Drive Fascist BJP Away From TN: VCK Chief Thol Thirumavalavan
VCK Chief Thol Thirumavalavan is seen as the face of assertive Dalit politics in Tamil Nadu.
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“Now, Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam have joined the BJP, caste fanatics and communal forces. This is a betrayal of Jayalalithaa.”Thirumavalavan, Chief of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK)
Thol Thirumavalavan, Chief of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) has been the strongest voice of dissent against the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu. His party VCK is contesting from six seats this assembly election, in an alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Attacking the BJP, Thirumavalavan told The Quint in an exclusive interview, that Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021 was a war between secularism and communalism, and that the VCK is against communalism.
“VCK is a mass movement. We are working for all marginalised sections, including minorities. Particularly in this election, BJP and the Sangh Parivar are targeting minorities here using hatred against minorities to consolidate Hindu votes. We are here for minorities, to save their rights. We are with the DMK to save democracy,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu BJP had earlier locked horns with the Lok Sabha MP over his call for a ban on Manusmriti and his views on Sanatana dharma.
Responding to criticism that the VCK was given ‘merely six seats’, Thirumavalavan said that their partnership with DMK is ‘strong as ever’ and that that will seal their victory.
“Stalin remains up to date. He has become social media savvy. Also, he has kept his alliance partners together. DMK is contesting in 124 constituencies. And we are sure they will win over 120 seats. Stalin has a detailed game plan to handle the polls,” he said.
Face of Assertive Dalit Politics
VCK, formerly known as the Dalit Panthers Party, or the Dalit Panthers Iyyakkam, was started by M Malaichami as a political platform that aimed to combat caste-based discrimination.
After the death of its founder in 1989, Thirumavalavan, being a fiery orator, took on the leadership of the party. The party grew through the 1990s, highlighting cases of discrimination and caste-based violence. The party’s electoral debut was in 1999 and Thirumavalavan emerged as the face of assertive Dalit politics.
He led the VCK in several protests against Hindi imposition. The party has also protested Manusmriti, a Sanskrit text deemed by feminist anti-caste crusaders to be a regressive piece of writing that promotes patriarchy and Hindu supremacy.
“BJP is indulging in communal politics in the name of religion to polarise Hindu voters. It will affect our social justice and our harmonious politics. DMK is the only Dravidian party, which can save the social justice system with the support of left-oriented democratic forces, such as VCK. AIADMK has become BJP’s benami party. So, we have only one agenda. We should not allow the entry of Sangh Parivar into Tamil Nadu politics.”Thirumavalavan, Chief of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK0
The Minority Votes
In the last three months, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced several election sops, including sub-caste reservation for the Vanniyar community within the Most Backward Classes (MBC) category and a caste survey to enumerate population of different communities.
Thirumavalavan clarified, “I would like to clarify that I am not against internal (sub-caste) reservation for Vanniyars. I support social justice in the name of internal (sub-caste) reservation. I don't think this reservation will be fruitful for the Vanniyar community because only government sector can implement this reservation, not private sectors. How will they benefit when privatisation of government sector is going on? It is only political drama to polarise the Vanniyar voters in the northern belt of Tamil Nadu.”
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