Conversion Weakens Our Nos., Says TN’s Dalit Face Thol Thirumavalavan
“Leaving Hinduism is fine, but if you stay within the fold, the dalit population will be more, there will be more visibility and numerical strength,” says VCK leader
over 80 people killed in the past three years alone, according to non-governmental organisations.
Thirumalavan’s politics is grounded in the revival of Tamil nationalism, which looks at eliminating caste. “Annihilation of caste was Ambedkar’s only aim. That is the only way for dalits to escape suffering, but how to do it is important,” he said. He said though that he would oppose an anti-conversion l aw because it is anti-constitutional. “It is the RSS line. We don’t want it. It is against freedom of choice,” he said.
An anti-conversion law has been pitchedbytheTamilNaduBJP.Both UnionhomeministerRajnathSingh and BJP president Amit Shah had called for it at the national level a few months ago.
Thirumalavan,whohasalsobeena Member of Parliament once, said the Modi government has “time and again proved that it practises only hatred politics”.
“There is no use seeking a remedy from them as their policies are inherently anti-dalit. Even their worshipping of Ambedkar is fake as what they are practising is opposite to what he preached,” he said.
Parties in Tamil Nadu too, especially the AIADMK, completely avoid speaking on dalit issues, Thirumalavan said.
Election rallies make it evident that his message has struck a chord, with the mere mention of his name drawing enthusiastic cheers from his cadre and supporters.
Like Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh, Thirumavalavan has allied with a wide spectrum of forces, including the BJP back in 2001, and worked with even the PMK that it has often locked horns with over caste issues.
Thol Thirumavalavan’s VCK is part of the third front alliance of the Left parties, DMDK, MDMK and TMC