» madurai, Tamil Nadu »
The Heart Of Darkness
A Dalit can be the President of India, but not the president of a village panchayat. Despite the state election commission issuing 13 notifications, the latest on March 18, elections in three of Madurai’s Dalit-reserved constituencies—Keeripatti, Pappapatti and Nattarmangalam—have not been possible. Dalits are scared of contesting since the dominant Thevars openly threaten them. Last year, when a few dared to file papers, the Thevars hurled footwear at the Madurai collector and the SP. This year, no Dalit dared file a nomination despite the collector’s reassurances. The state government says its job is to conduct the poll, not to ensure Dalit participation.