Apr 28 2016 : The Times of India (Chennai)
`Minorities not on Dravidian parties' agenda'
Major Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu are only paying lip service to issues concerning minorities and the social transformation espoused by the state's politics is yet to benefit people at the bottom of the socio-economic structure, felt experts at a panel discussion on 'Minorities and the 2016 Elections' hosted by the US Consulate General on Wednesday .C Lakshmanan, associate professor at Madras Institute of Development Studies, felt that successive governments in the state have turned to reservation as an “easy solution.“
Despite promises by the Dravidian majors, the traditional caste rigidity in the state “hasn't changed to any substantial and meaningful extent,“ he said. The widespread prevalence of untouchability and caste violence is testimony to this, he said.
Further, as dalits in some parts of the state have started claiming their independent identity and are asserting their rights, “it has resulted in heavy backlash from different agencies in the state apparatus.“
High court advocate A B Fathima Sulthana felt that political leaders are doing little to improve the status of Muslim women in society .
“They need to address issues such as codification of triple talaq, better education, reservation in jobs and more representation for Muslim women in politics,“ she said.