Monthly Archives: November 2012

Honor Killings in the recent past in Tamil Nadu

Honor Killings have been an inherited culture and accepted ‘crime’ amongst few casteist groups  of Northern and Eastern India, now this killing culture seem to be on rise in Tamil Nadu as well.

Recently Reported Incidents:

Incident 1:

1.  11.111.2012 in Villupuram – a vilage by name Pallinellinoor.  Here a Pariyar girl and an Arunthathiyar boy fell in love. The girl and the boy have been in love for over 8 years. They seem to have done register marriage and lived separately in their respective houses on account of fear and acceptance.  When the girl’s family know about this marriage they have expressed sever opposition for marrying a ‘low caste boy’. So they tried getting the girl married to another boy, as the girl resisted, parents seem to have asked her to call for the boy to ‘honor’ the love and marriage officially. The girl has conveyed this to her husband and went to sleep. It is reported that the parents of the girl killed her by thrusting a pillow on her month and next day burned her body.

The next day when her husband heard the news and went to collect the body they rejected and burnt the body without any postmortem. Angered husband gave a complaint to the police station, the police as usual did not file FIR, rather he started getting threatening phone calls from Pariyars in the village. Scared for his life he and his family left the village, however the Pariyars in the village has beaten the husbands uncle for not withdrawing the complaint and the uncle has been missing for some time and no trace of him.


Incident 2: 

Eettiyampatti Village, near Dharmapuri District – a boy by name muthalaiyan belongs to Arunthathiyar Caste and a girl by name Dhanalakshmi belong to Pariyar Caste. Both have been in love and did register marriage. The girls family could not bear their girl marriying a ‘low caste’ boy hen they have threatened the entire 18 families living in and around the village. It is reported that entire arunthathiyar community have vaccated the village and is hiding out..

The news is said to be reported in  Junior Vikatan 2.3.2011 dated issue.

Incident 3:

Chennai: After Haryana, a case of honour killing came to light in Tamil Nadu. A 21-year-old woman was brutally murdered by her father and relatives in Tirupur district as she married a Dalit youth. Sripriya, who belonged to the backward Kallar community, had fallen in love with A Badhrakali, a Dalit, while she was doing an internship for B.Ed. The couple eloped and got married in Salem on Sept

ember 29. Police say Sripriya’s father Srinivasan and two relatives came to Madathukulam, near Udumalpet in Tirupur, on Wednesday. Srinivasan asked Sripriya, who was staying with Badhrakali’s sister in Madathukulam, to come to Trichi to visit her ailing mother. “She refused and told them she would decide after her husband returned home. The trio left quietly,” Badhrakali’s brother-in-law Chandrasekar said. “But later the two of them returned. When my wife Rani questioned them, one man threatened her with a knife while the other stabbed Sripriya,” said Chandrasekar. Sripriya later succumbed to her injuries. Udumalpet DSP C Raja said the police have arrested Srinivasan (65), his nephew Asaithambi and Pannadi (30).
The above incidents clearly indicates that it is a matter of Women Rights Violation and Female Genocide. Honor Killings usually claim the lives of the female sex more than men. The Male dominant Patriarchal feudal system has its deep roots in the Indian Caste System and it has always target the womb of women. It has laid down several codes of conduct and laws of ‘feminity’ to control women.
Women have been denied of their rights to choose their life partner. The feudal lords and other dominant forces was afraid of loosing their family wealth to an ‘outsider’. Especially they could not let the family wealth being taken away by a ‘low caste’ person / family. The  history tells us that the child marriage and denial of ‘Love’ marriage etc has been a result of wanting to retain the ‘wealth’ within their family. The Brahminical Hindutvas laid them as rules by their Manu Smriti and other sutras and puranas which has proven to be of greater influence in the society, not only among the dominant caste but even within the Dalit Community.
Incident 4:
The much spoken incident of the Dharmapuri Dalit Villages – Naththam, Kondampattia and Annanagar.

Three colonies of Dalits (of the Adi-Dravida community) near Naikkankottai in Dharmapuri district of western Tamil Nadu remained benumbed on Thursday by the fury unleashed on them by a rampaging mob of caste Hindus on Wednesday.

As many as 268 dwellings – huts, tiled-roof and one or two-room concrete houses – were torched by the mob after a caste Hindu man, Nagarajan, committed suicide over his daughter marrying a Dalit boy from one of the colonies. Police said there was no casualty as occupants of the houses escaped and took shelter in another village. Ninety persons were arrested by Thursday evening and cases registered against another 500 “unidentified” persons.

The prime target of the attack was Natham Colony, whose resident, Ilavarasan (23) had married N. Divya (20), a caste Hindu. But, the mob’s fury was also directed at the adjoining Anna Nagar Colony and Kondampatti Old and New Colonies.

