Pointing to the series of incidents of discrimination of Dalit panchayat presidents including Therku Thittai Panchayat president Rajeshwari who was forced to sit on the floor at the panchayat meeting and prevention of Aathupakkam panchayat president Amirtham from hoisting the national flag on Independence Day, Haasan said that Dalit panchayat presidents facing humiliation and untouchability is becoming a saga.
“These are people elected by the people. Government representatives. Where does the courage to stop and persecute them come from? We talk proudly that this is the land of Periyar. Is this the equality that Periyar spoke of? Why do such barbarisms continue in reality when we teach children in schools that there are no castes,” he said in a strongly-worded statement.
He said that a lot of people were democratically elected to hold posts and in power but they continue to face discrimination because of caste.
Pointing out that the state-level vigilance and monitoring committee under the Chief Minister should meet twice in a year following the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, he said that the state government has admitted in the High Court that the committee had not met even once in the last seven years.
He hit out at the ruling party and those aspiring to come to power for the present state of affairs.
“Where does the courage to treat representatives of people with such contempt come from? What is the refuge of these untouchable fanatics? What about the stoic silence of all political parties? To appease who does these parties turn a blind eye? How many more times will democracy and social justice be buried for the electoral politics?” he asked.
Haasan said that violence in the name of caste continues in every town and every street in Tamil Nadu. It is reprehensible not to see it and to “maintain a stoic silence. The state must protect the rights given to the people by law. People are witnessing how in their attempt to grab power by compromising over the caste equations,” he said.