MADURAI: A dalit panchayat president was allegedly humiliated while hoisting the national flag on the eve of the country's 66th Independence Day in Kattathi village in Pudukkottai district.
Although Jeyanthi was elected panchayat president from the Kattathi reserved constituency in 2011, it is alleged that the non-dalit vice-president Balasubramanian and some other members were not happy with a dalit holding the superior post.
"On August 15, when I went to the Kattahi panchyat middle school to hoist the national flag, Selvam, son of Rajammal, a non-dalit and sixth ward member, abused me with the support of vice-president Balasubramanian. They even told me that a dalit woman should never touch the national flag," she claimed.
However, talking to TOI, vice-president Balasubramaniam rejected the allegation. "It was a false complaint. The panchayat president is very adamant and she takes decisions on her own. She doesn't consult us," he said.
A complaint has been filed before the district collector, Pudukkottai. "I have filed a complaint to the district collector. She said she will look into the matter," said Jeyanthi.
There are about 12,524 village panchayats in Tamil Nadu, among which 3,136 are reserved for dalits.
However, the dalits are not able to carry out their duty freely due to threat from the non-dalits in their respective villages.
Courtesy: TOI, Aug/18/12