CHENNAI: The Kuravars of Tamil Nadu has come out strongly against the Narikuravar identifying as the same community, contending that while Kuravars were basically from Tamil Nadu, the Narikuravars had migrated to the State from Maharashtra and Gujarat.
The objection came in the wake of the Narikuravar community being included as Scheduled Tribe by the Union government while the Kuravar community is still included under the SC category.
Kuranjuyar Makkal Kootamalaippu Vice President MN Chandran told IANS that the Kuravars are natives of Tamil Nadu and were mentioned in ancient Tamil literature, including the "Silapatthikaram" and "Manimegalai".
He said that as they are the original Kuravar community, the Narikuravar community must not use the tag name Kuravars.
"The Narikuravars are from Maharashtra and Gujarat and are nomads while we were in Tamil Nadu for centuries, doing cattle rearing and farming in the hilly areas. The Narikuravar community is named Kuruvikarar and speaks the Vaagri language and not Tamil," he claimed.
He said that yesteryear Tamil movies used to name Narikuruvar as Kuravars and this led to a feeling among the common people and the administration that Narikuravar (Kuruvikarar) and Kuravars are one and the same.
Talking to IANS, Narikuravar Community Welfare Association Secretary, S Sathyakumar said: "We are thankful to the Government for including us under the Scheduled Tribe category. The Kauravar community is raising objections against us and stating that we are migrants from Maharashtra and Gujarat. In fact, I and my father were born in Tamil Nadu itself and most of us from the community know how to read, write and speak Tamil."
While the Union government has included the Narikuravar community as Scheduled Tribe but the gazette notification reclassifying the community from OBC category to ST is yet to come.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu Tribal Welfare Department told IANS that the Kuravar community can also submit applications for categorising them into the ST category from the present status and after proper studies, the department will recommend it to the Central government, if required.