It is said that Ilavarasan and Divya got married in a temple a month ago. Fearing attack by caste Hindus, the couple approached the Deputy Inspector of General of Police, Salem Range, Sanjay Kumar, only a week ago for protection. Though the police assured them safety, a kangaroo court directed Ilavarasan’s family to return the girl on Wednesday. The girl refused to go with her father, who later hanged himself at his house in Sellankottai, just half a km from the Dalit colonies. And then, the mobs went on the rampage.

According to police, one group of incensed members of his community protested on the Dharmapuri-Tiruppattur Road, blocking traffic with the trees they felled as well as with boulders and signboards. At the same time, another group entered the Dalit colonies and set ablaze the dwellings. The Dalits alleged that their houses were looted and the valuables taken away. The attack started around 4.45 p.m. and went on till 7 p.m. Police reinforcements and fire tenders could not reach the spot in time because of the hurdles placed on the road leading to the colonies. Some vehicles of the Dalits too were torched. The mob fled when police reinforcements arrived.

Superintendent of Police, Krishnagiri, M. Ashok Kumar, reached the spot and took control of the situation, as Dharmapuri’s SP Asra Garg was away in Madurai. Mr. Garg, however, reached the spot at night.

Police personnel drawn from five districts restored order. Fire tenders put out the blaze in the colonies and recovery vans were deployed to clear the road blocks.

A core police team headed by Mr. Sanjay Kumar worked out strategies to keep the situation under control. Inspector-General of Police (West Zone), visited the colonies on Thursday and supervised the security arrangements and the investigation into the attack. Police said Ilavarasan and Divya were safe and under police protection.

After spending the night in shock, fear and without shelter, close to 1,500 Dalits were on Thursday accommodated in Government schools.

District Collector R. Lilly visited the affected persons and ordered relief for them.


following this incident another such attack was unleashed in another Dalit Village near cuddalore district:

Eight houses of a Dalit colony at Pacharapalayam in Kurinjipadi block were ransacked and set on fire by a mob on Tuesday. While three houses were completely burnt, five others were partially scorched.

The steel almirahs in the houses were pierced open and gold jewellery and other valuables stolen. Two minivans and 10 two-wheelers were damaged in the attack.

In the ensuing clash, scores of people from Dalit and intermediate communities were injured. Superintendent of Police A. Radhika said both sides had filled complaints.

Soon after violence broke out, a strong police force brought the situation immediately under control. SPs A. Radhika (Cuddalore) and Prabhakaran (Ariyalur) are camping there.

D. Kathiresan and his wife Jothimani, two of the victims, told TheHindu that in the morning a gang barged into their house, broke a kerosene lamp and sprinkled fuel all over the place before setting it on fire.

Supporters of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi staged a road roko, condemning the attacks at Kurinjipadi, Cuddalore, Reddichavadi, Kondur and Marudhadu.

Two versions are doing the rounds about the motive behind the attack. One was eve teasing of a girl, which created a tense situation and another being torn up posters on Dharmapuri incident.

About 20 persons from both sides had been detained.


It is high time that our Government bans the open propaganda against Love Marriage and Inter caste Marriages by the casteist parties, groups and leaders like Kattu Vetti Guru, P.M.K, Kongu Vellalar Peravai, Mukkulaththor Peravai and casteist individuals like Pazha. Karuppaih. Government should arrest these ‘men’ and groups who talk against the Fundamental Right of a women or a person granted by the Indian Constitution and also ban the respective groups and parties.
The Casteist groups and political parties seem to take this up as their propaganda to retain their vote banks and it is the duty of the Government to put an end to this Caste Based Violence and Violation of Human Rights and esp. Women’s Rights.
Government has to initiate a campaign on Fundamental Rights of Women, work on gender equality and also issue warnings against honor killings, casteist propaganda against inter-caste marriages.
State and Indian Government should
1.  adopt a comprehensive law against Honor Killings, Denial of Fundamental Women’s Rights to choose her life partner.
2.  adopt a comprehensive law against the casteist propaganda against inter caste marriages
3.  should arrest people who have already spoken against inter caste marriages and also ban the concerned casteist groups and parties. 
Relevant posts:

சாதியம் – மற்றுமொரு கொலை

தர்மபுரி சம்பவத்தின் சூடு தணியும் முன்பே, அடுத்த பிரச்னை விழுப்புரத்தில் ஆரம்பம். விழுப்புரம் மாவட்டம், கண்டமங்கலம் அருகே உள்ளது பள்ளிநேலியனூர். அங்கு கடந்த 10-ம் தேதி கோகிலா என்ற பெண் இறந்துவிட, ‘அவரது பெற்றோரே அடித்துக் கொன்று விட்டனர். காரணம் சாதி’ என்று அவரது கணவர் போலீஸில் புகார் கொடுத்து இருக்கிறார்..

