Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"I am not a slave and dont make me a slave" Annan Pasupathi Pandiayan: A dedication

This post would try to bring most of news on Dalit revolutionary leader Pasupathi

Pandian. Since only bits and pieces are available on him, I tried to gather the information from the internet and talking to Arunthathiyars and making a post. Many of the news media say he is a reputed Dalit leader, however, few Dalit leader reject that claim and say he is just a rowdy. Henceforth it is a small attempt from my side to throw some light on Mr. Pasupathi Pandian’s life from an Arunthathiyar perspective.
Every individual has a history which is influenced mostly by the society surrounding him/her. Therefore it is very important to construct or look a person’s history where he lived, saw, experienced.
This article will focus on southern districts of Tamil Nadu. In southern Districts there are various dominant community, Nadar, Naidu, Thevar, Nayakkars, etc. Nadars are predominant in the southern districts of Tuticorin, Kaniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar districts.
However, the history of the Nadar community in short they were backward community. Few business man within the community, and it is during the Kamarajar rule that the Nadars gained economically more powerful. Special schools for Nadars, banks were started. In due course they went to the height in the economic power.
It is also true that Kamarajar was great in many aspects, those could be googled. The very important contribution or his love for his community can be seen while he was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu the state reorganization was formed, he did not oppose for merging Iddukki district with Kerala because he was happy with Kanniyakumari merging with Tamil Nadu. To understand this we should look little closer into the difference between two districts. Iddukki had the indigenous inhabitants belonged to the tribes - Muthuvans, Hill Pulayas, Mannans, Uralys, Malai Arayans, Ulladans, Palliyans, Malavedans and Mala Pandarams – all of whom were Tamils. In Kanyakumari there were Nadars.
Therefore the majority of the Tamil speaking population in Idukki region was given to Kerala, and majority of Malayalam speaking population, Kanyakumari was taken to Tamil Nadu because of few Nadar community. The Chief Minister Mr. Kamaraj had a role in it.
Kamaraj's was a Chief Minister between 1954 - 1963: At present the Nadars constitutes 12 per cent of the State’s population. Beyond the fireworks industry at Sivakasi, they has the influential Tamil media house - Thanthi - in its fold. The company is run by Sivanthi Adityan, whose brother Ramachandra Adityan floated Malai Murasu. There is also Dinakaran, founded by the late K P Kandaswamy, who was known for switching allegiance between AIADMK-founder MG Ramachandran and Karunanidhi.

The success of Nadars in business played a pivotal role in the rise of the community. Nadar grocery stores can be found today in almost every corner of Tamil Nadu. The success is mainly due to their frugality and determination, and many have risen from poverty. It is difficult to determine the wealth of a Nadar merchant for a very wealthy Nadar may sit simply in his tiny shop.

With growing supermecy over their community, their egos, pride grew to an height that made them to discriminate Dalits in that region, majority of the dalit population are Pallars. The Pallars have few lands, and also some of them work in abroad. Hence, the pallars in large do not depend on any upper caste for their daily food. They struggle for equality began. The Nadars would harass/rape dalit women, and kill dalits who oppose their domination. It was a rowdey rajayam.
Atrocities on Dalits in those region:
frontline on Graveyard,
Frontline: about a novel anyhow
Eppadium (Anyhow) is his most recent work. The novel deals with the unpleasant situation prevailing in Vembar, a coastal village in Tuticorin district, where Christian populations belonging to Nadar, Paravar and Dalit castes run their own schools and administer separate parishes. Without hypocrisy, the author takes the bull by the horns. He narrates the insults heaped on Dalit Christians in the village through the denial of any role in the parish administration.He recalled the attacks on Dalits at Nalumoolaikinaru and Kodiyankulam in Tuticorin district,…
The police rampage on the all-Dalit village of Kodiyankulam on August 31, 1995 (Frontline, October 20, 1995) when caste-related violence was rocking the southern districts in the mid-1990s was the worst. The word Kodiyankulam, has since then virtually become a synonym for state terrorism, particularly against Dalits, in this part of the country.
In Tamil Nadu’s southern districts, prisoners are segregated on the basis of castes
Caste In Prison Stone

