At the outset the Left politics in Tamil Nadu is as same as in any state they function. At recent times in Tamil Nadu the Left politics has been gaining grounds within Dalit circles with an image of being pro Dalit activists especially in relation to issues based on Arunthathiyars. It was the result of them taking up some issues based on discrimination faced by Dalits and did a ‘wide’ range campaign.
The left has a branch within the organization, named Theendaamai Olipu munnani, (A movement focusing on exclusively on fighting against discrimination) which has many Dalit movement leaders as its core members, and certainly the so-called leader of the movement is from a non-Dalit background. The pro-Dalit image created by such organization just left Dalit divided within the Dalit movement, which is leading activist to exclusively join hands with the Left movement. This writing would focus on these movements to give a clear picture on Left politics in Tamil Nadu.
Since the Left party’s origin, they have been fighting for a ‘secular’ state and to empower the labours. In relation to ‘secular’ state, my reservation on these left Parties is sincerely suspicious over their stand. The recent bomb blasts in India would remove their secular mask. I suspect left parties have ever opposed the state in picking up innocent Muslim youths as terrorists. In Tamil Nadu context, recently in Madurai, a cows head was seen in RSS (Rashtriya Swam Sevak) office. Before this incident there were several incidents such as a pig’s head was seen inside/out of a Masjid, and at one point there were human excreta thrown in the Masjid. Repeated complaint to the police by the Muslim community fell in the deaf hear. However, when a cows head was seen in the RSS office, the police picked up some innocent Muslim youths and tortured and kept under unauthorized police custody. In this issue, the left movement was completely absconding. Maybe they will wait for another Pink chaddi campaign. The so-called civil society was not an exception.
In relation to the stand taken by the left movements on Dalit issues is not sincere too. In Tamil Nadu the left started talking about caste from the year of 2000, though there were Dalit movements earlier fighting against the discrimination, these left were mere spectator. At present we could witness a vast range of Dalit movements fighting against the discrimination. Left has been forced to take the issue on caste in recent days. However, the suspicious stand they took during the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls revels their sincerity towards Dalit’s emancipation. Not a single candidate from Arunthathiyar community was given a seat. It is the same left which claims that they fight for Arunthathiyar community. There is also an understanding that Left played a crucial role in getting 3% inner reservation for Arunthathiyar community, which I doubt. The history of Arunthathiyar movement fighting for the inner reservation would reveal the facts. There were number of Arunthathiyar’s movements fighting for inner reservation in particular Aathi Thamilar Peravai and Mathivanan’s contribution cannot be subjugated. These rumors created by the Left sympathizers only to include Arunthathiyars as a political vote bank. And Arunthathiyars should realize the Lefts sincerity towards the issue of emancipation of Dalits.