கட்டட வேலை செய்து வரும் கார்த்திகேயனை சந்தித்தோம். ”நானும், கோகிலாவும் எட்டு வருடங்களுக்கு முன் கண்டமங்கலம் வள்ளலார் மேல்நிலைப் பள்ளியில் ஒன்றாகப் படித்தோம். அப்போதே எங்களுக்குள் காதல் அரும்பியது. நாங்கள் இருவரும் தாழ்த்தப்பட்ட சமூகத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர்கள் என்றாலும் வெவ்வேறு பிரிவினர். எங்கள் திருமணத்துக்குச் சம்மதம் கிடைக்காது என்பதால், கடந்த 1.12.2010-ல் ரகசியமாக கடலூரில் பதிவுத்திருமணம் செய்து கொண்டோம். பெற்றோர் சம்மதம் கிடைக்கும் வரை, அவரவர் வீட்டிலேயே இருப்போம் என்று முடிவு எடுத்தோம். கோகிலா மருந்து கம்பெனியில் வேலை செய்து வந்ததால், அடிக்கடி சந்தித்துக் கொள்வோம்.

எப்படியோ எங்களது விவகாரம் கோகிலாவின் பெற்றோருக்குத் தெரிந்துவிட்டது. அதனால், உடனே அவளுக்குத் திருமணம் செய்துவைக்க முடிவுசெய்து மாப்பிள்ளை பார்த்தனர். கோகிலா கடுமையாக எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவிக்கவே, அவளது மாமா வீட்டுக்கு அனுப்பி விட்டனர். திடீரென கடந்த 8-ம் தேதி, ‘உன் காதலனுடன் சேர்த்து வைக்கிறோம்’ என்று அழைத்து வந்திருக்கிறார்கள்.

மூன்று நாட்கள் அவளை ஒரு ரூமில் அடைத்து வைத்து, தற்கொலை செய்துகொள்ளச் சொல்லி மிரட்டியுள்ளனர். இதையெல்லாம் கோகிலா எனக்கு ரகசியமாக போன் செய்து சொன்னாள். சம்பவம் நடந்த 9-ம் தேதி இரவு நான் கோகிலாவுக்கு போன் செய்தேன். ஆனால், ஸ்விட்ச்ஆஃப் செய்யப்பட்டு இருந்தது. காலையில், கோகிலா இறந்த செய்திதான் எனக்குக் கிடைத்தது.

கோகிலாவை அவளது பெற்றோர்தான் அடித்துக் கொன்று விட்டனர். உடனே, நான் கண்டமங்கலம் போலீஸில் புகார் செய்தேன். விசாரணை நடத்தப்போன இன்ஸ்பெக்டர், போஸ்ட் மார்ட்டம் செய்வதற்கு கோகிலாவின் உடலை எடுத்துச் சென்று விடாமல் தடுத்து, பெட்ரோல் ஊற்றி எரித்து விட்டனர். இப்போது, புகாரை வாபஸ் வாங்கச்சொல்லி என்னையும் மிரட்டுகிறார்கள். புகாரை திரும்ப வாங்கும் வரை நிம்மதியாக வாழ முடியாது என்று கொலை மிரட்டல் விடுக்கின்றனர். ஆனால், நான் அவர்களுக்குப் பயப்படுவதாக இல்லை. என் மனை விக்கு நேர்ந்த கொடுமைக்கு நீதி பெறாமல் விட மாட்டேன்” என்றார்.

கோகிலாவின் தந்தை நாகராஜனிடம் பேசினோம். ”அவங்க திருமணம் செய்துக்கிட்டதா சொல்றாங்க. ஆனா, அது எங்களுக்குத் தெரியாது. நான் அவளிடம், ‘யாரையாவது காதலிச்சு இருந்தா, வந்து பொண்ணு பாக்கச் சொல்லு’னு கேட்டேன். அப்பவும் அவ எதுவும் சொல்லலை. பிள்ளையார்குப்பத்தில் மாப்பிள்ளை பார்த்தேன். அவனைப் பார்த்து பிடிச்சிருக்குன்னு சொன்னா. அப்புறம் ஒரு நாள் திடீர்னு எனக்குக் கல்யாணம் வேணாம்னு சொன்னா. ஏன்னு கேட்டதற்கு, ‘எனக்கு தைராய்டு நோய் இருக்கிறதால அடிக்கடி நெஞ்சு அடைக்குது’னு காரணம் சொன்னா. அந்த நோயால்தான் அவ செத்துட்டா. ரெண்டு வருஷத்துக்கு முன்னாடியே திருமணம் செஞ்சதா சொல்றவன், இத்தனை நாளும் பொண்டாட்டியை ஏன் தனியே விட்டிருந்தான். இப்போ, நான் கொலை செஞ்சதா சொல்லி புகார் கொடுத்து எங்களையும் அசிங்கப்படுத்துறான்” என்று அழுதார்.

