Round Table India
You Are Reading
An Appeal to All Political Parties
ilavarasan sketch

Dalit Intellectual Collective

Jai Bhim!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                             19-03-2024

Elections offer an opportunity to raise issues of great importance to society in the public domain and engage with political parties in a conversation on the need to address them. Now, with the Lok Sabha polls at hand, we desire to bring the focus on the continued neglect of the atrocities on Dalits which seldom receives the due attention it requires.

So far the atrocities unleashed against Dalits are being treated as a mere law and order problem, which is not the case. For, they are borne out of caste Hindu hate politics which has become normalised making them integral to the political culture in Tamil Nadu. Since the problem is political, the solution to casteist terror has to be political as well. For this, political parties have to be conscious of this reality and be responsive. But, sadly political parties remain either passive or immune to these, save for the rhetorical condemnation bereft of any action.

While the atrocities get normalized, the lukewarm response of the administration is worrisome. Needless to say, that the cumulative effect impedes social justice. Further, it is intertwined with democratization of Tamil society. As such, we could not allow the forces opposed to modernity to derail the progress that Tamil Nadu is destined for.

To understand the gravity of the issue, it is pertinent to note that “Caste Pride” (2023), a recent book, observes that Tamil Nadu provides a template on atrocities against Dalits for the entire country.

We do not blame any particular political party or its leadership, but look forward to each party to make clear their position as well as the action plan to end the atrocities. In the interest of furthering a healthy political culture, we urge them to realise the gravity of the problem and commit themselves to take a lead in this regard.

Therefore, it would be appropriate for political parties to include in their election manifestoes their action plan to eradicate this menace.

Hereby, we fervently appeal:

Political parties to distance themselves from the perpetrators of atrocities against Dalits. Dissociate from those propagating Caste Pride/ Hatred. They should visit the place of atrocities and extend solidarity with the victims.

Each political party should hold inner-party consultation to put an end to casteist violence and recommend to the government appropriate measures.

Every party should take steps to rejuvenate the Self Respect movement – Removal of Caste Surnames to individuals and institutions.

Political parties should engage in a process of reconciliation between the perpetrators and the victims.


Lakshmanan, P.hD. (JNU) Convenor,

Dalit Intellectual Collective


Image of Ilavarasan courtesy: Round Table India, from the article ‘Crossing endogamic borders’ published on July, 2013.

Leave a Reply