Thursday, June 20, 2024

Letters to The Editor — April 3, 2023

Still a struggle

The temple entry movement, the use of adjoining streets for Dalits in Vaikom, Kerala, and E.V.R. Periyar’s seminal role should be remembered.

However, it is worth noting that similar movements were taking place in Tamil Nadu also, with the Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareeswarar temple at the top of the list. Here, the movement to open the temple gates to Dalits and Nadars was spearheaded by Madurai A. Vaidyanatha Iyer, who persisted despite facing excommunication from his community.

His courageous stance earned him the moniker “The Real Periyar”.

In fast forwarding to the current status of Dalits in Tamil Nadu, it is clear that the Vaidyanatha Iyer and E.V.R. reform movements have suffered setbacks. Ugly incidents like Vengaivayal in Tamil Nadu, the building of separation walls to segregate the use of public right of ways, and abuse by the police that Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe detainees face are the new normal (Opinion page, ‘Datapoint’, March 30).

A principal reason that the Dravidian majors are unable to address this issue openly is the fact that both their membership are dominated by intermediate castes, who still resent the inclusion of Dalits on an equal basis in life.

G. Parameswaran,


The Pattanam mystery

How the people of Pattanam warded off the regressive influences of the caste system is definitely a mystery (Page 1, April 2). It is possible that all the people were generally well off due to flourishing business and led busy, secular and peaceful lives.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,


Cheetah births in Kuno

It was very pleasing to see the standalone picture (Some editions, March 30), of the four cheetah cubs of Siyaya, one of the Namibian cheetahs that was relocated to the Kuno National Park in September last year. The cubs would little know or care whether they live in Namibia or India as long as they find comfort and safety with their mother!

Akshita Mishra,

New Delhi

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