கோகிலாவுடன் வேலை செய்த சிலரிடம் பேசினோம். ”கோகிலா காதலித்தது உண்மைதான். கோகிலாவை கார்த்திகேயன்தான் வண்டியில் அழைத்துப் போவார். ‘நாங்க திருமணம் செஞ்சிக்கிட்டோம். எங்க திருமணத்தை அப்பாவிடம் சொல்லப் போறேன்’னு சொல்லிக்கிட்டே இருப்பா. ஆனா, சொன்னது இல்லை. கேட்டா, ‘எங்க அப்பா கௌரவமா வாழ்ந்துக்கிட்டு இருக்கார். என்னால் எந்தப் பிரச்னையும் வந்துடக் கூடாது’னு சொல்வா. அதேநேரம் அவ தற்கொலை செஞ்சிக்கிற அளவுக்குக் கோழையான பொண்ணும் கிடையாது” என்றனர் சோகத்துடன்.

கண்டமங்கலம் இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் சரவணனிடம் பேசினோம். ”உடலை எடுக்க விடாமல் கோகிலாவின் குடும்பத்தினர் எங்களைத் தடுத்தது உண்மைதான்(?). நாங்கள் செய்த விசாரணையில் அந்தப் பெண் தற்கொலை செய்திருப்பது தெரிய வந்திருக்கிறது. தற்கொலையை மறைத்தது தவறு. அதற்கான நடவடிக்கை நிச்சயம் எடுப்போம். அந்தப் பையனின் உறவினர்கள் அதே ஊரில்தான் வசிக்கின்றனர். அவர்களுக்கு இதுவரை எந்தப் பிரச்னையும் இல்லை. கார்த்திகேயனுக்குப் பாதுகாப்பு கொடுக்கத் தயாராக இருக்கிறோம்” என்றார்.

Casteism within Dalits takes a girls life

Ravi Chandran‘s status in FB:

Dharmapuri violence: Give me a brake
Recently in Dharmapuri a caste clash took place in the name of love marriage. Let me not say love marriage, a marriage where women is from Backward caste(vanniyar) and male is a dalit(pariyar). There is a hue cry over the issue its true and every one has to condemn the vandalization but what is the stand of Viduthalai chiruthaigal on ‘love marriage’. And why no one is speaking about the women? Anyway I am not here for that issue rather I want to take everyone to another violence which took place on 11.111.2012 in Villupuram. Here a Pariyar girl and an Arunthathiyar boy fell in love. For 8 years they were in love and got registered in 2010 and kept it as a secret for two long years. Two weeks before the girls family found out that they were registered and tried to pursue the girl with violence for another marriage the girl disagreed while she was beaten she made a phone call to her husband for help. Her husband recorded the voice and went to the police station and the girl said not to file any complaint, because my parents might die. Whatsoever tomorrow I will come out of the house, just wait for the next day. The same evening the girl made another call to her husband and told my parents have agreed for our marriage hence tomorrow along with your family come to my house for official marriage purpose. And she also told her husband that tomorrow I ll have many work to do hence let me take rest. She went to sleep, her parents along with uncle kept the pillow and murdered her. The next day when her husband heard the news and went to collect the body they rejected and burnt the body without any postmortem. Angered husband gave a complaint to the police station, the police as usual did not file FIR, rather he started getting threatening phone calls from Pariyars in the village. Scared for his life he and his family left the village, however the Pariyars in the village has beaten the husbands uncle for not withdrawing the complaint and the uncle has been missing for some time and no trace of him. In this village 40 houses are Pariyars and only 3 houses are Arunthathiyars. In this area Thol. Thirumavalavan’s party is very strong. Aparaently one of the advocate Louis of VCK told that his party cannot do anything rather be part of any movement on this issue. Even in the past there was same kind of an incident where in that case the arunthathiyar boys sister was raped by pariyars in the village and VCK stood with the pariyars. I am not able to imagine that how much castism it is to kill their own daughter and its not upper caste dalits population which are fighting against discrimination and for equality.
Now what is the stand of Thol. Thirumavalavan and other Pariyar intellectuals on this issue. Willthey take a stand as they took against PMK. And the dalit intellectuals who wrote about Dharmapuri could they also say something.


I am very sorry to say that none of the dalit movement has seriously thought of Gender issue, as a result of it only males rule and they rule with their chauvinism.

Pariyar and arunthathiyar are dalits community in Tamil Nadu. Pariyar are dalits and Arunthathiyars are scavenging and leather working community in Tamil Nadu. Pariyars many think that arunthathiyars are low and discriminate them. In the present case a pariyar women fell in love with an arunthathiyar for 7 years. And recently they got registed their marriage, when the family came to know the issue. The girls family put a pillow on the girl while sleeping and murdered the girl. The body was not given for postemortem and burnt the girl


A teenager girl at the age of 13 has been sexually exploited and tortured.


A teenager girl at the age of 13 has been sexually exploited and tortured.

As reported by se.tha. ilangovan in Nakkheeran

The girl studies in 8th standard. Her close friend’s name is shenbagam and the girl often goes to her house to play. Shenbagam’s father ezhumalai is an auto driver. He has been showering care on her. One day he asked his daughter to buy some beetle leaves and ensure that he and the girl were alone in the house.

