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Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (translation: Liberation Panther Party; abbr. VCK) formerly known as the Dalit Panthers of India or the Dalit Panthers Iyyakkam (translation: Dalit Panthers Movement; abbr. DPI) is an Indian social movement and political party that seeks to combat caste based discrimination, active in the state of Tamil Nadu.[2] The party also has a strong emphasis on Tamil nationalism.[3][4] Its chairman is Thol. Thirumavalavan, a lawyer from Chennai and its general secretary is the writer Ravikumar.[5][6][7]

History

The Dalit Panthers Iyyakkam was formed in 1982 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.[8][2] Founded by a group of disaffected dalits under the leadership of M. Malalchami,[8] it emerging as a loosely organised group of local activists seeking assistance and protection through the association of a larger movement.[2] The movement was inspired by the Dalit Panthers of India, a social movement which itself had formed earlier in the 1970s in Maharashtra which itself was inspired by the Black Panther Party, a socialist movement that sought to combat racial discrimination in the United States.[9][10]

Party principles

The main aim of the party is to abolish the differences among Tamil people and to lift up the economically weaker sections of society. The party supported the freedom movement of Tamil people in Tamil Eelam, as well as the security of Tamil people living abroad. The party also declared that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be charged with war crimes for the alleged assassination of thousands of innocent Tamil people during war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In the Parliament of India in May 2012, Thirumavalavan joined other leaders and raised issue of the Ambedkar cartoon, sparking a controversy in Parliament.[11][12]

Ahead of the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Thirumavalavan stated his willingness to form a coalition with any party apart from the DMK, AIADMK, BJP and PMK.[13]

Tamil Eelam

VCK party along with DMK, DK, NTK formed TESO Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization and demonstrated protests demanding credential probe into war time crimes against Sri Lankan government during the War between LTTE and Sri Lankan government.[14][15][16] It is alleged that thousands of innocent Tamil people were brutally tortured and murdered during the war. Many countries in the world raised complaint against Sri Lankan government in United Nations International Criminal Court of justice. VCK party demanded that Former Sri Lankan President Rajapakse should be charged with war crimes.[17][18] Many of party men were arrested by Tamil Nadu police for creating public discomfort during protest against Sri Lankan government. The party is heavily criticised for supporting LTTE and its leader Prabakaran since LTTE is banned in India.

Controversies

On April 2019, Members affiliated to the fringe-group Hindu Munnani broke an earthen pot under the alcoholic influence, the election symbol of VCK at the village of Ponparappi, Ariyalur block, Tiruchi.[19] The incident happened infront of the Panchayat Office where the Tamil Nadu general election polling was going on which lead to a quarrel. This is said to have resulted a retaliatory violence against the dailts. The Hindu reported a mob of 100 engaged in violence against the dalits and at least twenty tiled houses which had the VCK symbol were totally damaged. A. Kathir of Evidence, a rights-org based in Madurai claimed 13 people were admitted at hospitals, 25 houses were fully damged and 115 houses were damaged. Tirumavalavan after visiting the area, told the media that the PMK and Hindu Munnani were responsible for the violence.[20]

The Political party is accused of extra promoting Tamil nationalism and supporting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [21] which is banned in India.[22][23][24][25][26] Although major Tamil political parties DMK and ADMK both are accused for indirectly supporting LTTE, VCK is accused of supporting LTTE leader openly in its party posters. It is alleged that LTTE involved in the assassination of Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. VCK Party is demanding release of the Rajiv Gandhi murder accusers along with major Tamil parties like NTK, MDMK, PMK, SMK, AIADMK and DMK. VCK Party also celebrated the birth day of Slain LTTE Leader Prabakaran along with other Tamil parties.[27]

References

  1. ^ Waghmore, Suryakant (30 September 2013). Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India. SAGE Publications India. pp. 15–19. ISBN 978-81-321-1886-2.Madurai, Tamil Nadu.[8][2] Founded by a group of disaffected dalits under the leadership of M. Malalchami,[8] it emerging as a loosely organised group of local activists seeking assistance and protection through the association of a larger movement.[2] The movement was inspired by the Dalit Panthers of India, a social movement which itself had formed earlier in the 1970s in Maharashtra which itself was inspired by the Black Panther Party, a socialist movement that sought to combat racial discrimination in the United States.[9][10]

    Party principles

    The main aim of the party is to abolish the differences among Tamil people and to lift up the economically weaker sections of society. The party supported the freedom movement of Tamil people in Tamil Eelam, as well as the security of Tamil people living abroad. The party also declared that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be charged with war crimes for the alleged assassination of thousands of innocent Tamil people during war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In the Parliament of India in May 2012, Thirumavalavan joined other leaders and raised issue of the Ambedkar cartoon, sparking a controversy in Parliament.Tamil Eelam, as well as the security of Tamil people living abroad. The party also declared that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be charged with war crimes for the alleged assassination of thousands of innocent Tamil people during war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. In the Parliament of India in May 2012, Thirumavalavan joined other leaders and raised issue of the Ambedkar cartoon, sparking a controversy in Parliament.[11][12]

    Ahead of the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Thirumavalavan stated his willingness to form a coalition with any party apart from the DMK, AIADMK, BJP and PMK.[13]

    Tamil Eelam[13]

    VCK party along with DMK, DK, NTK formed TESO Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization and demonstrated protests demanding credential probe into war time crimes against Sri Lankan government during the War between LTTE and Sri Lankan government.[14][15][16] It is alleged that thousands of innocent Tamil people were brutally tortured and murdered during the war. Many countries in the world raised complaint against Sri Lankan government in United Nations International Criminal Court of justice. VCK party demanded that Former Sri Lankan President Rajapakse should be charged with war crimes.[17][18] Many of party men were arrested by Tamil Nadu police for creating public discomfort during protest against Sri Lankan government. The party is heavily criticised for supporting LTTE and its leader Prabakaran since LTTE is banned in India.

    Controversies

    On April 2019, Members affiliated to the fringe-group Hindu Munnani broke an earthen pot under the alcoholic influence, the election symbol of VCK at the village of Ponparappi, Ariyalur block, Tiruchi.[19] The incident happened infront of the Panchayat Office where the Tamil Nadu general election polling was going on which lead to a quarrel. This is said to have resulted a retaliatory violence against the dailts. The Hindu reported a mob of 100 engaged in violence against the dalits and at least twenty tiled houses which had the VCK symbol were totally damaged. A. Kathir of Evidence, a rights-org based in Madurai claimed 13 people were admitted at hospitals, 25 houses were fully damged and 115 houses were damaged. Tirumavalavan after visiting the area, told the media that the PMK and Hindu Munnani were responsible for the violence.[20]

    The Political party is accused of extra promoting Tamil nationalism and supporting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Tamil nationalism and supporting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [21] which is banned in India.[22][23][24][25][26] Although major Tamil political parties DMK and ADMK both are accused for indirectly supporting LTTE, VCK is accused of supporting LTTE leader openly in its party posters. It is alleged that LTTE involved in the assassination of Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. VCK Party is demanding release of the Rajiv Gandhi murder accusers along with major Tamil parties like NTK, MDMK, PMK, SMK, AIADMK and DMK. VCK Party also celebrated the birth day of Slain LTTE Leader Prabakaran along with other Tamil parties.[27]

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