Soothsayers go on hunger strike in Tiruvannamalai
Protesters seek community certificate labelling them as ‘Hindu-Kanikkar’
Men and women belonging to the ‘Kudukuduppai karar’ sect (soothsayers) along with their family members staged a hunger fast in front of the Collectorate in Vengikal, Tiruvannamalai, on Wednesday, demanding a solution to their long-pending demand. Majority of them were in their fifties and were no longer associated with the profession of soothsaying, they said.
Fifty-four families comprising 300 members living in Arni taluk for years, sought community certificate as ‘Hindu-Kanikkar,’ a caste in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
R. Rajamani, who guides members of his community in pursuing higher education, said even gypsies were issued community certificate as Scheduled Tribes in all southern districts, whereas their community was being ignored by the Tiruvannamalai district administration for years.He pointed out that their community was being issued certificates everywhere except Tiurvannamalai.
“Another 400 people from our community live in Iyyampalayam Pudhur in Arni region,” he added. “Is it not an injustice to deny community certificate to us? The government officials deny us all the facilities extended to Scheduled Tribes by the State Government,” he added.
Most of the wards were forced to drop out after class VIII or Plus Two for want of community certificate, he said. They could pursue higher education and seek government jobs only if they had the certificate, he added.
He claimed that their people had no problem in getting the certificate in Madurai, Theni, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kancheepuram, Vellore and Tirunelveli districts.