He went near her and said, ‘why are you still wearing school dress, I will give you a ‘comfortable’ dress and started stripping her. Then he touches all over her body and further rapes her. He has been continuing this brutal exploitation and torture for a while. Mother reports about this horrendous act to police, the way the police behaved is said to be excruciating.

Kavitha, mother of the girl said that, “my husband died 12 years before. I have 3 children, I work in brick house and with great difficulty I brought up the children. Two of them are married. This girl was studying …but….. but…” she busted into tears and continued “I never expected that, that heartless man could behave in such a manner to my little girl. She never told me anything, instead she was crying every day. Then when I raised my voice in anger she told me everything. You got to be a women to understand what I went through…” then she added,

I went to ammapettai police station with my daughter. I briefed them everything. S.I. Ramana said give Rs.10,000 we will file case. I said “where do I go for such a big amount” immediately inspector Jayam said ‘hey, wouldn’t you listen to what Ramana says, you sent your daughter to flirt around with that man for a week, let her enjoy and now you are shedding crocodile tears is it?” My heart broke, “pl don’t speak like this madam” I said. Then infront of my eyes itself, they asked my girl, where all did he touch you, how did he touch you etc in a very vulgar manner. I pleaded “pl don’t treat her like this, she is little girl”. They said it is just an enquiry process. Then she said “hey ramana, take this Saturn to the opposite Dr. Sumathi and check if she is truly raped.”

I said she did not volunteer, but she is raped. She said “both are same..don’t teach me law”. Doctor tested my daughter and told S.I that “she has been forced into sex. Without any shock and curtosy she said “hey as per doctor’s report your singari has been raped”. Then they filed an ordinary case and arrested Ezhumalai. They took my daughter to Govt. Hsopital. Again they asked me Rs.5,000 to pay to doctor. S.I Ramana said that Inspector demanded that amount. I screamed “How many times do I say madam, even If I work for whole month I don’t make such big money” and they cursed me saying ‘saturn…”and continued abusing me. Then one day Ezhumalai’s wife mallika came home and said “I thought I will pay some good money to a widowed mother and compensate, but you went to police, that’s why I gave them 30,000 and finished the case. You can do nothing.” And threw the report on my face. Here money plays a major role, poor are left without any help.”

Mayan, Human Rights Protection center member volunteered Legal help to Kavitha. He said that “Forensic report is not supposed to be let out, but the opposite party had taken it, this shows that how bribary has played a major role in this case. They refused to file a case, then Kavitha threatened to self immolate her. So they filed the case. They have influenced the concerned with money and changed the report. We have appealed for further investigation.”

While we contacted Inspector Jayam she said that “ I have acted as per law and ensured punishment for the convict.”


Translated for MASES by Kotravai.

MASES condemns the child sex abuse and injustice done by Ammapettai Police to Kavitha and her daughter. Thanks to Mayan for offering her the legal support. We hope the higher courts would order for a fair investigation and the culprit is arrested under all the relevant cases which includes Child Sex abuse, Rape. Considering the financial background it looks like Kavitha belongs to oppressed caste and if so a case should be filled under section three of the SC/ST Act and various sections for rape and torture.

Modern Era Male Dominance – in CMPA


Universal dominance of men in complex societies forces us to speak for empowering women. Till the end of nineteenth century, women have never occupied a position of higher status or greater political power than men in any society, anywhere, anytime. And, all the religious and mythological systems contain fictions to explain and justify the gender bias. Male domination has always been inherently social and it has not depended on individual characteristics! In India, The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, was enacted with the specific objective of prohibiting indecent representation of women through advertisement, publication, writing and painting or in any other manner.

Due to technology developments, internet, satellite based communication, audio-visual messaging etc constituted a new platform for doing disgrace to women. Hence, the Union Cabinet on October 11, 2012, made forwarding of pornographic multimedia messages from phones and internet liable for stringent punishment – imprisonment up to seven years with a fine upto Rs 5 lakhs. After making the amendments based on the recommendations of National Commission for Women, the Union Government stated “These amendments seek to ensure that more effective protection is provided against indecent representation of women by covering newer forms of communication like internet, multimedia messaging beyond the print and audio-visual media. This would aid in addressing the problem of increased objectification of women, thereby ensuring dignity of women”. More details are available at: In the given social structure, it is necessary for us to analyze every major social condition or process that has maintained women’s subordination at all levels.

