the aftermath of the riots. CRC was formed just one month before the 1957 elections to the Lok Sabha and the Madras state legislative assembly. Such clashes are not new—dating back to the Mudukulathur riots of 1957 at least17—but the violence of the 1990s was a direct response to Dalit assertion and attempts to escape dependence. The Nadars accused the Thevars of organising a boycott of Nadar shops. Sasivarna Thevar of the Forward Bloc. He did significant work among Dalit victims of the brutal police action at Kodiyankulam in Tuticorin district in 1995 (Frontline, October 20, 1995). The Thevars remember the riots as “state violence,” unleashed by the then Congress government led by K. Kamaraj, to destroy the esteem their leader, Muthuramalinga Thevar, enjoyed among the members of his caste and the caste’s dominance in the region. “We cannot hold U. Muthuramalinga Thevar responsible for how people behaved during the Mudukulathur riots in 1957. Memories of the Mudukulathur riots have been moulded to perpetuate and intensify caste conflict in the region ever since. The political developments had a direct bearing on the clashes involving Pallars and Thevars on the one hand and Nadars and Thevars on the other in East Ramanathapuram. However, he adds that “[Muthuramalinga] Thevar’s actions after Independence wiped clean his nationalist legacy”. There should first be emancipation of Dalits. Rajagopal: ‘The minimum courtesy should be to consult people whose lives are affected’. The election was won by D.V. 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