The Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu issued an order on Thursday bringing all the seven sub-sects of Scheduled Castes under one common name – Devendrakula Velalar.
The seven sub-castes – Devendrakulathan, Kadaiyan (excluding those in the coastal areas of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukkotai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts), Kalladi, Kudumban, Pallan, Pannadi and Vathiriyan – have been given the generic title.
Those belonging to the Kadiyan caste in coastal areas continue to be on the list as entry number 26.
The change in nomenclature was a long pending demand of certain sections of the SC community. During the earlier Edappadi K Palaniswami-led AIADMK regime, the government set up a committee to address the demand of a section of the community. The committee in November 2020 recommended to the state government that all seven sub-sects can be grouped and assigned a common nomenclature ‘Devendrakula Velalar’.
Also, the committee suggested that the community continue in the SC category taking their socio-economic status.
Based on the recommendations of the state government, the law was enacted by the Parliament in March. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to it in April, and it came into force on May 15.
“The district collectors and heads of departments concerned and the certificate issuing authorities under their control are requested to adopt the list of Scheduled Castes in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes), Order, 1950 as amended by the Central Act 18 of 2021 strictly,” the order read.
Apart from clubbing the sub-sects into one group, there were demands from certain sections to remove them from the SC list and add them as part of the MBC category.
Puthiya Tamilagam founder Krishnaswamy was at the forefront of this demand but the government said that the community will continue to be part of the SC category.
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