Nirmala Kotravai, Founder, MASES – Movement Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexism, clearly emphasizes “In the name of radicalism and freedom, the male dominant ideological sphere of the modern era seems to treat women only as a product of sexual desire. Mass Media plays a very important role in ‘objectification’ of women.  The sexist (characterizing based on sex classification as male and female) ideology in mass media is reflecting in advertisements, item songs in films and in the gender roles. Few magazines who identify themselves as ‘political weeklies’ also engage themselves in this sexual exploitation by publishing ‘exposing’ pictures of actresses in the middle pages or cover pages. The term modernization seem to give justification for such male benefiting, male readership targeted exploitation of women’s body.  For the sake of ‘money’ Men objectify, women lend themselves to it, without realizing that it demeans the ‘self respect’ of women, it denigrates womanhood propagating that a woman is all about ‘flesh’ and ‘only flesh’.  It is proving to be set back in emancipation of woman. These men and women have to realize that while the male dominant ideological sphere grants them freedom to expose does it empower the women in decision making? Does it empower them to enter politics; does it honor the 33% reservation? Do women have rights over their reproductive capacity?  Tell a slave, he is a slave he will revolt, said Dr Ambedkar. Woman, modernization is converting you a modern slave, realize and revolt”. Further, Nirmala Kotravai clearly affirms “While we say Male dominance, one needs to understand that it is not about the dominance of an Individual Male but it is the ‘ideological’ structure which prevails in the society. This means that it is about the social structure built upon at the interest of Men assigning superiority to Men and propagates that Men are stronger and Women are weaker. There is no biological proof for such classification. Difference in characteristics is to be considered different and not as weaker”.

Netizens outraged by denial of right to free speech – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai edition – page 5

Netizens outraged by denial of right to free speech – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai edition – page 5

my views:

Raising a query about why only common men and women were targeted for such harmless expressions of opinion, women’s rights activist Nirmala Kotravai asked, “Even Press Council chairman Katju said he was not going to pay home to Thackeray. So, is he going to be arrested?”

In a country, where the public has the right to even to call back their elected representatives, this is a mere violation of Constitutional rights. She fumed, dismissing section 66A of the cyber law as vague and against the rights granted by the Indian constitution.

Letter to Maharashtra CM by Justice Katju on arrest of the young girl for her facebook status.

Letter to Maharashtra CM on arrest of the young girl for her facebook status.

The Chief Minister
Dear Chief Minister,

I am forwarding an email I have received stating that a woman in Maharashtra has been arrested for protesting on Facebook against the shut down in Mumbai on the occasion of the death of Mr. Bal Thackeray. It is alleged that she has been arrested for

allegedly hurting religious sentiments.To my mind it is absurd to say that protesting against a bandh hurts religious sentiments. Under Article 19(1)(a) of our Constitution freedom of speech is a guaranteed fundamental right . We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship. In fact this arrest itself appears to be a criminal act since under sections 341 and 342 it is a crime to wrongfully arrest or wrongfully confine someone who has committed no crime.

Hence if the facts reported are correct, I request you to immediately order the suspension, arrest, chargesheeting and criminal prosecution of the police personnel (however high they may be) who ordered as well as implemented the arrest of that woman, failing which I will deem it that you as Chief Minister are unable to run the state in a democratic manner as envisaged by the Constitution to which you have taken oath, and then the legal consequences will follow

Justice Katju
(Chairman, Press Council of India, and former Judge, Supreme Court of India)

Second Letter to Maharashtra CMDear Chief Minister,

You have not replied to my email but only forwarded it to someone called Amitabh Rajan, whom I do not know, and who has not had the courtesy to respond to me. Please realize that the matter is much too serious to be taken in this cavalier manner, because the principle of liberty is at stake.The entire nation wants to know what action you have taken. I would therefore request you to immediately let me know what you are doing in this matter.

Are we living in a democracy or not ? How can a person be arrested for objecting to the shutdown in Mumbai on Thackeray’s death ? Article 21 of the Constitution, to uphold which you have taken an oath, states that no one can be deprived of his life or liberty except in accordance with law. Does Article 21 not exist in Maharashtra ? Does freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) also not exist in your state ?Please realize that silence is not an option for you in the matter. The entire nation is furious at this apparently illegal arrest. Therefore I once again request you to tell me, and through me the entire nation, why this arrest of a woman was made in Mumbai just for putting up an apparently innocuous material on the Facebook, and what action you have taken against the delinquent policemen and others involved in this high handedness and blatant misuse of state machinery

Justice Katju
Related Articles:
M.A.S.E.S  strongly condemns the arrest of Shaheen Dhada and Renu and this continous act of arresting Facebookers, Tweeters and Social Network Media Writers.  We call for a revival of cyber law, esp: section 66A which is vague and which is against the Rights given by the Indian Constitution 

Jeannette Rankin Award – – CMPA

Jeannette Rankin Award
For Women Empowerment


On November 7, 1916, the first woman ‘Jeannette Pickering Rankin’ was elected to the US Congress. Rankin was born on a ranch near Missoula, Montana Territory on June 11, 1880 and graduated in science at University of Montana. With inborn passion, she moved to New York to become a humanitarian and dedicated supporter of Progressive reforms. She began to advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, and a grassroots democracy that widened its participatory boundaries. She studied social legislation at the University of Washington, where she became involved in the woman suffrage movement. Rankin argued that slum conditions were worsened by women’s inability to vote.