in the political biography of Tamil Nadu, conflict between Dalits and other backward castes (OBCs) is a chapter that is still being written. Not only is untouchability still widespread across the state’s southern districts like Ramanathapuram, Thoothukkudi, Thirunelveli, Madurai and Dharmapuri, there have been frequent clashes since the early 1990s between Dalits and Thevars, an OBC community with significant presence in the region.
Maran says he was beaten up for no reason by members of the jail staff who were Thevars. The food served in his Dalit block was scarcely edible and hardly enough to quell his hunger. His access to books and newspapers was restricted. His visiting time for friends and relatives who came calling was curtailed. He had to work, but was not paid. And he was deprived of medical attention. “Prison life does not offer anything to reduce the sense of [inflicted] violence,” he says, “It only flares it up.”
There are 1,600 prisoners in Palayamkottai Central Jail, and the segregation in this facility is very efficient. “Thevar, Nadar and Dalit prisoners are put in different blocks,” says Selvaraj, a constable who has been working there for a decade. “In this jail, [caste segregation] is inevitable. How can we mix up people from different castes? It is impossible. We cannot manage the violence [that will occur] if we do so.”
What happens in jail, however, only mirrors what happens outside during caste conflicts, according to Rajiv Rufus, a lawyer practising at the Madurai bench. “This is a strategy used by the government whenever caste violence erupts in these parts of Tamil Nadu,” he alleges, “Thevar cops are deployed in localities where Dalits live in, and vice-versa. This only escalates the violence.”
This lies the background where Pasupathi Pandian grew up. In 1980s, 1990s, there use to be only killings with sickles and police will not interfere. Tuticorin has a shipping harbor, and a very important place.
Times of India: writes C Pasupathi Pandian gained notoriety even as a 11th standard school-going boy when a case of murder was registered against him in Tuticorin.
A native of Alangara Thattu village in Tuticorin, Pandian subsequently quit his studies. Since then, the path he travelled was marred by violent incidents where he dabbled between the roles of a person fighting against dalit atrocities.
The Nadars and the Upper caste in Tuitcorin got sacred of him. Nadars as I said before had political, economical everything. But Pasupathi Pandian had a fire of courage to stop anyone who discriminates dalits. It is also to be noted there were Naxal movements in tamilnadu. The culture of using country bomb, knife, guns were circulated for all community. The same weapon used by the Upper caste Nadar, was used against them. Few incidents I write. Not only upper caste in that region were scared of Pasupathi Pandian, even in most of the southern districts. The upper caste were scared because Pasupathi Pandian will interfere.

An Arunthathiyar from Nellai says:
In 1980’s Mr. Pasupathi Pandian came to TN colony in Tirunelveli, met Arunthathiyar and presented 50 knifes and told, leave your traditional occupation Scavenging and attack anyone who discriminates or harasses you and it is my responsibility to take care of you.
An Arunthathiyar Leader based in Maduari says, Naagai Thiruvaluvan:
In 1990’s in Paramagudi, an Arunthathiyar girl was beaten by pallars, there was a tensed situation between arunthathiyars and Pallars. Pasupathi Pandian is also from a Pallar community, he went to the spot and abused the Pallars and told to treat arunthathiyars equally.
Another Arunthathiyar Leader says:
While Arunthathiyars were fighting for inner-reservation which was not supported by any single non-arunthathiyar leaders. But Pasupathi Pandian as an exception who had power came to the stage and spoke about the importance of Inner –reservation for arunthathiyars.
Another Arunthathiyar leader, Dilipen:
There are sub-caste politics in Tamil Nadu as any other Indian state has. But in Tamil Nadu Pasupathi Pandian was considering all sub-caste as dalits and spoke in one voice. Not a single leader from Pallars will ever do the same even in future.

