Gowsalya was speaking in an interview to the BBC in the context of the 'What it means to be an Indian' campaign.

Anti-caste activist Gowsalya suspended from Cantonment Board over comments in intv
news Controversy Saturday, February 02, 2019 - 14:03

Anti-caste activist Gowsalya has been suspended from the Wellington Cantonment Board where she works for her comments on India in an interview with an English news channel. Gowsalya, works in the Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, in the Ministry of Defence, and her comments did not go down well with senior officials in the board.

Speaking in an interview to the BBC at the “What it means to be an Indian” campaign run by the channel, Gowsalya claimed that Ambedkar had viewed India as a union, and that the country was made up of several different cultures. She also pointed out that there was no such thing as a national language in India. In this context, she asked people to decide what is the concept of India as a nation. Gowsalya, who is well-known for her activism, also added that the rest of India was indifferent to what was happening to Tamil Nadu, in the context of big infrastructure projects like Sterlite, Neutrino, methane and so on.

Sources close to the development say that Gowsalya had asked the BBC not to publish the interview online after it was aired on TV. However, the clipping of the interview was reportedly forwarded to her workplace where her seniors took umbrage to it. While she was initially dismissed, following the recommendation of local officials, she has now reportedly been given a suspension letter for a period of three months.

Speaking to The Hindu, a Cantonment board official said, "Her suspension will be reviewed at the next meeting of Cantonment Board officials, and we plan on recommending that she be terminated from service."

Following the caste killing of her husband in March 2016, masterminded by her own father, Gowsalya has been an anti-caste activist, lending her voice to various issues and protests in the state. She has also been campaigning for a law to protect inter-caste couples.

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