In 1910 she returned to Montana to work for the emancipation of women. She declared that she was suspicious of governmental priorities set without women’s voice and argued that vote-denied women were being taxed without representation, echoing the famous credo from the American Revolution. Her work in the first women’s rights movement is closely linked to her pacifism and dedication to a peaceful foreign policy that would later define her Congressional contributions. She believed, as many women’s suffragists advocated during this period, that the corruption and dysfunction of the United States government was a result of a lack of feminine participation. As she states very clearly at a disarmament conference during the interwar years “The peace problem is a woman’s problem”.

On November 7, 1916 she was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana, becoming the first female member of Congress. She vigorously supported women’s suffrage, child protection laws and prohibition. Rankin turned her attention to work for peace also. Rankin used her fame and notoriety in this “famous first” position to work for peace and women’s rights and against child labor, and to write a weekly newspaper column. Jeannette Rankin said “I’m No Lady; I’m a Member of Congress”. Days after taking office, Jeannette Rankin made history in yet another way by voting against US entry into World War I. She violated protocol by speaking during the roll call before casting her vote, announcing “I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war”.  Many people in media and public life attempted to discredit her with charges of Communist intentions.

After the war ended, Rankin continued to work for peace through the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and also began work for the National Consumers’ League. She worked, at the same time, on the staff of the American Civil Liberties Union. Jeannette Rankin passed away at Carmel, California, on  May 18, 1973, after leaving great messages to the women all over the world!

Today, in the world history, Rankin is the most inspiring role models for women empowerment. Rankin remained as active in politics as she could right up until her death. She continued to produce writing promoting women’s rights, peace, child welfare, and civil rights from her home which remained relevant in the civil rights movement of the era. Her career has left behind a legacy of controversy with some viewing her as impossibly idealistic, and others identifying her as an inspiration to be pursued. Her contributions to various feminist movements cannot be ignored, and continue to be relevant today.

In the governing body meeting on November 07, 2012, the Centre for Media & Public Affairs (CMPA) instituted an Award in the name of Jeannette Pickering Rankin which will be presented during January 2013 to professionally accomplished social workers who selflessly campaign for the rights of women.

Kindly send your suggestions, inputs and recommendations

V. Venkat Raj

National President

Centre for Media & Public Affairs

via email

The death of Anil Meena

Anoop Kumar : Wed Mar 14 2012, 02:40 hrs


Suicides by Dalit and tribal students is a story of discrimination

Merit is important — students have to go through gruelling entrance tests to prove their worth before joining any educational institution to become doctors, engineers, scientists.

In 2010, Anil Meena, from a tribal family of agriculturalists, a school topper, with 75 per cent marks in 10+2, covered the distance of over 500 km from his village in Baran district, Rajasthan, to Delhi. He had again proved his merit in one of the toughest medical entrance exams to become a doctor at one of the country’s prestigious educational institutions — the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

However, within two years of his stay at this prestigious institution, on March 3, 2012, he hanged himself. The reasons, according to the AIIMS administration, are that he was “depressed”, developed “psychiatric” problems because of his inability to cope with the rigorous academic environment combined with his lack of skills in the English language. Anil was 22 years old.

It is mere coincidence that on the same day, March 3, in 2010, Balmukund Bharti,a Dalit student at AIIMS, committed suicide in similar fashion, but this coincidence does not end with the date. A son of a Class III employee, a native of village Kundeshwar, Tikamgarh district, Bundelkhand (MP), one of the most backward regions of the country, Balmukund was also a school topper from Navodaya Vidyalaya and possessed many certificates of academic excellence, including one from the president of India, before getting admission into AIIMS after proving his merit in its entrance exam.

We are told that he was also “depressed” and committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room due to “his inability to cope up with academic performance” demanded by the institution. Balmukund was 25 years of age, and was just a couple of months away from becoming a doctor from AIIMS, something his parents say has not happened in the surrounding areas in the last 50 years.

AIIMS is not a lone institution. There is a long list in the recent past that includes almost all premier educational institutions — various IITs, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, University of Hyderabad and many more, where otherwise brilliant Dalit and Adivasi students, school and college toppers, gave up their hopes and chose to commit suicide.

The conventional wisdom is that these students got admission through reservations with “lesser merit” and gave up their lives unable to match the academic expectations of these premier educational institutions. And the definition of this “merit” is defined strictly in terms of marks at the entrance level, conveniently discounting various other factors like social background, family, medium of instruction in school, the rural-urban divide that play a major role in the performance of the students.

So a student from an urban-based upper-caste/ upper-class background with both parents literate and from much better schools, most often elite private English-medium ones, is considered more “meritorious”, more “deserving” with her 85 per cent marks, than those “quota” students with their 75 per cent marks scored fighting against all their debilitating social realities.

