Tribal woman refuses to pull out of civic poll; ostracised

According to sources, G Vijaya (35), of Panankatteri hamlet in Naikaneri village panchayat attached to Madanur panchayat union in Ambur taluk filed her nomination to contest for the post of Ward 8 councillor in the polls scheduled on July 9.
Panankatteri ward 8 contestant Vijaya petitions police over her family being ostracised in Ambur on Tuesday
Panankatteri ward 8 contestant Vijaya petitions police over her family being ostracised in Ambur on Tuesday

AMBUR: A tribal woman has been ostracised for refusing to withdraw her nomination to contest the ensuing casual local body polls for a panchayat ward in a village near Ambur taluk.

According to sources, G Vijaya (35), of Panankatteri hamlet in Naikaneri village panchayat attached to Madanur panchayat union in Ambur taluk filed her nomination to contest for the post of Ward 8 councillor in the polls scheduled on July 9.

Though the village panchayat president is Indumathi, former panchayat president Sivakumar continues to issue ‘diktats’ controlling the village and hence demanded Vijaya to withdraw her nomination. “As I refused to heed Sivakumar’s ‘diktat’, my family and the family of the person who signed my nomination form have been ostracised,” the tribal woman told DT Next.

Vijaya, who works under the government’s 100-day job scheme, bluntly said, “It is because we are poor that we are treated with scant respect. So, I wanted to prove that even I can get things done, if I win and hence I contested.” Vijaya’s husband Govindan is a building supervisor. “For the time being I am staying at home as my children are 7 and 5 years old” she said.

However, the ostracism issue goes back to 5 years when the SC residents of Kamanthattu village got married to tribals of Panankatteri resulting in then tribal village panchayat head Sivakumar considering it demeaning. “Though his tenure ended, he still wields clout in the village and his ostracism rule resulted in locals keeping away from Vijaya’s family,” sources said.

“Those who maintain ties with my family have also been threatened with ostracism,” she added. But, what galled Vijaya is that village elders refused to accept the Rs 1,000 which each family was asked to pay to conduct the local temple festival.” Vijaya complained to Ambur police on Tuesday and the latter have promised to help, she added.

On Tuesday, Vijaya told this reporter that a villager and not the ‘nattar’ accepted her Rs 1,000 for the temple festival. However, the ostracism diktat continues to be followed.

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