In a nation which has every community competing to be declared as more backward than the other to garner more and more reservation benefits, we refreshingly have the Devendra Kula Vellalar community from Tamil Nadu storming the social media platform, Twitter today with demand for removal from Scheduled Caste list.

Devendra Kula Vellalars of Tamil Nadu have been demanding for over a decade to be excluded from the Scheduled Caste list. They identify themselves as a farming community and feel the SC tag is an imposed identity restraining their upward mobility and affecting their self-respect.

They have been demanding the regrouping of Pallar, Pannadi, Kudumbar, Kaaladi, Mooppar, Vadhiriyar and Devendrakulathar under one title- ‘Devendra Kula Vellalar’ and also delisting the community from Scheduled Caste.

Dr. K. Krishnaswamy, founder and Chief of political party, Puthiya Tamilagam who hails from the Devendra Kula Vellalar community has been spearheading the movement for over a decade now. The Puthiya Tamilagam party was founded in 1997 primarily to protect the interests of Devendra Kula Vellalars in Tamil Nadu where the community is listed under Scheduled Caste category.

Dr. K. Krishnaswamy is also known to have nationalist point of view and a severe critic of the DMK/DK parties due to their anti-Hindu, secessionist tendencies. Krishnaswamy himself and the Devendra Kula Vellalars are devout Hindus, proud of their Hindu culture and traditions.

The demand for exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes earlier trended online in October 2020 as per Free Press Journal report. On 4th December 2020, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had announced that the State Government would recommend the inclusion of the seven Scheduled Caste sub-sects – Pallar, Kudumbar, Kadaiyar, Pannadi, Kaaladi, Vadhiriyar, and Devendrakulathar into the Devendra Kula Vellalar community as per The Commune magazine report. But the state government refused to remove the Devendra Kula Vellalars from the Scheduled Caste list.

Following the recommendation by the State Government, the central government moved a Bill in the Lok Sabha under the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to regroup the afore mentioned SC sub-castes as Devendra Kula Vellars. 

 Dr K Krishnasamy has held several agitations, hunger strikes and written to state government over the matter. In January 2021, a massive rally of thousands of people was organised in Madurai by the Devendra Kula Vellalar community for delisting from Scheduled Caste category.

To raise awareness and garner all India support they have yet again today (6th June 2021) started an online campaign on social media with the hashtag, #RemoveUsFromScheduleCaste. The trend stormed Twitter with over 1.5 lakh Tweets and was trending on top. They had simultaneous trends in Tamil and English. In Tamil the hashtag read as “Getting removed from SC list will be our ultimate freedom”

This movement is very refreshing and should be welcomed as caste based reservations have only divided Hindu community and spread ill-will in society with each community wanting a greater share from the pie in reservations for jobs and education, which has also affected merit. Caste-based reservations have also helped many nefarious characters build their political careers stoking caste-wars in the country and also fanning secessionism.

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