Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Caste Dalit Bahujan Adivasi

Inter-caste couples can now choose their children’s caste

Tamil Nadu Government stops issuing class-based community certificates to such children of ‘Inter-caste’ couples

Sabrangindia 13 Feb 2021

tamil nadu

The Tamil Nadu government has recently announced that it has ended the practice of issuing “class-based community certificates” to children of ‘inter-caste’ couples. The New Indian Express reported that henceforth “children of parents who belong to different castes will get community certificates mentioning the caste of either of their parents”. This will be in compliance of a recent order issued by the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department. 

According to the news report, this is expected to benefit BC (‘backward class’) and MBC (‘most backward class’) couples, and “provide relief to partners” if one of them belongs to the Arunthathiyar SC community, that has faced unending dircrimination even decade after Independence. According to a 2019 report in TNIE the community’s ‘caste-based’ job was to dispose of the echil elai (used banana leaf plates) at the functions organised by other caste people. Most of the Arunthathiyars were also deprived of the benefits of reservation, and survived by doing jobs that others did not want to do.

Arunthathiyar are the ‘lowest’ group and are often refered to as the ‘Dalits of the Dalits’ stated a report by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. According to the IDSN report, “Almost all manual scavenging (sanitary) work is done by Arunthathiyar; they comprise the majority of those subject to illegal ‘bonded’ labour, often through usurious loans; an overwhelming majority of untouchability practices are practised on them (even by other Dalits); 95% are landless; and Arunthathiyar women are disproportionately affected by sexual exploitation. When Arunthathiyar complain, it often brings a backlash from the dominant community. Arunthidiyars receive less than 10% of employment and education reservations (to correlate with their proportion of the Dalit population, this should be at least 30%); they are under represented on committees concerned with Dalit welfare and rights and those committees do not function properly. They are under-represented in local government (even when elected they are dominated by others so that Arunthathiyar wards/areas of the village miss out).”

The TNIE stated that, “To encourage inter-caste marriages, the State government in 1975 allowed children of such couples to be identified with either the community of the father or mother. Besides changing the conventional practice of identifying children with their father’s caste, the move was aimed at encouraging men to marry women from ‘lower’ castes.” 

Now, the TN government has announced that community certificates would be issued based on a “declaration submitted by the parents, and the declaration would be applicable to all children of the couple”. As per a Government Order issued in 1975, a marriage between people belonging to any two categories among BC, SC, ST and FC, would be considered as an inter-caste marriage. The news report added that “children of inter-caste couples have been issued community certificates mentioning the four classes — BC, SC, ST and FC — without mentioning caste.”

It was in 1989, that the State government divided Backward Classes into BC and MBC, creating a new category with additional reservation benefits in education and employment. Marriages between people belonging to BC and MBC categories were also recognised as inter-caste marriages. However, “Revenue officials refused to issue MBC certificates to their children since both BC and MBC castes were listed as a Backward Class in 1975,” reported TNIE. It explained that when a BC man marries an MBC woman, their children are entitled to MBC certificates, “However, since both castes were listed as BC in 1975, such requests were turned down by Revenue authorities, and resulted in multiple litigations in the High Court.” In 2009, a separate sub-quota was introduced for Arunthathiyars in the SC category. Hence, when a woman of the Arunthathiyar caste marries an MBC/BC/FC man, their children are given SC certificates, instead of SC (Arunthathiyar), which gets preference in the SC quota. The news report quoted a  senior revenue official explaining, “The government did not recognise ‘castes’ in 1975 just to eliminate the caste-based differences. Now, children of inter-caste couples will get certificates as per the latest community classification mentioning their castes.” 

 

Related:

Disruptors threaten and abuse interfaith couples on Zoom press conference

No SC quota for Dalits converting to Islam & Christianity to contest elections: Centre to 

Hindu Nationalism: From genesis to present ruling dispensation

Karnal Jail cites Covid-protocol, prevents Nodeep from meeting family 

Over 1.3 lakh illiterate, 1 lakh Dalit prisoners in India: Centre to RS

Five-year-old Dalit girl raped, killed in MP

Inter-caste couples can now choose their children’s caste

Tamil Nadu Government stops issuing class-based community certificates to such children of ‘Inter-caste’ couples

tamil nadu

The Tamil Nadu government has recently announced that it has ended the practice of issuing “class-based community certificates” to children of ‘inter-caste’ couples. The New Indian Express reported that henceforth “children of parents who belong to different castes will get community certificates mentioning the caste of either of their parents”. This will be in compliance of a recent order issued by the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Department. 

