On February 15, The Pioneer reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to remove Devendra Kula Vellalar community from the Scheduled Caste(SC) and categorize them as Other Backward Caste (OBC).
According to the report published in The Pioneer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech made on January 14 at International Indoor Stadium in Chennai, announced that a long pending demand of the Devendra Kula Vellalar community to delist from the Scheduled Caste and put them in the Other Backward Community would soon become a reality. The report quoted PM Modi's statement, "Their craving for the reclamation of their original identity was discernible, and I had assured them that the demand would be considered favourably."
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the removal of Devendra Kula Vellalar community from SC category.
The Logical Indian searched for the keyword, "PM Speech in Chennai", and found a video of Narendra Modi's speech made in Chennai published by India Today on February 14. At around 27:33 timestamp, one can hear PM Modi making an announcement for Devendra Kula Vellar community. He says, "Today, I have a delightful message to convey to the Devendrakula Vellalar community sisters and brothers in Tamil Nadu. The Central Government has accepted their long-standing demand to be known as Devendrakula Vellalar. They will now be known by their heritage name and not the six to seven names listed in the Schedule to the Constitution. The draft Gazette to amend the Constitutional schedule to correct their name as Devendrakula Vellalar has been approved by the central government. It will be placed before the Parliament before the start of the next session. I want to especially thank the Government of Tamil Nadu for the detailed study done on this demand. Their support to the demand has been long-standing."
In his entire speech, PM Modi did not speak about removing Devendra Kula Vellar community's Scheduled Caste status. While PM Modi had mentioned that Devendra Kula Vellalar's long-standing demand will soon be accepted, by 'long-lasting demand' PM meant that all the seven sub-sects to the community will be brought under one umbrella, Devendrakula Vellalar.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment had also put out a press release through PIBon February 15, to refute the claim of delisting of Devendra Kula Vellalar community from SC status. The Press release said, "The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has said that the reports appearing in media about the delisting of Devendra Kula Vellalar community from SC category soon are completely misinformed. The Ministry has clarified that the news is misleading and does not reflect the actual position. It has stated that the Cabinet has approved for categorising (7) SC communities into Devendra Kula Vellalar which would also be a part of the Scheduled Castes list of Tamil Nadu. Therefore, the statement that they will be delisted from SCs and would be made OBCs is completely incorrect and it may be clarified that the statement does not reflect the correct position. The Ministry has further clarified that a Bill for categorising (7) SC communities into Devendra Kula Vellalar under SC list to Tamil Nadu is already introduced in the Lok Sabha."
PIB Fact-Check had also refuted the claim.
Hence, no announcement of removing SC status of Devendra Kula Vellalar community has been made, and the report is misleading.
What is the demand of the Devendra Kula Vellalar community?
The Devendra Kula Vellalar community is a Scheduled Caste community that has seven sub-sects and comprise over 17.05 per cent of the Scheduled Caste community in Tamil Nadu, according to Census 2011. The community has been demanding to be given a Most Backward status and remove SC status from their community, as they are agrarian and not manual scavengers. They also demanded a 6 per cent reservation for the community.
This community is currently identified by seven different sub-sects, i.e., Devendrakulathan, Kudumban, Pannadi, Kaaladi, Kadayan, Pallan and Patharia. They had been demanding to bring all these sub-sects under one umbrella. On February 14, PM Modi on his visit to Tamil Nadu announced that the Union government has accepted the demand to bring seven sub-sects of the Devendrakula Vellalar community under one umbrella. Thus, now rather than being called by their independent sect name, they will all be called Devendrakula Vellalar.
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