Objection by velaler communities against proposal to renaming as Devendra kula velaler

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Honourable Prime Minister,

As you would be aware, some political outfits of Pallar Caste in tamilnadu, have placed the demands to state and central governments to group Seven sects of their community into a single name called “Devendra Kula Velaler”.

We have to come to know that the Tamil Nadu government has accepted their demand, and forwarded the same to the central government, recommending the change of the name. We are extremely shocked and angered by this unjust and unfair decision of the Chief Minister who has recommended this name change against widespread protest and opposition from the vellalar communities.

The velaler caste and pallar caste are two distinct and unrelated communities in Tamil Nadu, who cohabitate together in most of the villages. The velalers are placed in the forward and backward categories list whereas, the pallars are placed in the Scheduled Category. During the British era, the pallars were categorized in the Depressed classes list. In the 1891 census, the velalas and pallars are listed as separate categories.

The demand by pallar caste to claim the velala name does not have any social or historical basis. There is no archeological or epigraphical evidence to show that pallars were identified by the name velaler. The copper plate inscriptions belonging to pallars mention them as pallu and kudumbar.

Ignoring all these socio-historical factors, the anthropological report done by Madras University has been fraudulently prepared with fabricated data made out of selective study. The duplicity of the report is evident from the fact that two subsects namely kadayar, and vaathiriyan, which the report has recommended for name change has challenged the same in the courts, and their case is still ongoing. They have also staged protests against the chief minister's decision recommending the renaming of 7 sub-castes of pallar caste. The anthropological study has not included any of the existing velaler communities, who has been opposing this name change for long. Moreover, we the velalar people have submitted our opposition to pallar caste demands with relevant historical proofs to the Hansraj Verma Committee setup by the government two years back.

Unfortunately the government had not released both the anthropological report and the Hansraj Verma Committee Report to the public or shared the same to any of the people / organisation who had formally registered their opposition with them. The entire process regarding this issue was shrouded in secrecy, and inspite of strong protest, the government is proceeding with this unjust name change for electoral gains.

We request the Government of India to reject the current demand for renaming 7 sub-sects of pallar community into “Devendra Kula Velaler” name and consult with the existing velaler communities / organisations before taking any decision.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,