TN Women’s Panel Talks Tough On Caste-Based Violence
The Tamil Nadu Women’s Commission, after receiving numerous complaints from women, has made some tough calls to put an end to caste-based violence. The move follows an incident that took place a few weeks ago, as per reports.
Of the 813 petitions received so far, 22 relate to caste-based violence
A woman had approached the commission, complaining that her husband threw her out of home because she was a Dalit. Kannagi Packianathan, IAS and Chairperson of the Commission, spoke about the ordeal. “They ran away and got married; however, post-marriage, his family, which belongs to a higher caste, began to harass her. Her husband too joined in. One day, they threw the woman onto the streets.”
Hundreds of women across the state have petitioned their complaints in the last six months. Women complained of being targets of caste-based violence such as physical assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence. They also complained of discrimination by their spouses’ family and sometimes by their own. These are specifically women who are positioned at the bottom of the caste and class hierarchies.
Women seek protection from kin
The Commission mentioned how a few women also sought protection from their own families. The families continued harassing them for marrying men from other castes. “They live in fear even after marriage,” said Packianathan, adding that they will deal with such complaints seriously.
Sujata Mody, president of the Penn Thozhilalargal Sangam, said that police could play an important role in resolving such issues.
Mody, however, mentioned that police officers, belonging to the dominant community, side with the powerful. “Instead of providing the woman protection, they insist on sending the woman back to live with the same family,” she added.
The Commission stated how 47 of the petitions submitted accused the police for their unwillingness to resolve matters.
Mody also said that it was every stakeholder’s duty to address the issue of caste-based violence. “Young people have the freedom to make their own choices. Everyone needs to support them,” she said.
Mody also promised quick and effective punishment to perpetrators of caste-based violence.