He had at least eight murder cases pending against him, besides several other cases of attempted murder, assault, possession of weapons. Among the murder cases, the most notable is the murder of rival Venkatesa Pannaiyar's grandfather in the early 1990s. The Venketesha Panniyar(Interestingly, Pannyar (who is better known as a local don) is reported to have helped AIADMK win the crucial Sattankulam by-elections, which came close on the heels of Jayalalithaa’s Anti-Conversion Bill. Sattankulam has a sizable Christian Nadar population. It is believed that Pannyar, subsequently, became a thorn for the party as he got embroiled in various scams and had to be "removed".)

group, which is a Nadar community became a strong rival for the Pasupathi Pandian. Actually in 1990s there were fights between the Pullaveli village people and the Mulakarai Pannaiyar Sivasubramaiya Nadaar. The village was fighting for water. In this fight Pasupathi Pandian was supporting the village people. The fight went to an extent to to murder the son of Sivasubramaniya Nadaar in 24-1-93. Sivasubramaniya Nadaar’s son was Asupathi Pannaiyar. Asupathi Pannaiyar was Venketasa panaiyar’s fathers younger brother. As a revenge in 21-4-1993 there was an attempt to kill Pasupathi Pandian. In this attempt Pasupathi Pandian escaped by his friend Ponn Esaki was murdered. On 8-7-93 Pasupathi Pandian group kills Sivasubramania Naadar. Since then there were several attempts to kill Pasupathi Pandian by the Nadaar groups. Venkatesh Pannaiyar was shot dead in a police encounter in Chennai on September 26, 2003. However Venkatesh Panniayar’s gang was growing.
1n 2000 Tamil Nadu saw a range of Dalit movements. Particularly Dr. Krishnasamy, Mr. Thirumavalavan, were mobilizing dalits across Tamil Nadu. So many atrocities and killing happened even happens now in Southern districts. The Pallars, Arunthathiyars, Pariyars in Southern Districts were getting mobilized in a democratic platform. It is to remember that the background of their assertion has a greater link to Mr. Pasupathi Pandian’s courageous fight against the dominant community. The newly formed democratic platform was gaining importance, and Pasupathi Pandian started reducing his violent struggle against the dominant community. But the Panniayar group mobilized and regrouping.
Venkatesh Pannaiyar was shot dead in a police encounter in Chennai on September 26, 2003, a core group, including Dhanasingam, fled to Mumbai and remained under ground.
Dhanasingam, a henchman of the group, was involved in several offences. In 1992-93, he was lodged in the Tihar jail, Delhi, where he developed links with criminals. In recent years, he emerged a successful arms supplier to criminals.
Police sources said P. Dhanasingam alias Seenivasan of Eral, was a top gunrunner and had links with clandestine weapon dealers. During preliminary interrogation, he confessed to having purchased twenty 9-mm (semi-automatic self-loading) pistols, two 7.62-mm pistols and one stengun from Hemanth Singh of Jamalpur in Bihar late last year. (The Chennai police arrested Hemanth Singh in Bihar soon after the death of Venkatesh Pannaiyar last year).
Therefore it is very important to understand the difference between the Pannaiyar(nadir) communities using violence and Pasupathi Pandian using violence. Pasupathi Pandian used violence began as a retaliation against the Nadar Pannaiyars for equality. Panniyaar’s violence was for their domination, with economic, political power they grew with arm dealers etc. But Pasupathi pandian, left violence after the democratic set up fight for Dalits began. Therefore the fight of Pasupathi Pandian is very different compared to Pannaiyar. Even the recent example if we have to look dalit movement in Tamil Nadu. It is only sourthern dalits who are more assertive. Even the Arunthathiyar, a scavenging/leather working community is more assertive in Tuticorine than anyother place in Tamil Nadu. This credit goes to Pasupathi Pandian. The sadest part is even dalit movement do not see a relation of Pasupathi pandian struggle with the Naxal movement. Only thing Pasupathi Pandian did not have a red color flag, or some fluent speaking English person to write what he was doing, therefore even many dalits get diverted in judging him. And also the educated Dalits kept away from him and was comfortable with the Thirumavalavan, Krishnasamy party politics. I have to say that once the Dalits got asserted they kept away from Pasupathi Pandian. Which was a draw back for him, because there were no selfish Dalits, who speak rubbish on stage and do the exact opposite behind the screen. Pasupathi Pandian was rational, and never cared about him.
As the number of his rivals rose, the number of his close associates were eliminated in bloody fights one after the other. Peer Mohamed, Karnan and Damodaran were brutally murdered in Tuticorin though Pandian gave death a miss every time.
His first political stint began with joining the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). He remained with the party only for a short period and quit PMK to start Devendran Kula Ilaignar Peravai, a dalit youth forum. It was around that time that, he married Jacintha, an advocate from Dindigul who remained a source of support for her husband till she was brutally murdered in 2006.
On April 7, a gang intercepted the car in which she and her husband were travelling at Eppothumvenran village in Tuticorin. A gang of about 20 persons got down from it and hurled bombs at Pandian's car and when they did not explode properly, the gang shot dead Jacintha, who was trapped in the car. Pandian however escaped unhurt and managed to flee the spot in another car, in which his associates were following.
In fact, Pandian had managed to have a narrow escape four times. Once, he was hacked indiscriminately by his rivals at a market in Tuticorin who assumed that he was dead and left the spot. In another incident at Vallanadu in Tirunelveli, he managed to escape a gun-firing.
As the group rivalry lead to a series of murders, the then Tuticorin SP Jangid had warned Pandian to leave Tuticorin. After residing briefly in Tirunelveli, he moved away to Dindigul where he was staying in various places to avoid his enemies.
As the threat to his life rose, he maintained a low profile and was not even active among his community circle. Of late, he was making demands to remove 'pallars' from the list of scheduled caste and instead include them in most backward class. He was also opposing the terming of pallars, as adi dravidars.
In 21st century if there was a Dalit leader who worked selflessly for all the Dalit community, loseing everything, his family, friends, etc. It is only Pasupathi Pandian.

