“Casteism and caste-society is the obstacle to all growth. Which is why, for the VCK there is no Tamil nationalism without uprooting Hindutva,” Thirumavalavan says.

Puram the podcast Episode 1 In conversation with Thol Thirumavalavan VCK leader
news Podcast Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 15:23

“What is being talked a lot here in TN is, ‘let us keep aside caste, let us not debate casteism. Let us come together as Tamils.’ But this will never happen. ‘Let's not debate caste, but let's come together as the proletariat, as the working class.’ This too will never happen,” says VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan, in the first episode of Puram, the podcast on The News Minute.

“The larger understanding or interpretation of Tamil nationalism has been limited to language and race/ethnicity. "My language, my people," has been pushed to the front for a brand of emotional politics. But, Vidudhalai Chiruthaikal – VCK – disagrees with this, sees this differently. Affinity to Tamil, or racial/ethnic affinity alone will not define Tamil nationalism, will not be useful to the movement,” Thirumavalavan says.

“The social structures and hierarchies of India have been built on a foundation of caste. Tamils are split along caste lines. There are cracks in every community and every language, and these cracks are based on caste. We haven't been able to unite them - neither on the basis of a shared nationality or ethnicity, nor on the basis that they are all​the proletariat, the working class, and people of the soil. In fact, it has been difficult to bring them together and organise them, even on the basis of religion and faith,” the VCK leader explains.

“Which is why, the annihilation of caste is the foremost objective for the VCK. One cannot talk of politics of nationalism and subnationalism without talking about the politics of casteism and the annihilation of caste. That uprising, that revolution will not happen,” he says.

Listen to the podcast in Tamil:

The translated version, in English:

Produced by:

  • Nilakantan RS
  • Anand Krishnamoorthy
  • Selva Swetha
  • Nadika N

Read more about this podcast here.

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