According to the news report, this is expected to benefit BC (‘backward class’) and MBC (‘most backward class’) couples, and “provide relief to partners” if one of them belongs to the Arunthathiyar SC community, that has faced unending dircrimination even decade after Independence. According to a 2019 report in TNIE the community’s ‘caste-based’ job was to dispose of the echil elai (used banana leaf plates) at the functions organised by other caste people. Most of the Arunthathiyars were also deprived of the benefits of reservation, and survived by doing jobs that others did not want to do.

Arunthathiyar are the ‘lowest’ group and are often refered to as the ‘Dalits of the Dalits’ stated a report by the International Dalit Solidarity Network. According to the IDSN report, “Almost all manual scavenging (sanitary) work is done by Arunthathiyar; they comprise the majority of those subject to illegal ‘bonded’ labour, often through usurious loans; an overwhelming majority of untouchability practices are practised on them (even by other Dalits); 95% are landless; and Arunthathiyar women are disproportionately affected by sexual exploitation. When Arunthathiyar complain, it often brings a backlash from the dominant community. Arunthidiyars receive less than 10% of employment and education reservations (to correlate with their proportion of the Dalit population, this should be at least 30%); they are under represented on committees concerned with Dalit welfare and rights and those committees do not function properly. They are under-represented in local government (even when elected they are dominated by others so that Arunthathiyar wards/areas of the village miss out).”

The TNIE stated that, “To encourage inter-caste marriages, the State government in 1975 allowed children of such couples to be identified with either the community of the father or mother. Besides changing the conventional practice of identifying children with their father’s caste, the move was aimed at encouraging men to marry women from ‘lower’ castes.” 

Now, the TN government has announced that community certificates would be issued based on a “declaration submitted by the parents, and the declaration would be applicable to all children of the couple”. As per a Government Order issued in 1975, a marriage between people belonging to any two categories among BC, SC, ST and FC, would be considered as an inter-caste marriage. The news report added that “children of inter-caste couples have been issued community certificates mentioning the four classes — BC, SC, ST and FC — without mentioning caste.”

It was in 1989, that the State government divided Backward Classes into BC and MBC, creating a new category with additional reservation benefits in education and employment. Marriages between people belonging to BC and MBC categories were also recognised as inter-caste marriages. However, “Revenue officials refused to issue MBC certificates to their children since both BC and MBC castes were listed as a Backward Class in 1975,” reported TNIE. It explained that when a BC man marries an MBC woman, their children are entitled to MBC certificates, “However, since both castes were listed as BC in 1975, such requests were turned down by Revenue authorities, and resulted in multiple litigations in the High Court.” In 2009, a separate sub-quota was introduced for Arunthathiyars in the SC category. Hence, when a woman of the Arunthathiyar caste marries an MBC/BC/FC man, their children are given SC certificates, instead of SC (Arunthathiyar), which gets preference in the SC quota. The news report quoted a  senior revenue official explaining, “The government did not recognise ‘castes’ in 1975 just to eliminate the caste-based differences. Now, children of inter-caste couples will get certificates as per the latest community classification mentioning their castes.” 

 

Related:

Disruptors threaten and abuse interfaith couples on Zoom press conference

No SC quota for Dalits converting to Islam & Christianity to contest elections: Centre to 

Hindu Nationalism: From genesis to present ruling dispensation

Karnal Jail cites Covid-protocol, prevents Nodeep from meeting family 

Over 1.3 lakh illiterate, 1 lakh Dalit prisoners in India: Centre to RS

Five-year-old Dalit girl raped, killed in MP

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Gyanvapi controversy manufactured for political gain?

In wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Kashi Vishwanath temple - Gyanvapi mosque compound in Varanasi, watch this video and an exclusive interview of Maulana SM Yaseen, of Gyanvapi Mosque, conducted by senior research scholar Muniza Khan.

Communalism

Gyanvapi controversy manufactured for political gain?

In wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Kashi Vishwanath temple - Gyanvapi mosque compound in Varanasi, watch this video and an exclusive interview of Maulana SM Yaseen, of Gyanvapi Mosque, conducted by senior research scholar Muniza Khan.

IN FACT

Analysis

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Archives