Political background:
After AIADMK came to power, in Paramagudi Pallars who were assertive were killed by the Thevar in power. It is to be noted that AIADMK, whenever comes to power the Thevars in Southern district commit too many atrocities on dalits. Paramagudi killing was clear for majority of the Dalits that it is the AIADMK who killed Dalits in pamagudi. This would surely backfire the vote bank politics of AIADMK in future. Also AIADMK cannot rely on Pallars/or other dalit community in election.
Therefore to increase the AIADMK vote bank it is only through making sure other community votes for AIADMK. The Nadars who constitute 12% of the vote bank politics supports DMK. The reason, AIADMK killed Venketasa pannaiyar in 2003. Immediately after his killing DMK offered a seat to Panniyar’s wife and she won the election. Since Dalits are not going to vote for AIADMK, it is important for AIADMK to look for other community for votes, and it is only the Nadar’s can help. To woo them, AIADMK could have made an agreement to make sure Pasupathi Pandian, a strong rival to NAdar community is eliminated. Recently the government killed dalits in Paramagudi and had a national attention, therefore the state government cannot take another risk of making police kill Pasupathi Pandian. It is possible the state would have said anyone can kill Pasupathi Pandian, and the state will not interfere.
The recent for such a doubt, since it is a planned attack, the special branch must had news of it. And also he was not dead on spot, on the way to hospital he died, and no one know what he spoke.

