Double Tumbler System – An Act of Inequality

Scheduled castes and tribes are for long considered and treated as outcastes in a strictly caste-based social order, later attempted to be glorified as Harijans or people of God, constitute approximately a fifth of the population of the country as also of Tamil Nadu. Untouchability has being practised in various villlages of TN. SC’s are barred from teashops, provision stores, temples etc and are not allowed to use most of the roads in the village. They could not even go to work in the fields. This is a story of state having almost 74% literacy rate as per govt. definition of literacy.

Of the 76 communities listed as SCS, the Paraiyars, the Pallars and the Arunthathiyars are the three main groups.. Paraiyars are the majority in the northern districts, Pallars in the southern districts, and Arunthathiyars in the western districts. Arunthathiyars constitute about one-third of the state’s Dalit population and live in miserable conditions, working as manual scavengers, cobblers and agricultural labourers.

In 40 reserved panchayats, dalits are banned from entering temples. In 48 panchayats, they are being forced to beat tom-tom to announce the death of caste Hindus and remove the carcass of dead animals. Discrimination is noticed in Primary and Sub Health Centres, fair price shops and schools. Women are prevented from using sanitary complexes in 11 panchayats and in few other panchayats hair dressers refuse to patronise dalit customers.

Double Tumbler System is a practice of serving tea in separate glasses to SC’s/ST’s. Most probably in “Steel” tumblers, where Non-SC/ST customers are served in Glass tumblers. That’s not all. SC/ST customers are not allowed to sit on the benches or chairs in the shop. They need to sit on the floor to have their cup of Tea. 

These are not mere studies on this social issue. They are bold declarations not by individuals but by a group of dalit presidents of these reserved village panchayats.

They have openly admitted to the prevalence of these acts of caste-based discrimination in writing in affidavit formats. Some of the SC/ST brothers filed a complaint against this double tumbler system prevailing for long time. There was an enquiry and shop owners were advised to stop such type of malpractices.

              Following to this action, the non-SC/ST Shop Owners raised the rate just to make sure that SC/ST’s can’t afford a cup of Tea. This will keep the SC/ST’s away from the Shops. But non-SC/ST’s  don’t know about the consequences of such actions. What if SC/ST’s ignore them. I guess most of these non-SC/ST’s employ SC/ST’s in one or another Household or Factory Work. They depend on them in some part of their life. Just imagine, when SC/ST’s choose to work only for their own profit and stop working under or for Baniyas.

              This kind of distinction between people based on Caste is just enough for creating disturbances in the society, which eventually reduces harmony and brings instability. A person will not remain in such a state of discrimination forever. When they start to think clearly, they realize that even their children will undergo such humiliation. Nobody wants to pass their miserable life to their children. One day, they will unite to rise against those who dominates them.

One Response to Double Tumbler System – An Act of Inequality

  1. SHANKER KUMAR on June, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    IT IS NO USE OF HAVING 74% LITERACY RATE IN TN. SAME KIND OF INHUMAN PRACTICE IS GOING ON IN NORTH BIHAR.ALL MULNIVASI BAHUJANS SHOULD COME TOGETHER TO FIGHT THESE KIND OF HUMILIATION. SOCIAL BOYCOTT OF HIGH CASTE PEOPLE WOULD BE AN EFFECTIVE MEASURE TO CURB THESE KIND OF PRACTICES. WE SHOULD ORGANISE UNDER AN ALL INDIA ORGANISATION LIKE BAMCEF.

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