This perceived “lack of merit” among Dalit and Adivasi students and their admissions through “quotas” breeds so much resentment among other students, faculties and college administrations that these students feel totally alienated from campus life, which is dominated by upper-caste students and faculty, and have to go through constant harassment and daily insults in class, in hostels, in playgrounds, in messes.

It is not the academic pressure that these students are unable to cope with; it is the environment of these campuses, with their entrenched casteism that gets displayed in defining “merit”, resulting in caste discrimination from both students and faculty, that Dalit and Adivasi students are not able to deal with.

It is not their lack of efforts in studies that force them to give up their lives after developing “psychiatric” problems, but the feeling of rejection that they experience from these institutions that forces them to take this extreme step.

With their brilliant academic performances in schools, these students enter professional institutions with immense self-confidence and faith in the system that promises a bright future and fair treatment solely based on their academic performances but in reality judges them, from Day One, on their social identities and family background without giving them the chance to prove their merit. That is what shatters them.

In 2006, the Indian government constituted a three-member inquiry committee under the chairmanship of Professor S.K. Thorat, the then UGC chairperson, to look into the complaints of Dalit and Adivasi students of AIIMS.

The first of its kind to probe into caste discrimination in institutes of higher learning, the committee came out with a detailed report and brought out the horrors of caste discrimination suffered by “quota” students on this campus that included physical assaults, boycott by fellow students, deliberate failing by faculties and total insensitivity shown by the AIIMS administration.

The committee also gave various recommendations like establishing equal opportunity cells, transparency in grading, strong punishment for caste discrimination. But the AIIMS administration, rather than engage in introspection, declared the report biased and refuted every allegation of casteism on the campus and even threatened to sue the Thorat committee for bringing disrepute to the institute that promotes excellence and is engaged in the service of the nation.

If one visits the illiterate parents of Senthil Kumar, a PhD student in physics from Tamil Nadu, who committed suicide on February 24, 2008, at the University of Hyderabad, the first thing they produce for the visitors are his certificates that bore the testimony of his merit and his efforts, making him the first from his pig-rearing panniandi caste, the lowest in caste hierarchy, to enter the portals of higher education.

Along with the certificates you can find a diary where Senthil wrote: “I want to bring Nobel prize for my country.” If you flip through its pages, you will also find a picture of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam from a newspaper cutting, with a title in Senthil’s handwriting: “My Role Model.”

These students came up by beating all odds and proved their merit in more than one way. Do our premier educational institutions, AIIMS, IITs and universities, have the required merit and efficiency to be able to teach such brilliant students?

The writer started Insight Foundation, a platform for Dalit and Adivasi youth, focused on higher education issues



A letter addressing the delegates of 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China by S.P. Udayakumar

November 9, 2012

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy
Idinthakarai 627 104
Tamil Nadu
The Delegates
18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Great Hall of the People
H. E. The Ambassador of China
 50-D, Shantipath
New Delhi-110021
Fax: 91-11-26885486; 24679542
Dear Esteemed Delegates:
Greetings! We, the Struggle Committee of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), write to congratulate you all on the successful start of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and to wish you all great success with this important meeting.
As you are making crucial decisions about the socioeconomic-political future of your important country, may we request you to shun the development of nuclear power as an energy option please. After all, scores of developed and scientifically advanced countries around the world are renouncing nuclear power and going for ‘New Energies’ for obvious reasons.
Only our two countries, China and India, are going for major expansion of nuclear power with no concrete plans to decommission the plants or to store and safeguard the nuclear waste. Both our countries also go for major nuclear arms build-up which is not in the best interests of our peoples, regional harmony and world peace.
Our countries are working together in several international forums such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Russia-India-China (RIC) troika, and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies. We could become a much larger force in the world economy over the next 50 years. In fact, economists predict that BRICS economies could account for over half the size of the G6 (US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, UK) by 2025 and could be larger than the G6 (in US dollar terms) in less than 40 years.
But our national growth and progress may mean little if we also engage in nuclear arms race and squander our resources on expensive and dangerous projects such as nuclear power plants that will take enormous amounts of money for decommissioning, waste management and so forth. All our nuclear plants/parks will have deleterious effects on our farmers’, fishermen’s and workers’ rights to life and livelihood; our natural resources; our cattle, crops and seafood; food security; nutrition security; health of our people, and the wellbeing of our progeny.
In the larger interests of our own countries and peoples and the whole world, please make a solemn resolve in your historic 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China not to promote nuclear energy in China. Such a thoughtful decision will also help India, Pakistan and other countries shun nuclear power and go for “New Energies.”
Looking forward to your timely and wise intervention in the nuclear issue, we send you our best regards and all peaceful wishes.
Yours truly,
S. P. Udayakumar     M. Pushparayan     M. P. Jesuraj  
Fr. F. Jayakumar     R. S. Muhilan     Peter Milton