To read more about Nadar communities hegemony in those region please read the following:
A Nadar writes in yahoo: But at the ugly end, the politicians like J.Jayalalithaa, M.Karunanidhi, and the whole of Murosoli marans family does not like the Nadar caste. The Scheduled Caste (SC) people are trying to catch up with nadars, and the higher caste people like brahmins want to dump nadars, as they consider nadars as a threat to their development. Situation is such so, the SC people are trying a crooked, and wicked procedure to crush the Nadars. The ugly route they took was so unethical to the tamil culture. The SC people train their sons to create a friendly relationship with innocent nadar girls, and finally seduce them for sex. This way they try to steal half of the wealth of Nadars.

In Tamilnadu, We have a culture, If some girl had sex with a boy before marriage, then the girl has to marry that boy. Its so unethical. So the nadar parents have no other way than to accept the boy. Atlast a nadar boy goes without a girl for marriage.

For this, the SC people is strongly supported by Goondas (anti-social elements). One of the Goonda name is C. Pasupathy pandian. Wherever nadar parents having a fully grown daughter. He kidnaps and makes feast of that girl to the SC boys. He has committed muders through this.

Pasupathy pandian resides in Dindugal. He is a notorious gangster. He conducts katta-panchayat in the southern parts of tamilnadu. The government, which has bad politicians support him for the money that has been given to them as bribe. They never care for nadars. Who is going to help nadars? Who is going to kill pasupathy pandian? the government or the people.
In viral blogspot another Nadar writes
Eeswara Pandian NADAR said...
devendragula vellar community is one of the underfoot caste in tirunelveli and toothukudi areas. If nadars feel bored, they'll go to devendran areas and beat them. In thoothukudi the men who belongs to devendran community wore saree only untill 1980.. If they do any mistakes,they have to lick the nattamai's (those belongs to nadar community) feet... But pasupathi pandian tried to rectify them. So
the living GOD of NADAR community ROCKET RAJA killed pasupathi's wife. Unfortunately pasupathi pandian(the real kozhai) ran away... Aarilum saavu Noorilum saavu NADARai ethirthavan antre saavu

Megam karutha mazhai
NADARai ethirtha

Evaraium adacki aalum veerarinam.....
Ani thirandu vandhalum Asaratha NADARinam....
Vaazhga Sathriya NADAR Gulam....
Valarga NADAR gula Ottrumai....
In English below
(we are courageous to subjugate anyone
Nadar community will not shake even if many people come
long live Nadar community
glorious to the Nadar communities for being one)

Anonymous said...
lei eddie.pallan payala.un jathi peyara paru pallan.
thoo!.neenga ellam jamin.vekkama illa.neenga ellam dalit makkal la.
keel jathi punda makka.
unga mella evanum kaya vaika mattan.karanam un mella kaya vacha nadar kulathukee kevalam.
nee entha thairiyathula la comment panra.pallan punda movana.
ithuku munnadi comment devar aa pathi pannunathum naan thaan.en jathi pera paru la NADAR.
pera sollum pothey oru thoranai.
by barani NADAR
English translation of the above:
ei, Pallan boy, look your communities name, it is pallan
spitting, don’t you have shame to call yourself as Jamin (who were not considered as untouchables), you all are dalits
untouchable bastards
no body will even touch you. Reason you are an untouchable, if Nadar community touches you, it is shame to Nadar community
what courage you have to comment, pallan bastard
before this I was the one who commented on Devars. Look at my caste name NADAR
When I utter Nadar, see my pride)

Anonymous said...
nadarinam pesama ponal intha keel jathi karan ellam athigama pesuran.
(if Nadars don’t speak, these untouchables will speaks more)

by SN.barani Nadar.
The comment goes on and on……
The above comment would show how much caste tension prevails in southern districts. especially between the Devendars and Nadars, and also throws light on how the dominant community considers its hegemony.

some more news about Annan Pasupathi Pandiyan:

The Hindu

Pasupathi Pandiayan's wife killed

Annan Pasupathi pandian speech

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