A village where dalits can’t wear footwear or ride bikes (Times of India)
“When G Thangapandian (27), a dalit youth, decided to challenge the caste diktat that dalits should not ride motorcycles on Kaliamman Street, it ended in a brutal attack on his house by a mob of over 500 persons, including women armed with broomsticks.
“‘If I am alive now it is because of this grill gate,’ pointed out G Murugan, Thangapandian’s brother. The gate was damaged in several places. ‘The mob tried to break open the gate with boulders, but left later on Saturday night,’ said Murugan, fear still evident on his face.
“The dalits, overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and economic status of the more influential Thevars, obeyed the diktats: they did not wear footwear and they did not ride bicycles or motorcycles on Kaliamman Street. ‘We are served tea in different tumblers and we are not entertained in the barber shops in the village,’ said Murugan’s father Guru.
“The village has been a witness to the worst forms of caste discrimination, as even schools have become a platform for such practices. ‘My non-dalit classmates would demand that I address them as Ayya [sir]. If I call them by their names they would abuse me with filthy words and threaten me,’ said M Palani, who just completed his Plus-Two in the higher secondary school in the village.”
Dalit thrashed for riding bike in ‘upper caste’ lane (Mumbai Mirror, May 4, 2011)
Untouchability taking new forms, says study (Deccan Chronicle, May 5, 2011):
“A survey conducted by Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) in 22 districts has revealed the prevalence of 86 forms of untouchability in the state’s villages.
“Dalits are not even allowed to use ringtones of movie songs. ‘A dalit in Coimbatore was beaten by caste Hindus for using MGR movie song Naan Aanaittal Adhu Nadanthu Vittaal as his ringtone,’ TNUEF convenor P. Sampath said.
“The discrimination against dalits even exists in matrimonial websites. ‘We have come across entries made by upper caste persons stating that dalits need not apply,’ he said.
“In the survey, Mr Sampath said they come across the practice of dalits being prevented from walking on the public road wearing slippers, riding bicycles, wearing dhotis folded or polyester dhotis, wearing towels on their shoulder, wearing cloth headgear, sporting thin line moustaches and getting clothes washed or ironed.”
And see further anti-caste: OVER 80 FORMS OF UNTOUCHABILITY FOUND IN PRACTICE IN TAMIL NADU (June 12, 2010)