“Yes, it is true that Ramadoss openly supported the rights of Devendrakula Velalars much before any other leader. His 1989 Vanniyar-Devendrar unity conference in Madurai was a milestone in the history of Devendrakula Velalars community,” political analyst S Raveenthran Duraisamy, told DT Next.
Devendrakula Velalars community is a Dalit community mostly concentrated in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. BJP, since 2016, had been trying to pamper the community by actively engaging in their party affairs. Before the Assembly elections in 2016, BJP held a conference of Devendrakula Velalars in which national leaders from their party participated.
Following up on a promise made to the community, Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that all the seven sub-castes of Devendrakula Velalars would now be called by the single name Devendrakula Velalars and no more they will be called by their sub-castes such as Pallars, Kudumban, Kaladi and so on.
On fulfillment of the long-time demand of the community, Puthiya Tamilagam leader K Krishnaswamy, thanked the Prime Minister. However, what came as a surprise to many in social media was the tweet of Ramadoss, who said that he was happy at Prime Minister’s announcement for Devendrakula Velalars community and the memories of the 1989 Madurai conference is still lingering in his mind.
Raveenthran Duraisamy said that at the time when former DMK supremo M Karunanidhi promoted Muthuramalingam Thevar, Ramadoss promoted Devendrakula Velalar leaders such as Immanuel Sekaran, 32 years after his death. Ramadoss even fielded other Devendrakula Velalar leaders such as John Pandian at Perambalur and Mudhukulathur and Pasupathi Pandian at Thoothukudi.
“Ramadoss did great service against many odds and threats to his life. There were open threats for Ramadoss in Kamuthi and Usilampatti, but what Ramadoss did was history,” he said.