A woman panchayat leader sitting on the floor during a meeting she ought to preside over – while others sit on chairs – has sparked outrage in Tamil Nadu and exposed the deeply entrenched discriminative practices.
The District Collector in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore, where the incident took place, has suspended the panchayat’s secretary and ordered a probe after the photograph emerged on social media.
The woman seen in the photograph of the President of the Therku Thittai village panchayat and belongs to the Adi Dravida community, a Scheduled Caste. She was elected to her post – a reserved seat – last year.
“Because of my caste, the Vice President does not let me preside over the meeting. He did not even let me hoist the flag. He made his father do it. Although I was cooperating with the upper castes all these months, it is going overboard now,” she said.